What Causes Postpartum Fatigue And How To Deal With It?

5 min read

The birth of a baby is a miraculous stage for the parents and the family as well. While all others enjoy the phase, this is the most challenging and exhausting one for the new mother as the labor and childbirth are tiring and cause fatigue. Thus, post the delivery, the mother starts to feel tired and even experiences short of energy. The newborn comes with a whole plethora of responsibilities, well. This is undoubtedly a handful of the situation for the new mom as it keeps her more than occupied the whole day since she works beyond limits, excited but tired. Apart from that, she looks very different in appearance and keeps getting advice from all corners. In other words, she has stress, which she needs to deal with. But a lot of the mothers are still shouted for not being able to finish things on time, and that certainly is not the right way to handle it. This is the time when mothers need support from the entire family so that they feel positive and confident about themselves.
What is important here to understand is that postpartum depression is common to happen, and there are ways to let her relieve it. Let us know study what postpartum fatigue is, what are its features, its causes, and ways to combat it, and finally, when to seek medical help.

What Is Postpartum Fatigue?

Right after a few weeks of the baby’s birth, the postpartum fatigue starts creeping in. The state where one starts to feel extremely tired or exhausted, sleepy, weak, dizzy, irritated, etc. are some of the salient features. Postpartum fatigue is the overtiredness that is experienced by the new mothers right after giving birth to a baby. Its major reason is attributed to a lack of sleep and overdoing things.

Characteristics Of Postpartum Fatigue

Postpartum fatigue is physically characterized by tiredness, fatigue, loss of energy, etc. Whereas, emotionally, it can lead to depression, negativity, less confidence, de-motivation, sadness, weepiness, etc.

Is It Normal To Feel Fatigued Several Weeks After Delivering The Baby?

Getting fatigued and feeling exhausted are the most common features, and this could last for a period of a few weeks to months after the delivery. It is extremely normal to feel fatigued a few weeks after the delivery of the baby. This happens when the mother gets overtired and worked up with no adequate sleep. However, it can be combated by taking the required steps.

What Are The Causes Of Postpartum Fatigue?

Postpartum fatigue which is also termed as the period of getting overtired or getting in depression. It is caused by lack of sleep, working beyond one’s limit, it even leads to weepiness, depression, lack of motivation, etc. Many reasons can lead to this after the delivery. Some of them are listed below:

  • Birthing Process: The birthing process can take anywhere from hours and requires abundant energy to be able to give birth to the baby naturally. Along with that, the medications given to relieve pain can lead to drowsiness and tiredness much after the delivery process. Even in a C-section leads to a lot of tiredness.
  • Lack Of Sleep: New-born babies make it difficult for mothers to sleep. They must be fed every two hours or on-demand, which does not let the mother sleep well. So, it is important to keep napping when the baby sleeps. The challenge here is that babies sleep in the day-time, but this is the time that the mothers get for themselves, which leaves them deprived of their sleep and keeps them tired as well.
  • Depression: Fatigue is the main feature that characterizes postpartum depression. It has been seen that women who keep tired for a long time are reportedly seen getting into postpartum depression.
  • Breastfeeding: Breastfeeding needs energy. It also brings about the physical strain. Feeding time is an exhausting one and can lead to lethargy resulting in prolonged fatigue.
  • Being Anaemic: A major cause of postpartum fatigue is the loss of blood that happens at the time of delivery. So, it becomes mandatory to boost the levels of hemoglobin or have iron-enriched foods or take iron supplements as well. In case this also does not help, it is important to seek medical help.
  • Hypothyroidism: Pregnancy symptoms are different for different women. So are the postpartum symptoms. While some women are completely fine, many develop thyroid issues a month or later after delivery. This can bring about postpartum fatigue and can be cured with medical assistance, a regulated diet, and changes in lifestyle.

How To Deal With Postpartum Fatigue?

Postpartum fatigue is common in almost all new mothers across the world. The delivery process for a mother is very challenging, whether it’s a normal or a C-section. No doubt, the postpartum period is challenging. Yet some simple measures can be adapted to help the mother combat emotional, physical, and psychological fatigue. Some of them have been cited as under:

  • It is important to catch on the sleep. Therefore, sleep when the baby sleeps. Let other things take a back seat. In case you do not wish to sleep for a longer duration, keep an alarm by the side.
  • Let the partner share your responsibility, especially changing diapers or playing the baby, and this should give time to the mother to nap for a while. In case not breastfed, the father can even feed the baby with a bottle. After all, the baby is just not the mother. So, it is best to take turns and ease off the responsibility.
  • Seek help from family and friends, or hire a maid for assisting you with household chores, doing top-work, keep a check on the new-born or attend to an elder child, if any. This again allows some extra time for the mother to take rest.
  • The new-born baby does not always keep awake all through the night. As they become old, they start sleeping for long durations. So it is important to identify their sleeping patterns and plan the work in the same manner.
  • Exercising regularly does lessen the tiredness levels and lead to happy moods, a healthy body, and enhanced energy. Allow yourself to take a walk in the fresh air with the baby as it helps in better sleep for both.
  • One can adapt relaxation methods almost ten minutes a day to get a refreshing feeling, do deep breathing or meditation for better results.
  • Keeping oneself hydrated offers the required energy and even alleviates the mood. As per a study having a good amount of water helps in the regulation of the temperature of the body, eliminates waste and toxins from the body, helps in lubricating the joints, etc.
  • Always choose the guests you want in the house. Also, decide how much time you wish to spend with them. Remember, bonding with the baby is more important than attending to them.
  • Make healthy choices to combat the fatigue and have a diet enriched with vitamins, carbohydrates, proteins. Avoid sweets and caffeine, and stop worrying about the increase in weight.
  • In case one does not feel good after taking rest or sleeping well, it is time to take medical assistance.

When To See A Doctor?

Postpartum fatigue is common to all the mothers and can be combatted by several measures. There are some conditions, however, where the mother, despite all means, does not feel good and relaxed. It is important to seek medical intervention at this time, and underlying are the pointers that should be kept and, if observed, should immediately be taken to the doctor. In case:

  • The mother experiences postpartum depression and starts losing interest in everything
  • Experiences acute blood loss
  • Issues of constipation and irregular bowel syndrome
  • Excess weight gain with no reason
  • Dryness in skin

Thus, it can be said that it is quite normal to feel some degree of physical, mental, or emotional exertion a few weeks after delivery. There should be ample support provided to the mother as she undergoes drastic changes in these nine months and even after that. One should follow the steps mentioned above and be supportive and positive toward the mother. It should be remembered that fatigue can be reduced but not treated as it is not a disease. Offer love, support, and understanding to the mother, which will, in turn, lead to a healthy and happy family.  

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