How to fight mummy fatigue

Written by sorrel moseley-williams Google
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  • Introduction

    How to fight mummy fatigue

    Mummy fatigue is not a silly punchline to explain away parental oversights or frustrations. Fatigue is a real issue that directly affects the mental and physical health of mums. Typical symptoms include chronic tiredness, a short temper, clumsiness and difficulty concentrating. If you suffer from mummy fatigue, understand that it’s not because you’re a poor mum and, in fact, it is a far more common problem than you might have thought. Following the strategies we’ve outlined should help you combat many symptoms and limit their causes but, if you are suffering from symptoms of mummy fatigue, we urge you to visit your GP for a consultation and remember that your needs do matter.

    Feeling stressed is common in mummy fatigue. (OcusFocus/iStock/Getty Images)

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    Don’t try to get too much done while your child is sleeping – this is also the time for you to rest. You may take advantage of baby’s sleep to eat or shower, as well, but limit yourself. Again, in the evening, when baby nods off, don’t try to do too much or it will cut in to your own sleep time. Be patient with yourself. Naturally you’ll try to do as much as you can when you think there’s time, but allow yourself the rest you need.

    Baby's nap is the time for mum's nap. (Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images)

  • 2 / 6

    Allow others to help you. Have your spouse or partner help when they can. If you’re breastfeeding, have the baby brought to you, then put back down after feeding. Nappies, too, should be a shared task. If a family member or a friend offer some help with baby, chores around the house or outside errands, accept their offer.

    Dad can also feed the baby. (Purestock/Purestock/Getty Images)

  • 3 / 6

    Eat correctly. If you eat two or three large meals a day, you’ll find yourself weighed down after eating but hungry between meals. Make sure to have plenty of healthy food on hand– including fruit, vegetables, grains and cheese – and try to eat six smaller meals each day. You’ll find you’re not weighed down and your energy levels will remain more constant. Eating this way will also diminish the desire for caffeine and sweets as a pick-me-up – after their quick boost, you’ll find you’re even more tired. Instead, drink plenty of water.

    Add cheese to a salad for extra protein. (gerenme/iStock/Getty Images)

  • 4 / 6

    Jump around. As loathsome as the idea of exercise might seem in your tired state, you’ll find that getting your body moving will really help your energy and alertness. If you can’t get out for a brisk walk, go up and down the stairs for a few minutes, turn on some music and dance around, or find that old exercise DVD. The important thing is to get your heart pumping and your blood flowing again.

    Get your body moving. (IuriiSokolov/iStock/Getty Images)

  • 5 / 6

    Whether in person or online, join a mums’ group. Discussing problems shared by other mums will help you to understand that you are not alone and should relieve some of your worry about feeling inadequate. And, really, what’s better than a group of mums to find solutions and develop strategies to deal with day-to-day problems.

    Discuss problems to find solutions. (Digital Vision./Digital Vision/Getty Images)

  • 6 / 6

    If it’s your nature to work, and your desire is to return to work, then it’s probably best that you do so. Even if working part-time just covers the cost of childcare, the benefit to you might be worth it if you’re feeling a prisoner in your own home. A happier, more alert and less fatigued mum is what you’re trying to achieve, and a return to work may help. After a day at work, you should find more energy and greater satisfaction being with your child.

    Returning to work is sometimes what is needed. (Nadezhda1906/iStock/Getty Images)

  • More information

    Tips and warnings

    Enjoy a quiet, soothing bath and a glass of wine once a week. Schedule a good time for your spouse, partner or friend to care for your child so it remains uninterrupted.

    Some of the symptoms attributed to mummy fatigue may be caused by another health problem. Consult with your GP about your symptoms, their probable cause and the methods of treatment that are available.


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