Motherhood is a blissful feeling. Giving birth to a new life, holding that pristine body wrapped in love and care and bonding with your baby to form the relationship of a lifetime is incomparable to any other joy that you can ever feel.
But motherhood also comes with its own share of problems and challenges. If you are a new mum, you might take much more time to adjust to your body changes, recover from the intense strain, adapt to your baby’s schedule and so on.
However, one of the factors that remain seemingly constant is the intense fatigue, especially if your child is still in the breastfeeding stage. Many feel that it is the breastfeeding itself that causes it, but there are several other oft-overlooked things about this stage that may contribute towards your exhaustion and make you sluggish.
Let us examine some potential factors behind your tiredness.
1. Being A Mother Is Round-The-Clock Job
When your child is in the breastfeeding stage, you won’t have any time to yourself because you’ll always be busy nursing, burping, settling and changing nappies.
If you are lucky, you may get a few washroom visits for yourself, but not without your ears all out there to catch the faintest noise from your child’s nursery. Even if your child is bottle-fed, you still have the additional responsibility of sterilizing all the feeding equipment.
To add to it, household chores like laundry, dishwashing, cleaning, and vacuuming can sap a lot of your energy, that is, if you are left with any in the first place.
If your child has started to crawl, you will be even busier, their tiny hands reaching the neatly folded clothes, the lower racks of the cabinets, the dirty corners of the floor, and all other places that are out of your radar of imagination will always keep you on your toes.
2. Formula Feeding Doesn’t Guarantee Extra Sleep
Some people insist that formula fed babies sleep for longer, thus giving some rest and respite to the mum, which is not the case.
When it comes to formula feeding your baby, you have to get up, get the bottle, mix the formula or heat it from the refrigerator, feed your baby while holding the bottle in your hand and then go to sleep after settling the baby. Compared to breastfeeding, this could end up being more work.
3. Breastfeeding Does Not Shoot up your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate)
You may be tempted to believe that your metabolism can shoot up as a result of breastfeeding, which, again, is not completely true. Your body utilizes no more than 10% of the total energy to synthesize milk from the food you eat.
What is amazing is the fact that the process of this food to milk conversion has an almost 80% efficiency. In fact, your metabolism actually slows down to facilitate this conversion. It does take energy to make milk, but it is easily sustained by the greater amount of caloric intake (about 300-500 calories extra) that happens during pregnancy and post childbirth. With those extra calories coming in, the calories that you spend to breastfeed are sufficed. So, it doesn’t put a stress on your metabolism to cause you tiredness.
However, if you still feel tired and deprived of sleep during this stage, you could try the following to give you more scope for night-time rest and to make you feel much more refreshed.
1. Feeding In A Lying-Down Position
If you lie down and feed your baby, you give your muscles a chance to relax and stretch out. Due to the physically strenuous nature of motherhood, your body will certainly thank you for such occasional stints of comfort.
When you co-sleep with your baby, you provide them with a sense of security that is unparalleled. You can feed them on demand or as per schedule without getting up and walking around in a zombie-like state, and they also sleep better.
Apart from your baby, if there is anybody who needs a lot of care and support, it’s you. So, do keep your nutritional levels in check, have plenty of fluids, and try to move about to keep those limbs active and working.
Motherhood isn’t easy, but you can make the most of it by trying out ways that would keep both you and your baby comfortable through it. It doesn’t have to be exhausting!