Importance of New Parent Sleep

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Last week, we discussed the importance of baby sleep on their growth and brain development but what about their parents? Most parents are aware that having a newborn in the house means long nights and very little sleep.  There are many different approaches that parents take to getting the sleep that they need to function each day. Whether it is sleep when the baby sleeps, taking shifts at night, or even trading off nights, each couple is different, but the common denominator is that all parents need sleep. But why? Let’s explore the importance of new parent sleep.

Mistakes

Most of us know that lack of sleep can contribute to a lack of focus, concentration, and sharpness in our day to day lives. The lack of these qualities often leads to errors in judgment or silly mishaps that wouldn’t have happened had we gotten a full night’s sleep. The lack of new parent sleep, however, can lead to moodiness, irritability, and even some very dangerous situations for your baby. It is not uncommon for sleep-deprived parents to doze off with their kid in their arms during a feeding or to be tempted to bring their baby into the bed with them. Thankfully most parents escape these minor incidences unscathed, but you certainly don’t want to put your child at risk of being dropped or crushed because you aren’t getting enough sleep.

Postpartum depression

Sleep deprivation is a very well known cause of many types of depression including postpartum depression. Unfortunately, the lack of new parent sleep can deepen or worsen existing depression which can prolong poor sleep patterns leading to a vicious cycle of worsening depression. While it can be difficult to identify postpartum depression in the early stages, once it is identified, getting adequate sleep plays a vital role in your recovery. This article from the Huffington Post discusses the role sleep plays in postpartum depression.

Physical recovery

Our bodies require a good deal of sleep to recover from injury or illness and recovering from delivery is no different. Many women need 4-6 weeks for their body to get back to normal after delivering a baby. If there was any tearing, scarring, or if you delivered via c-section, you will likely need longer than that to feel like yourself again. A lack of sleep slows this healing process dramatically not to mention increasing the likelihood of re-injuring your tear or stitches.

Are you and your partner concerned about a lack of new parent sleep? Our team would love to work with you to help you get the rest you need so contact us today.