Your Sleep Deprivation and Baby
I've Got The Baby Blues...
Some of the controversy over baby sleep talk is about training and crying. Ya know, all the sleep 101 talk from a couple posts back.
But it’s also really helpful if you know why sleep is important — for YOU. I was asked about the importance of sleep in Shondaland’s podcast Katie’s Crib where I answered this question from the lovely Katie Lowes.
I wanted to add something more that I didn’t touch on in our conversation because sleep deprivation is real. And that’s pretty much what we go through when we have babies.
Even if your little one is sleeping well through the night, there will be tough patches you go through where they don’t sleep.
That’s pretty typical… and even in those tough patches we feel exhausted and not like ourselves. Whatever the case may be, you’re tired because you’re responsive to your little one’s needs during the night.
But, when those few nights a week turn into a never-ending nightly cycle of zombieland, you’re running up on the heels of chronic sleep deprivation, and that’s when your health can go south.
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YOU. YOU. YOU.
When YOU are taking care of your little one night after night, YOU are most definitely sleep deprived. If your baby is up, so are YOU — and that’s every 2–3 hours for a couple months in a row… at the very least.
Here’s the thing guys…
Did you know you are at higher risk for postpartum depression when you are sleep deprived?
Sleep deprivation impacts your life in many different ways including your ability to make decisions and think clearly, communicate with your partner, perform at work, be responsive rather than reactive… just to name a few.
But I really want to focus on postpartum depression here.
Well, postpartum affects the way we parent. Infants of depressed moms are more likely to have a less secure attachment and problems with sleeping, tantrums, and separation difficulties. Perhaps these challenges also have to do with how we are communicating (or lack there of), reacting, and not thinking clearly because we are SO tired.
Sometimes it’s hard to admit we need help — especially if it looks like others make parenting look so easy.
Parents don’t turn to sleep training because they are insensitive or lazy.
You turn for help because you recognize that sleep deprivation can effect the whole family. You notice that YOU and your family need more and better sleep.
My goal here is to help you recognize that you should take care of yourself too. We need solutions as parents.
While sleep is one solution, there are other resources too. A dear friend, colleague, and Marriage + Family Therapist, Lucy Rimalower, recommends these postpartum resources. Thought I’d share, ya know, just in case they may come in handy… I know they did for me!
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Postpartum Depression Resources
In addition to getting treatment help, here are some additional resources that are useful when going through this…
Maternal Mental Health Now
This site provides a list of interventions on how to prevent or lessen the intensity and duration of perinatal mood and anxiety disorders.
Some small but significantly helpful things listed include emotional support (e.g., partner or other mothers), practical support (e.g., food prep or other child care support), and early intervention for breastfeeding difficulties, to name a few.
Postpartum Support International
I love this site. Not only is this a great resource for moms, but for partners too! Partners need support regardless of gender and marital status.
This site has a “Things To Keep in Mind” and “What to Say” for partners looking to help out their loved one. I highly recommend it!
National Child & Maternal Health Education Program
This resource is for Moms AND Moms-to-Be. This one talks about what is perinatal/postpartum depression, signs to look out for, how common it is during pregnancy and after birth (hint: 1 out of 8 mamas!), risk factors, and more! Another gooooood one !
“Remember, depression and anxiety that happen during pregnancy or after the birth of your baby are not things you cause — they are medical conditions that require medical care.” — Mom’s Mental Health Matters
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One more thing.
If you are looking for some sleep guidance for you and your baby, go here to schedule a FREE 15-minute call with me, and we can chat about it!
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Last but not least…
Every other week I share 5 things on how you and your little can get the most out of their first 5 years of life in my newsletter — The Healthy Little Note.
If you have little ones, I’m sure you’ll love it!
You can check out the most recent issue here.
Or, click SUBSCRIBE HERE.