There is no person more tired than a new mom. The reasons that moms are given as to why they are so tired can range from not resting when the baby sleeps, having too many visitors, hormones going back to pre-pregnancy levels, recovering from delivery, and more, according to the March of Dimes.
And while all of these are legitimate reasons that new moms are tired, there are other reasons that moms may be tired as well. But because there is very little talk about the lesser-known reasons new moms are tired it can be hard to pinpoint where the exhaustion is coming from at times.
Being a new mom, many times equates to being tired. It can even mean being exhausted at times. This happens because this group of women is focused on the care of everyone else, while not taking the best care of themselves.
And as a result of this, there is a constant feeling of being tired that weighs on the shoulders of new moms. This is something that can only be fixed when moms recognize the largely unknown things that are happening in their lives that are making them more tired than they should be.
Here are lesser-known reasons new moms are tired.
10 No Time To Focus On Yourself
New moms go from a life of being able to make time to focus on themselves to one where no focus is put on them at all. Something that happens almost overnight. And when this happens, being tired can set in quickly.
Caring for their babies is new moms’ number one priority. This means that the priorities in life shift. For many moms, this equates to no time being focused on themselves, no self-care, no decompressing, and no taking a moment just to breathe. Babies come first morning, noon, and night.
While babies do need a lot of attention, there still needs to be a time when new moms can focus on themselves. If not given the opportunity, burnout can set in. And when this happens, new moms will find themselves being tired constantly.
9 There Is No Such Thing As Deep Sleep
Whether they like to admit it or not, as soon as new moms get their babies down to sleep, they are waiting to hear them wake up. This means that when moms are trying to get sleep, they are not getting deep sleep. Meaning that surface sleep is all they get, which is not restful.
According to the Sleep Foundation, new mothers lose an hour of sleep every night. Add the loss of sleep in with very little deep sleep, and it is no wonder that many new moms go through the first few months of babies’ lives in an exhausted state.
8 Multi-Tasking Is Life
Just because women had a baby does not mean that their lives stop. And because of this everything that new moms do has at least a hint of multitasking to it.
According to NBC News,moms spend “40 percent of their waking hours” multitasking. When so much is being done at one time, it is no wonder that new moms are tired. There is almost more time in their lives spent doing two or more things than being able to focus on one task at a time. And when the brain is going in multiple directions at one time, the mind and body will eventually lose energy. Leaving new moms feeling depleted most days of the week.
7 Constant State Of Hyper-Vigilance
One thing that is not often spoken about is how new moms spend a good deal of their time not only being vigilant but hyper-vigilant. Something that is done because they are worried about something happening to their babies at any given time.
According to WebMD, hyper-vigilance is “related to anxiety.” This means that the brain is constantly firing at a “heightened level of awareness.” And while this was important for humans long ago to be in this state, per publication, it is unhealthy to be hyper-vigilant consistently. It causes loss of sleep to a population who are already sleep-deprived. And as a result, new moms are tired.
6 Being Hungry All The Time
Making sure that newborns are fed is one of the top priorities for new moms. Following a schedule where newborns eat every two to four hours can be exhausting in and of itself. But when moms forget to eat as a result of being so wrapped up in all things baby, energy levels drop even further.
According to Beaumont, new moms should be eating 2,000 calories per day. Those who are breastfeeding should be eating between 2,300 to 2,700 calories daily. When this does not happen, the energy that new moms need to keep up with the needs of their newborns is diminished. And consequently, extreme tiredness can result.
One of the easiest ways to zap energy is to be dehydrated. And for new moms who are not focused on getting in their daily water needs, dehydration can come on suddenly.
While eight cups of water per day are the standard that most people should follow to keep their bodies properly functioning, according to Eat Rightthat number is doubled for mothers who are breastfeeding. As such, to remain healthy, hydrated, mentally strong, and energized, new moms should monitor their water consumption to ensure they are at their best not only for themselves but for their babies as well.
4 Need For Downtime
At the end of the day, new moms need some downtime. And many times, the only way they can get that is late at night when babies are prone to sleep longer than they would for naps. As such, new moms are skipping much-needed sleep for time to decompress instead.
Considering that new moms are already missing out on an hour of sleep per night, taking more of that precious sleep time away to stay up late is leaving them exhausted. But because the need to have some time alone is so great (and necessary) many are willing to make the sacrifice and live life tired as a result.
3 Not Getting Help At Home
New moms take on a lot of the responsibility of newborns. Especially if they are breastfeeding. But if there is little to no help coming from home, there is no opportunity for moms to get some time to themselves. And this just perpetuates the level of tiredness being experienced.
Depending upon why no help is being received from partners, it could be a matter of new moms needing to ask for help because their significant others do not realize that help is needed. And if that is all that it takes to alleviate some pressure from new moms, then it is an easy fix.
2 Breastfeeding Is Exhausting
While breastfeeding is supposed to be one of the most natural things in the world for new moms to do, it is also one of the most exhausting. This is because every time babies are breastfed, the body has to use energy stores to replace the milk consumed.
And if moms are not getting the calories they need daily or are on the verge of being dehydrated, using the energy that does exist to make breast milk can make the levels of exhaustion experienced great.
1 There Are No Breaks
Regardless of whether new moms are stay-at-home, working, or single, in the first weeks after delivery, they are home with their babies. And during this time, there are no breaks.
When working in an office, there is a break from work in the morning. There is a lunch break. There are breaks to the restroom and to grab snacks or coffee. There is none of that available for new moms. They are on the clock 24 hours a day. And when working hours like this, being mentally and physically exhausted becomes the norm.
This is why asking for help to get a break is so very necessary, especially in the early days of motherhood. Without a break, mothers are no good to themselves or their babies.
Source: March of Dimes, Sleep Foundation, NBC News, WebMD, Beaumont, Eat Right