When becoming a new mum, women undergo many hormonal changes. Both during pregnancy and after giving birth, women can experience everything from mood swings to loss of appetite.
This change can be tricky for any parent. With the addition of a new life to care for, a lot of things can become disturbed, including your sleeping schedule. In the postpartum period of a woman’s pregnancy journey, they will experience a decrease in progesterone levels. This is the female sex hormone which includes the sleep-inducing properties that are regularly produced.
In the evening, your body produces more of this to help you relax and drift off into a nice sleep. However, with these hormones being reduced and the anxiety of the newest addition to the family in need of care, this can have effects on the daily running of your life.
In this article, we will be looking at the infamous ‘baby blues’, and other sleep disorders which are typical in new mums.
Baby Blues & Other New Mother Hormones
Becoming a new mum means a whole load of new hormones entering your body. You’ve probably already heard of the baby blues. It’s very common right after childbirth and can leave you having sudden mood swings, irritability and restlessness. This is because of the hormone decrease you express after giving birth.
Whilst this is typical amongst new mums, we understand that feeling like this feeling of mum guilt can affect your daily life. Dealing with the stresses of a new baby in addition to the changes your body and mind are going through can be tough. Especially when it comes to falling asleep at night. If you’re a mum who can’t sleep, you’ll know that those anxious thoughts can end up swirling in your head, making you feel tired once the morning comes.
Juggling Extra Responsibility
Another reason for a poor sleeping schedule could be the added responsibility to your daily life. Juggling work, family responsibilities, a social life as well as trying to be healthy, eat your five a day and get in a good night sleep can all be a lot - let alone adding a child to the mix!
If you have a newborn in the house, having to sleep in shifts with your partner or having to adjust to waking up numerous times in the night can leave you with no energy in the day.
It’s always recommended to sleep when your child is sleeping, to allow yourself that much needed beauty rest. However, it can be difficult when there is a brand new face in the house who hasn’t quite got into the routine of falling asleep just yet.
As well as a disturbed sleep schedule for all, there is also the matter of feeding throughout the night. As new breastfeeding mothers will know, they will need to pump every two hours to avoid being uncomfortable. In addition to the latest addition needing to feed 8-12 times every 24 hours, leaves little time for mum to rest!
Not sleeping undisturbed can trigger stress and anxiety amongst new parents, leaving irrational thoughts and fears to come into play.
Sleep Apnoea and Insomnia
Not sleeping and feeling anxious can begin to feel like a vicious cycle. With all the new hormones, juggling daily stresses, work and kids, being a parent that can't sleep is very common.
As well as feeling anxious, other sleeping problems can be typical amongst new or pregnant mums, such as sleep apnoea. Sleep apnoea is when your breathing stops and starts momentarily when you are sleeping. With the most common type being obstructive sleep apnoea, this can also cause loud snoring. With new mums, the hormone levels have an effect on the airway muscles, that with the increased abdominal volume (pregnant belly), this can add pressure on your airway, making your breathing tricky.
Insomnia is also prevalent in new mums, in pregnancy and after birth. Insomnia is when you find it hard to fall asleep or end up waking up several times throughout the night.
Using Aromatherapy for Anxiety and Stress
Destressing is the key to getting a relaxing night sleep, no matter how long that snooze is for. Aromatherapy can be a non intrusive way to bring your stress levels down and allow you ease your anxiety.
When it comes to relaxing, we recommend our I Want To DE-STRESS Set, which includes a Wellbeing Ritual Aromatherapy Balm and Home Aromatherapy Candle, which paired together, can give you the tools you need to separate yourself from worrying thoughts. To use the candle, simply position it near where you go to relax and light it, allowing the soft glow and the natural fragrance to calm you. When it comes to using the balm, apply it to your wrist, neck and temples. This soothing blend promotes relaxation, calmness, and relief from stress. It is the ideal Stress Relief Aid for those who suffer from anxiety, nervousness, worry, jitters or regularly experience uneasiness or restlessness.
Essential oils have the ability to trigger a whole list of emotional and mental responses from our brains. We can use them in all areas of our lives, including to sleep, relax, to wake up and to focus, making the perfect addition to any new parents routine.