How can I improve my sleep quality as a new mom?

If you’re a new mom whose baby, even at one year, makes it a challenge to get a full night of uninterrupted sleep, there are some solutions to consider:

• Nap for a full cycle: A 20-minute power nap might not do much if you’re severely sleep-quality deprived. You would do well to try and get a full cycle of sleep into a nap, which means about 90 minutes. If your baby sleeps for that long in one of his or her siestas during the day, don’t catch up on your work at that time--take a nap too!

• Be mindful of your mood: If you feel like those post-partum blues are getting worse, speak with your doctor. Sleep deprivation can exacerbate the stress a new mom’s body goes through after giving birth. Hormonal changes add to the challenges. And all of these can further make for troubled sleep.

• Teach your partner so you can skip a feeding: I’ve mentioned this before and it bears repeating because I don’t see this happening enough. It’s not hard to teach your partner how to tend to your baby’s needs in the middle of the night so you can skip a feeding and sleep through it. Even moms who are exclusively breastfeeding can pump and have a bottle ready to go.

• Ask for help: Don’t be shy about asking for help from family and friends. A long afternoon nap while someone else takes care of your baby may be worth more than you ever imagined.
Ms. Ashley Koff, RD
Nutrition & Dietetics
One of my favorite recommendations is increase your magnesium intake through organic whole grains, legumes, greens, and even a supplement of magnesium citrate. Magnesium goes into the cells to help turn off stress and that allows the body to relax and for you to get better recovery which you need for the long haul the next day :)
There’s a general rule for new parents who are struggling for rest: sleep when the baby does. However, this may not always be possible, particularly for working mothers. Some parents have the baby sleep in a bassinet next to their bed for a number of weeks before moving the infant to a crib in another room. Be sure both parents are on the same page with the baby’s sleeping arrangements. It will likely be at least a couple of months, or maybe longer, before new parents enjoy a full night’s sleep.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.