How Can I Combat New Mom Exhaustion?
I wish someone would take this baby away for a few days while I sleep. Does that make me a bad mother?
Of course not — every mom can have that feeling, especially when they're sleep deprived and depleted. When we're fatigued, it's hard to enjoy anything, including baby, says clinical psychologist Shoshana Bennett, PhD. Here are a couple things you can do:
Make “me” time. Schedule a couple of hours a few times a week to focus on doing things for yourself while someone else is on duty with the baby (Dad, Grandma, or another trusted person). This will recharge your batteries. Right now you might be too tired to do much, but at least get out of the house and relax at the park, window shop or have some tea at a favorite hangout.
Get extra sleep. For the next couple of weeks, go to bed right after baby does in the evening, even if it seems ridiculously early. (You won't crave time for yourself in the evening if you're getting it during the day). If you're breastfeeding and can pump, have someone else give that next feeding so you can get a few hours of uninterrupted nighttime sleep. This will help to restore your brain chemistry and ward off that burned out, exhausted feeling.
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