Managing Your Energy after Childbirth
- As soon as the baby is sleeping, drop everything and have a nap! Babies usually sleep longest after their bath and a feeding. Take advantage of this time slot.
- Organize your night feeds ahead of time. If you are breastfeeding and have the baby in bed with you or in a bassinet right by your bed, you can nurse while lying down. Just anticipate what you might need in the middle of the night (glass of water, snack, clean diaper, wipes, plastic bag for the dirty diaper). If the baby is in another room, prepare a comfortable chair with pillows and a blanket, along with a snack and drink for yourself. Set up a small lamp with a low-wattage bulb that you can leave on all night.
- Don’t forget to continue taking your pregnancy vitamin and mineral supplements and try to maintain a balanced and healthy diet. During the postpartum period, the need for good nutrition is greater than at any other time in your life. Make sure that you have good dietary habits, avoid fats and sugars, but do not diet for the first three months after childbirth. At this stage, your body needs carbohydrates for all sorts of hormonal and metabolic reasons. Strict dieting within the first three months after childbirth will lead to fatigue and failure.
- Try walking outdoors for an hour a day—this has an amazing effect on your energy levels.
- Recreation is almost as important as rest. Schedule at least one fun activity each day. Plan ahead at least three occasions per month when you can go out alone or with your partner or a friend. Try to organize activities with friends who also have young babies so that you can take turns watching the children.
- If your fatigue persists despite all the above measures, check with your doctor for possible anemia, potassium deficiency, or thyroid malfunction—all causes of low energy.
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