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cryingbabyMost mothers will tell you about those first weeks at home with their newborn when sleep seemed like a luxury they couldn’t afford, but sleep deprivation can make the challenging job of new motherhood even harder. You need as much rest as possible and here are some strategies to maximize your sleep time.

Accept all offers for help.

Family members, friends or neighbors who want to pitch-in are a gift from the gods, whether they provide full babysitting or handle some household chores. But limit the number of visitors who want to stop by just to talk and don’t feel obligated to entertain your guests.

Always lie down, even if you can’t sleep.

Getting off your feet for a half-hour to relax on the couch can be a refreshing break, but don’t use that downtime to scroll through your phone or dig into a Netflix queue. In a dark room, the light from a screen can inhibit sleep.

Appreciate the power of a nap.

Just 20 minutes of shuteye can refresh you without causing that groggy, out-of-it feeling when you wake up. Try not to nap after 3 pm because it could affect your ability to sleep at night.

Find something that helps you fall asleep.

Maybe it’s a white noise app on your phone or reading a book. Listening to a podcast or audiobook with a soothing narrator might also help you nod off faster.

Arrange your bedroom to make nighttime feedings easier.

Using a bassinet that attaches to your bed or sits right next to it means you don't have to get up to feed your baby and you can go back to sleep faster.

Ask for help with overnight feedings.

Introduce a bottle of pumped breast milk sooner so your partner can cover for you in the middle of the night. One bottle of pumped breast milk can mean an extra two or three hours of sleep.

Try techniques anyone can use to get better sleep.

Avoid eating heavy meals right before bed and no caffeine within six hours of bedtime. Your bedroom should be cool, quiet and dark; use light-blocking window shades and turn that bright alarm clock away from you.

Northline Women's Health Center Locations:

15675 Northline Road

Southgate, MI 48195

(734) 282-3600
(734) 282-3603 - Fax

23050 West Road, Suite 210

Brownstown Twp., MI 48183

(734) 362-7000
(734) 362-7077 - Fax