Do you remember the term "sleeping in?" When was the last time you actually slept in? A new mom doesn't really have a sleep schedule. It's not "into bed at 10:30 pm and wake with the alarm at 7:30 am", it's more scattered throughout the day and night. Of course sleeping while pregnant, is when your body is warming you up to the crazy, infrequent sleeps that will occur postpartum.
What does that mean?
Well, first there is the possible nausea in the first trimester that comes in waves and may play around with your sleep. And as your baby grows inside and your body grows outside, there are the bodily changes that confirm you are carrying a little one inside. Usually your bladder will remind you of inside womb movement and with that comes interrupted sleep as you waddle to the bathroom for that all-important trickle at 2:30 am.
Ahhh, but these are your warm-up days before baby. You see, our body is incredibly useful, although we don't appreciate the wakefulness and lack of extended sleep during pregnancy; we must recognize this as a part of the mom-in-training schedule. What? Oh dear, you don't remember signing up for this class, do you?
Well you are soon to become a night watchman, a star gazer, a midnight YouTuber and even an early morning weather girl in your family. Congratulations and good luck!
But seriously, new moms are doing what they must do at those early wake times - feeding baby, nurturing baby and trying to heal too. From the birth and the many emotions that come to the surface, sleep can be difficult. With many changes to your body after giving birth and a new dependent little one, sleeping in or just sleeping is not happening, or it's not the restful sleep you need.
There are some nasty things that can creep up on a new mom who is truly sleep deprived, and the most significant thing is postpartum depression. I cannot stress enough how the lack of sleep can be one of the triggers that ultimately turn things upside down. Mom and baby and the family suffer when a mom is distressed in this way. Moms need more support than we realize and this is why I am working with families to be one additional arm and hug of support.
The fourth trimester is all about mom healing and baby thriving. I wish I could be with all the new moms I know, to just give support by holding the baby as mom closes her eyes, and relaxes into a few more hours of sleep until the next feeding. I think about the families that don't have a partner to rely on to offer that support, possibly because a work commitment, that is inevitable, keeps the household running. This is where a postpartum doula would fit in nicely.
If you know of a pregnant mom or a new mom that you feel would benefit from this support, please reach out and talk to them. If the family is in the Toronto or surrounding areas, please offer them to connect with me. Even if the family is not within my area, I would be available to discuss how to help them find a postpartum doula in their neighbourhood. We need to support new moms and their families before, during and especially after when baby is born.
Right here with you,
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