5 tips for when sleep isn't an option
Tiredness is part and parcel of motherhood and while simply getting more sleep isn’t always an option you can ensure other factors aren’t making things worse.
1 - Head out for some exercise
Even when it’s the last thing you feel like doing, 20 minutes of light exercise will make you feel better. Go for a brisk walk with the buggy or seize the moment when someone else is around to watch baby and pop out for a power stroll round the block.
2 - Stay well hydrated
Even being a little bit dehydrated will increase fatigue. This is because it causes a reduction in blood volume, making blood thicker. This then requires your heart to pump less efficiently, reducing the speed at which oxygen and nutrients reach your muscles and organs.
3 - Replace your iron reserves
The amount of iron you need during pregnancy increases because the amount of blood in your system increases (by 50 percent) and you need more iron to make more haemoglobin for all that additional blood. You may still be low in iron after baby comes - particularly if you were anaemic in the third trimester or lost a lot of blood during birth. Lean red meat is a great source of iron, as are dark green leafy veges and nuts. Combine iron rich foods with vitamin C to help your body absorb it.
4 - Forget about being perfect
Wanting to get everything exactly right is a natural impulse for new mums. Setting yourself unrealistic standards, then berating yourself when you can’t meet them, however, uses precious energy and leaves you feeling overwrought and exhausted. Forget about ‘perfect’ and opt for ‘good enough’. Celebrate the small victories and be kind to yourself - you’re doing great.
5 - Never has there been a better time to say “no” to things
You have two enormous jobs right now - to look after baby and to look after yourself. There really isn’t room for anything else.
You might also like
Life online: Zoe Fuimaono
Becoming a new mum for the first time can be isolating. We speak to Zoe Fuimaono from Blessed in Doubles, to find out how building a community online has helped her.
Morning sickness: How bad can it get?
Are you six weeks pregnant and feeling a little queasy? Find out what causes morning sickness and just how bad it can get!
Life online: Jess Bovey
Becoming a new mum for the first time can be isolating. One solution is to build a community online. In the first part of this series, we speak to three mums who have done just that.