Even mothers in top physical condition prior to delivery may feel a great deal of fatigue in the early recovery period. This continually tired feeling may last weeks or even months. Recognize that your body has been through a major physical process and that you need to allow yourself adequate recovery time.
Tips for Coping with Fatigue
- Remain in your bathrobe or lounge wear for the first week at home and rest whenever possible. New babies do not sleep all night, so be prepared to rest when your baby sleeps.
- Let others help with household responsibilities, laundry, cooking, shopping, cleaning, etc. When friends offer to help, let them!
- If possible, arrange to have your partner take one to two weeks off after the baby arrives.
- If possible, hire outside help for a few hours during the first weeks, even if your partner will be off work and assisting. You'll both need some time for adjustment and to be with the baby.
- If you have an answering machine or voice mail, you may wish to leave a message stating that you gave birth, but you're resting and will call when you have the time to talk. Consider renting or borrowing an answering machine if you don't have one.
- Make life as simple as possible by using paper plates, take-out food and delivery services. Take it easy!
- Review your diet to be sure you have enough protein and iron in your diet. Ask your health care practitioner about iron supplements.
- Excessive fatigue may be a symptom of an underlying medical problem. Consult your health care provider.