A New Mother’s Sleep after the Birth of Her Baby

Sleep is a basic elementary function for the health of every human being. After a mother gives birth, her sleep may be affected. In this article, we'll share some recommendations to mitigate the effects.
A New Mother’s Sleep after the Birth of Her Baby
Elena Sanz Martín

Written and verified by the psychologist Elena Sanz Martín.

Last update: 27 December, 2022

There’s no doubt that the arrival of a baby changes the life of any family. Routines and priorities change drastically. There are new obligations and concerns that had never been experienced before. But, above all, the new mother’s sleep will be affected.

And, indeed, the inability to get quality sleep is one of the main problems of new mothers. Lack of sleep can lead to serious physical and emotional health problems. Therefore, it’s important to take care of this basic function as much as you can.

A new mother’s sleep after the birth of her baby

When the baby arrives, the new mother is usually exhausted due to childbirth. However, she can’t rest, as she now has to take care of her new baby 24 hours a day. In addition, she may also be worried about not being up to the challenge, lack of time, and, of course, lack of sleep.

A New Mother’s Sleep after the Birth of Her Baby

Just keep in mind that a newborn sleeps approximately 18 hours a day but not all in one sitting. Therefore, it’s inevitable for the new mother’s sleep patterns to change. In addition, hormones seem to work against her, causing daytime sleepiness.

Nevertheless, sleep is essential for new mothers, as it allows them to stay healthy and exercise their maternity correctly. Thus, it’s essential to follow some guidelines to guarantee new mothers the best sleep possible.

How to improve a new mother’s sleep after the birth of her baby

Adopt your baby’s schedule

One of the most important measures you can take is adopting your baby’s sleep schedule. Babies tend to distribute their sleep into short periods of time. Thus, if you only try to sleep at night, it’ll be impossible for you to keep up. Therefore, sleep every time your baby sleeps.

Forget the previous routines and schedules, forget your pending tasks, and don’t worry if your house is messy. Sleep when your baby sleeps. At this moment, sleep is a priority and everything else can wait.

Make the most of nighttime sleep

Nighttime sleep is the one you need the most. However, it only represents one of the six or seven periods babies distribute their sleep into. Therefore, if you want to get more nighttime sleep, you have to help your baby understand when it’s night and when it’s day.

To do this, during the day, lay your baby down in a room where a lot of sunlight comes in and they can hear the noises of everyday life. On the contrary, when it’s dark, try to lay them down in a dark and quiet bedroom.

In addition, if you’re bottle-feeding your baby, don’t hesitate to delegate nighttime feedings to your partner. Remember that it’s best if both of you take care of your newborn together, as this will allow you to get more rest.

A New Mother’s Sleep after the Birth of Her Baby

If you opted for breastfeeding instead, avoid looking at the clock during nighttime feedings. This could activate your mind and keep you from falling asleep easily. Simply feed your baby and then go back to sleep.

Take care of your sleep hygiene

We all know the guidelines for getting quality sleep. However, we don’t always comply with them. Now is the time to implement these recommendations.

Try to always sleep in your bed and make sure it’s dark and quiet. Avoid sleeping on the couch or with the TV on, as this won’t allow you to get into deep sleep. In addition, it’s important not to consume stimulating foods and drinks and that you practice some form of regular moderate exercise.

Delegate and enjoy

Finally, remember that you don’t have to do everything on your own. Learn to delegate and seek help from your loved ones when you need a break. This will make you healthier and happier and allow you to better take care of your baby.

And, above all, enjoy the ride. Remember that, in a few months, your baby will sleep more during the night and everything will improve. Remember to stay calm, patient, and optimistic and savor these first months of your baby’s life.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.