Sleeping can be a struggle for both mother and child in the first few months following childbirth. A previous article here on Day Moms revealed the main reason: newborns are still unable to distinguish between day and night. Babies need at least a few months before their bodies adjust to a more regular sleep schedule. Until then, they generally have rather erratic sleeping patterns, and during this period, mothers almost always sacrifice their own sleep to ensure that their babies get enough rest. As a result, some mothers who lose a considerable amount of sleep can even become sleep deprived.
Additionally, it’s quite common for new moms to believe they have to exemplify perfection in order to be considered as good mothers. Science of Mom states that this issue is anchored on the idea that the time spent sleeping could have been used on more productive things, such as cleaning the house. This is an unhealthy perspective because it essentially dismisses the fact that sleep is a biological necessity.
The scary news is that mothers can suffer from a lot of negative effects if they do not get enough rest. Women’s health advocate Danielle Bosley provides some examples of the consequences of not getting enough rest, which include hallucinations, accidents and injuries, wild mood swings, and memory loss. These come on top of all the illnesses that may result from being regularly sleep deprived.
Getting the support of loved ones is important for mother and baby so that both can get sufficient rest. It can be something as simple as watching over the baby for a short period of time while the mother has a nap for a couple of hours.
In line with this, BellyBelly encourages partners to help them out and listed the many benefits including help to improve mood, memory, and alertness. It can also lessen the chances of post-natal depression and improve a mother’s capacity to produce breast milk – all of which are beneficial for the baby as well.
Partners, in particular, should do their part to give support during the early months when moms are most sleep-deprived. One way to do this is to create a home environment that promotes restfulness. Leesa explains that one major reason why people don’t get enough sleep is that their bedroom is not actually conducive for sleeping. Partners should eliminate anything that can keep their better half from dozing off, both internal and external. For instance, it’s helpful to keep the blinds down even in the morning to block sunlight. Also, the colors of the room should be relaxing to promote rest. The best colors for promoting sleep are blue, green and white which are associated with clear skies, forests and clouds, as well as being linked with tranquility.
Another thing that partners can do is to make sure that their bed is actually conducive for rest. The importance of making sure the mattress is comfortable was pointed out in ‘How to Choose a Baby Crib’. The same principle applies to adults, and a lumpy mattress can easily reduce the ability to sleep well. Meanwhile, HealthDay recommends lowering the temperature to create a relaxing environment.
Looking after a new born baby is no mean feat, and shouldn’t be done without consulting friends and family for help along the way. Sleep is a very important part of the process, and ultimately shouldn’t be sacrificed, as it can have a detrimental effect on all parties.