2. A good night’s sleep
For many new mothers, the idea of a good night’s sleep is a distant and fond memory of days long past. The birth of a baby disrupts the household’s sleep patterns as most newborn babies wake every few hours for feeding, winding and changing. Most mothers report feeling sleep deprived during the first few weeks or months after giving birth while they adjust to not getting an uninterrupted night’s sleep.
Not getting sufficient sleep is detrimental to postpartum weight loss efforts. This is because a lack of sleep can slow your metabolism down. It also depletes energy levels. A lack of energy will result in avoiding workouts and exercise. Sleep deprivation will also change the mother’s eating habits. Sugar and starchy foods will be on the mother’s mind as they temporarily give a boost of short-term energy and repress exhaustion.
A lack of sleep also raises the stress levels of the mother. She will become irritated and angered by the smallest of things. This can have a negative effect on the bond she shares with her child. It can also result in poor decision making and impaired impulse control. Increased stress levels will result in the body secreting greater volumes of the hormone cortisol which in turn causes weight gain.
To get enough sleep, new mothers are advised to sleep whenever their baby is sleeping. Most mothers will want to get on with the housework whilst their baby is sleeping, but should at times avoid this desire and focus on catching up on some much-needed sleep instead. Where possible, get help with housework chores from family members or friends and nighttime wake ups should be shared with the mother’s partner.