If you just gave birth to a child and are feeling extremely tired, this is known as new mom fatigue. New mom fatigue, or the sensation of feeling extremely fatigued and exhausted at all times, is extremely normal, and it’s something that most mothers suffer from. Today, let’s take a look at 9 different reasons why mothers might suffer from new mom fatigue, and how to overcome these obstacles.
- 9 Reasons Why You Have New Mom Fatigue
- 1. You Could Be Suffering from Anemia
- 2. Pregnancy is Hard and Recovery Takes a Long Time
- 3. You Are Overworking Yourself
- 4. Your Brain is Working on Overdrive
- 5. Moms Need More Sleep than Dads
- 6. Mothers are Always Multitasking
- 7. Postpartum Depression is Very Real
- 8. Breastfeeding is Hard Too
- 9. You Are Tired From Making Decisions
9 Reasons Why You Have New Mom Fatigue
As mentioned above, there are a variety of reasons why you might be suffering from new mom fatigue. Generally speaking, it’s going to be a combination of any of the below factors that we are about to discuss, so let’s take a look.
1. You Could Be Suffering from Anemia
It is shown that almost 60% of new mothers are anemic, which means that their body is short on iron. There are a variety of reasons why new mothers could be anemic, including not eating enough foods with iron, the pregnancy itself, or due to bleeding after the birth or during the birth.
If you feel that you are fatigued and tired, dizzy, have difficulty breathing, and have a fast heart rate, then you may very well be anemic.
The good news here is that being anemic is not the worst thing in the world, and it’s easily diagnosed simply by visiting your doctor and getting a blood test.
Changing your diet, getting more rest, and supplementing with additional iron supplements will help increase your iron levels, cure the anemia, and therefore help get rid of new mom fatigue.
2. Pregnancy is Hard and Recovery Takes a Long Time
One of the main reasons why you could be suffering from new mom fatigue is simply because pregnancy is very difficult, and it takes a whole lot of time to recover from it. Most healthcare professionals will say that it takes anywhere from 6 to 8 weeks to recover after pregnancy.
Yes, this is true in terms of how long it’s going to take for the uterus to shrink back down to the size it once was before pregnancy. However, as most women will tell you, it takes much longer for the body to recover. Most women say that it can take anywhere between four to six months to recover from the stress put on the body during pregnancy.
The simple reality here is that it’s going to take a lot of time for your body to recover, In this sense, you should be doing as little as possible. This means that whenever possible, you should be getting other people to clean, clean, and do whatever else. The only real solution to this problem is to get enough rest and to allow your body to recover over a prolonged period of time.
3. You Are Overworking Yourself
Another simple reason why you are suffering from new mom fatigue is due to the fact that you are just overworking yourself. Studies show that in the USA, mothers of children that are between 5 and 12 years of age work around 14 hours per day, every day. In other words, a new mom may spend up to 98 hours per week doing parenting-related activities and work.
Then, consider the fact that the mother of a newborn child is going to wake up around every two hours every single night. The reality here is that being a new mom is both emotionally and physically demanding. You never get a break.
The solution here is quite simple, and it is that you need regular breaks. Now, you need to take breaks before you feel completely fatigued. Here, you need to get your significant other, family, and friends to pitch in.
Anything that you can get anybody else to do will help you get a break and recover from your new mom fatigue. At the end of the day, all you really need is a bit of a break from the stress that is being a new mother. Even getting a babysitter to look after your child for an afternoon while you go have a spa day could be something to help relieve that new mom fatigue.
4. Your Brain is Working on Overdrive
As a new mother, your brain is going to be on high alert and working on overdrive. The reason for this is because your baby is constantly crying and in need of something, and as a mother, your mother instincts tell you that you need to go look after your baby every time they cry. When your baby cries, mama comes running. This means that your brain is constantly listening for your baby to see if it is crying.
This kind of stress being put on your brain can definitely cause a whole lot of fatigue. There are scientific studies that prove that when a baby cries, the brain of a mother shoots into overdrive and is triggered to go into a state of alertness. This constant awareness of danger can be extremely fatiguing.
In order to get rid of new mom fatigue caused by this, something you can try doing is meditating. There are recent medical studies that show that meditation is a great way to help overcome this high level of stress and acute mental awareness caused by a baby crying.
There are of course also many other methods to help overcome high levels of stress. Even something simple like taking a hot bath with some relaxing music can go a long way.
5. Moms Need More Sleep than Dads
Yet another reason why you might be suffering from new mom fatigue is simply into fact that you are not getting enough sleep, especially when compared to men. There are various scientific studies that prove without a shadow of a doubt that women do actually need more sleep than men.
It is shown that women need anywhere from 20 to 30 more minutes than a man. Although it’s not all that much sleep, it can still make a difference, especially if a woman doesn’t get enough sleep night after night, month after month.
Therefore, the simple solution here is to try to get to bed a little earlier. Sure, this might be hard to accomplish if you have a child that needs constant care, but there should still be a father and other family members around to help. Simply going to sleep around 20 minutes earlier can make a huge difference here.
6. Mothers are Always Multitasking
The next reason as to why moms suffer from new mom fatigue is because they’re constantly multitasking. Sure, women are proven to be much better at multitasking than men, but this also means that the brain of a woman is constantly doing more.
Constantly multitasking does take a toll on the brain and after a while, it can cause fatigue. This is especially the case for new mothers that constantly have to do a million things including taking care of their baby, cleaning the house, and so much more. Women who pay attention to multiple things at once are shown to be more tired than those who do not.
The solution here seems to be not focusing on too many things at once. If possible, try to do only one thing at a time. Moreover, another thing that you can try doing to help overcome this is to take a 15 minute break every three or four hours. You want to let your mind wander, you want to relax, and you want to take a break.
7. Postpartum Depression is Very Real
If you are feeling very tired right after having a baby, it could be due to postpartum depression. Many new mothers suffer from this for several weeks after giving birth. This so-called postpartum depression is generally caused by a change in hormones, exhaustion, and other such factors.
If you’re feeling extremely tired and depressed, chances are that you do have postpartum depression, although this does tend to go away after a few weeks. It is actually shown that around 25% of mothers who gave birth do experience some degree of anxiety or postpartum depression.
If you feel extremely depressed, you might want to try going to the emergency room or seeking medical help. Of course, getting good support from your family members and your significant other is going to help as well. Postpartum depression is not something that will last forever, but it does need to be taken care of.
8. Breastfeeding is Hard Too
Women tend to be really good at taking care of their bodies when they are pregnant. However, once pregnancy is over and the baby is born, many women go back to the way they were before pregnancy.
A very interesting fact here is that when women are breastfeeding and when their bodies are producing breast milk, it actually requires more energy on behalf of the body than growing the baby itself during pregnancy.
Did you know that it takes upwards of 500 calories each and every single day to breastfeed new baby? This can be equated to walking forward roughly 7 miles every day.
The simple solution here is to actually just eat more calories. You could be suffering from new mom fatigue simply because your body is not in taking enough calories to sustain normal energy levels. On average, a woman needs between 1500 to 2000 calories per day.
However, during breastfeeding, this could be up to 2500 calories per day. Therefore, you do want to keep close track of the foods you eat and how many calories you are getting. Of course, getting healthy calories from healthy foods is essential, so you should also be staying awake and junk food.
9. You Are Tired From Making Decisions
Another reason why you are suffering from new mom fatigue is simply that your brain is overtired and done with making decisions. Scientific studies show that the human brain can only devote so much time each and every single day to making decisions. This is otherwise known as decision fatigue.
This is why some people end up buying junk food at the end of the day, getting angry at family members and colleagues when they are tired, and other such things. Even the most rational and sensible of people will end up feeling this after a long day of making too many decisions. Of course, as a new mother, you are constantly making decisions.
The simple solution here is to try to just shut your brain off every once in a while. Moreover, you should try creating a routine and putting everything you can on autopilot. For instance, if we are talking about cooking, you could try creating a meal plan that is very easy to follow. If you have a meal plan set in place, then there are no decisions to make when it comes time to cook.
You are worth taking the time you need to recharge and take care of yourself. I was very guilty, at times, of not taking time to take care of myself. I am guilty of doing every one of the things on this list, so I know from experience, what can happen if you ignore your needs for too long. Sometimes, I wish I could go back and do things differently, but I know this is wishful thinking, of course. I figure at least I can help another exhausted mom! Let me know in the comments below if any of these tips helped you in any way.