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Navigating Sleep Deprivation and Fatigue as a New Mom

A Survival Guide for Sleep-Deprived Mamas



Newborn Photoshoot with Beautiful Stories Photography

My second born was 7 weeks old.

We were deep in pandemic, homeschooling a 7 year old and navigating this newborn life all by ourselves without any help from anyone at all!

I knew how newborns operated, this was my second time but boy was this so much more harder!!

My baby had his days and nights flipped. He would sleep peacefully during the day, clocking an overall 12 hours and created a ruckus in the night.

No matter what we did, he did not sleep at night. We tried co-sleeping, snoo, rocking him, wearing him around but still nothing! Both me and my husband, individually, clocked 10k steps before 6am each morning.


I was tired and sleep deprived and a walking zombie in the very literal sense.


During one such night, I wrote to an anonymous group of moms at work and asked for help and suggestions for taming this newborn stage.


Within a few hours I was loaded with advice, anecdotes and a hell lot of me too’s!

I had found my village!


So today, dear sleep deprived new mom, I share with you what I learned during my crazy newborn stage.

First things first: ditch the guilt. I know the feeling. All the magazines, well meaning neighbors and family have been telling you to soak every minute of this fleeting newborn life and how quickly they grow and how sorely you will miss this newborn stage. But at the 2 am feeding session you do not feel grateful or the overwhelming love everyone’s been  talking about. Rather, far from it. All your aching muscles and burning eyes just need one thing, sleep. And you feel so immensely guilty about it!

We have all been there. Trust me!

It is true that the newborn stage is fleeting but it is also very challenging and tiring to say the least.

So please drop the guilt. No one is supposed to feel madly in love all the time!


Now, onto the survival kit for a new mom:

  • Sleep like a cat (aka, nap whenever possible): Even a 20-minute power nap can be a game-changer. Put someone in charge of the baby for 20 minutes and catch on some shut eye. You will feel so much better! Your sanity (and well-being) matter.


  • Fuel your body, not just your caffeine addiction: We all know healthy food was so important during pregnancy. Well guess what, it is just as important now. Your recovering body needs all the fuel it can get. Healthy snacks and meals will give you sustained energy, unlike that third sugar-packed latte. 


  • Delegate like a boss: Can your partner handle bath time one night? Hire a babysitter for an hour a week? Don't be afraid to ask for help – it's not a sign of weakness, it's a sign of a smart mama! Besides, we were never meant to go at it alone. Remember, it takes a village!


  • Embrace the power of "no": Feeling overwhelmed? Saying no to an extra commitment is self-care, not rudeness. Now that you don’t have a lot left, protect your precious time fiercely.


  • Shower power: Even a quick 5-minute shower can work wonders. The mere feeling of hot water on your body can soothe the aches and pains of a postpartum body. Wash away the day's (and night's) chaos and emerge feeling (slightly) more human.


  • Find your "me-time" moments: It might be 10 minutes of meditation during baby's nap, a walk in the park with a friend, a peaceful coffee break or even reading a few pages before bed. These little breaks are your sanity lifesavers.


  • Connect with your mama tribe: Share your struggles and triumphs with other moms. Talking it out and knowing you're not alone can be incredibly uplifting. Sometimes all you need is a listening ear.


Most of all, remember, this is temporary. It might feel like you're living in a permanent fog right now and will never sleep again. But you will! And those tiny fingers wrapped around yours, those gummy smiles, and the love in your little one's eyes – those are the things that will keep you going, even when you're running on fumes.

Please be kind to yourself. You're doing an amazing job. Don't fall for the perfect mothers with carefully curated homes on social media. 

That is not reality!



Newborn Photoshoot with Beautiful Stories Photography

Embrace the messy moments, celebrate the small victories, and know that you're an awesome mama, even if you haven't slept in what feels like forever.

And when you are ready to capture this beautiful crazy life, come find me!


I specialize in documenting family stories, and I'd love to help you freeze-frame the love, even if it's captured through sleepy smiles and milk-stained clothes.

Sending you love and virtual coffee,

Heena

Beautiful Stories Photography

P.S. Share your best tips for battling newborn fatigue in the comments below! Let's support and inspire each other, mamas. We're all in this together!

Comments


Hi! I am Heena.
Your very own Family Photographer!

I am a mom and to two little munchkins and just like you I am a memory keeper of mprecious little family.

 

This is why I created this Memory Keeper's Handbook. My hope is with this Memory Keeper's Handbook you will be able to preserve the beautiful and fleeting moments of everyday life.

I believe the most important legacy that we give our children is happy memories.

 

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