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Sleep After Pregnancy: Making It A Priority

Sleep After Pregnancy

In the last stages of your pregnancy, you might have had trouble getting comfortable enough to really sleep well.

Your bladder may have had you up several times a night as well.

Now that your baby is here, you might wonder if maybe that broken sleep was actually a pretty good deal, don't you?

Sleep After Pregnancy: How Much Sleep Do You Need?

The fact is, you've entered a new stage of life and sleep has become both a myth and a necessity.

How do you even manage to get the sleep you need?

Never fear- we're here to help you figure this out.

The key is to not lock yourself into any one pattern, whether because of social expectations or to put pressure on yourself in any other way.

Sleep and pressure just don't go together, and only one of those is essential to your health.

Yes, that means sleep comes before anyone's expectations. Sometimes even yours, Mom!

Sleep, Little Baby

Getting your baby to sleep is important.

They need their restorative sleep patterns for brain, body, immunity system, healthy growth, and more. And so do you.

While the early years of babyhood usually don't include a great deal of sleep, there are plenty of things parents can do (and not do) to help their children sleep.

This is good for baby, good for the family, and good for you.

The methods you use might work out really well. They might take time. No matter what, try to keep the long view in mind and recognize that not only is this stage of life fleeting, but you will also adapt somewhere along the way.

When You Can Sleep, Then Sleep

One of the most common mistakes many mothers make is to not only lower their own expectations for sleep but to almost eliminate them entirely.

Don't do that to yourself!

Lower your household cleaning standards, reduce your social engagements, but get your sleep.

When the baby naps, many mothers are sorely tempted to go and clean the house or catch up on the many things they used to fin easier before they had a child. While this is sometimes a necessary thing, much of the time it isn't.

Sleep when your baby sleeps.

That's a simple enough rule of thumb. Don't let anybody else tell you how they always did chores during naptime.

You need your rest to heal well from childbirth and to recover from the many demands on your energy throughout the typical day.

Just think of it this way: would you rather greet your waking baby with resentment that they interrupted your work, and you have no energy left for them anyway?

Or would you like to wake up with your baby, both of you refreshed and ready for the rest of the day? It's up to you.

How You Can Sleep (or- "How can you sleep?")

It almost doesn't even matter where you sleep, how, or when. A routine helps, of course.

Develop a routine that works for you. Ignore parenting methods that just don't feel right to you. Try the ones that do. You might put a bed in the nursery. You might place a side crib next to your bed. Co-sleep with your baby. Or don't.

Do what works between you and your baby, and include your partner in the parenting.

Remember, things will change as your baby moves through various stages of growth, and so will your life.

Be Economical

One skill parents can practice is using the helpful and economical word "no". So many new parents are afraid to use it. Say it to adults, learn to say it to your growing children, and say it to yourself when you need to. Then say "yes" to great self-care ideas.

Need a massage, go get one!

What about a new mattress to ensure you are cozy and comfortable? Rearrange your bedroom to accommodate the new realities of sleep and children.

Or have a special time each week for you to take an art class, or go for a walk.

When you stop everything else and listen to your heart and mind, you'll know what you really want. What do you want to say "yes" to?

It's Up To You!

Whatever you do to meet the needs for sleep and a healthy, if demanding, life, understand this: your child will grow.

They won't need so much help later. You can and will get enough sleep on a more regular basis as time goes by. It's still up to you to be your own best friend.

Help yourself to the best sleep you can get under the shifting circumstances of a baby's changing demands. You'll be glad you gave it a go.

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