For many reasons, breastfeeding is the best choice for a new mom and her baby. Fatigue that comes from this approach has little to do with the physical act. Breastfeeding is stressful and takes time away from mothers who need sleep to recover. Fatigue is the most common complaint for new mothers, according to website Baby Center. Taking specific steps to improve your diet, get support and find time for yourself may help the situation.
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Diet changes may help reduce some of the fatigue. Drink lots of fluids, concentrating on water, milk and juices, explains MayoClinic.com. This will prevent dehydration, which may be contributing to the problem. Stay away from caffeinated drinks; they can affect the baby. Maintain a healthy diet with an emphasis on fruits, whole grains and vegetables. Talk to your doctor about taking a prenatal vitamin to counteract some of the nutritional problems you might encounter with milk production.
Learn to Relax
A baby needs to eat throughout the night. This can leave the mother deprived of sleep. As the amount of sleep you get decreases, the amount of stress you may experience increases. Stress is a massive energy drain. Finding ways to relax regularly can help you get back some of the energy you have lost. Learn relaxation techniques such meditation and yoga. While the baby is napping, take some time for yourself. Your baby needs you to stay healthy both physically and mentally.
You may be the source of your newborn's food, but that doesn't mean you have to do all the work yourself. Use a pump to store breast milk. This allows a member of your support team to help out with some of the feeding responsibilities while you get some sleep. If you are unsure how to use a pump, ask your doctor or lactation nurse for advice. Find a support group in your area and talk to parents going through the same thing, the Healthy Carolina Lactation Support Program suggests. This will offer even more tools to help you get through this time.
A woman's body goes through changes after childbirth. This includes hormone fluctuations that may be adding to your fatigue. Postpartum depression is a response to these changes. No one knows why some women have severe postpartum depression. When it happens, the anxiety of caring for a baby and the demands of motherhood become too much to handle. This can lead to clinical depression, explains website BabyCenter. If you feel overwhelmed, seek help from a medical professional, especially if you have thoughts of suicide or harming your child. Postpartum depression is out of your control, but asking for help is not.