Rest Your Body
Every new parent soon learns that babies have different time clocks than adults. A typical newborn awakens about every three hours and needs to be fed, changed, and comforted. Especially if this is their first baby, parents–in particular the mother–can become overwhelmed by exhaustion. Although a solid eight hours of sleep for you may not happen again for several months, the following suggestions may be helpful in finding ways to get more rest now.
In the first few weeks, a mother needs to be relieved of all responsibilities other than feeding the baby and taking care of herself.
Sleep when the baby sleeps. This may be only a few minutes of rest several times a day, but these minutes can add up.
Save steps and time. Have your baby's bed near yours for feedings at night.
Many new parents enjoy visits from friends and family, but new mothers should not feel obligated to entertain. Feel free to excuse yourself for a nap or to feed your baby.
Get outside for a few minutes each day. You can begin walking and doing postpartum exercises, as advised by your health care provider.
- After the first two to three weeks, introduce a bottle to breastfed babies for an occasional nighttime feeding. This way, someone else can feed the baby, and you can have a longer period of uninterrupted sleep.