The weeks following your baby’s birth are a rollercoaster like no other. After laboring, possibly for long hours, you’re handed your precious bundle of joy and suddenly you’re a full-fledged mom—busy breastfeeding, changing diapers, burping, and, let’s not forget, snuggling and falling in love.
It’s a blissful time, but also a sleepless one. You may power through those first few weeks with a surge of new-mom adrenaline, but eventually the lack of rest will catch up to you. Sure, everyone you know will tell you to “sleep when the baby sleeps,” but it’s not always that simple. What you need, besides eight uninterrupted hours horizontal, are quick tips and tweaks that make you feel more energized, even when getting sleep isn’t an option.
Say Yes to Help
When your best friend asks if there is anything she can do for you, the answer is yes. Don’t be shy. Have her cuddle your little one while you take a power nap. Or ask her to fold all those new onesies while you go cuddle, and hopefully nap, with your baby.
We know it’s a cliché, but we’re going to say it anyway: It’s the most important meal of the day. Breakfast gives you an energy boost that will help fuel you for the hours ahead. But what you eat matters, too. If you’re grabbing a bagel because it’s easy, chances are you’re going to feel sluggish. Add some protein. If scrambling an egg seems too advanced at the moment, try Greek yogurt (it has more protein than regular yogurt), smear some peanut butter on toast, or make oatmeal with protein-rich milk and mix in almonds or walnuts.
Take a Supplement
Ok, there’s no supplement for good sleep, but popping the right postnatal vitamin daily may help you fight the feelings of fatigue. Mommy’s Bliss Postnatal Support Energy + Recovery are gummies formulated with a blend of vitamins, minerals, biotin, and collagen to support postpartum healing and help keep your energy levels up when you feel like you’re running on empty. Another option: Postnatal Support Well-Being, which contains apple cider vinegar to help balance your postpartum body.
Get Out for a Walk
It sounds counterintuitive when you’re tired, but getting out of the house with your baby, especially in fresh air, may help you feel more refreshed and recharged. Besides, it’s an excuse to bust out your fancy new stroller. One study done with sleep-deprived women showed that 10 minutes of climbing stairs boosted energy levels similar to that of 50 milligrams of caffeine (about half a cup of coffee).
Netflix and Nurse
Breastfeeding on demand can have you on the couch for a while, so cue up that engrossing series your friends are talking about, or listen to your favorite podcast to pass the time. Not every moment has to be spent gazing into your baby’s eyes. Doing something that you enjoyed in your pre-baby life will help you feel a little less like a “mombie.” Skip the crime shows though—you don’t need anything else keeping you up at night!