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Prévenir et trouver des solutions à la fatigue post-partum - article Gapianne

How to prevent postpartum fatigue?

The day after a birth, it is not unusual for young parents to often be exhausted. By the baby crying day and night, by the numerous family injunctions, by the stress, too. And as young mothers, it's even more difficult for us, with the physical consequences of pregnancy and childbirth being felt. Postpartum fatigue grips us and can go so far as to prevent us from enjoying the first months of baby or even tending towards the baby blue . How to prevent this fatigue and above all, how to find answers to postpartum fatigue? We talk about it together in this article.

Postpartum fatigue, what is it?

Postpartum fatigue describes the fatigue we feel the day after childbirth, after postpartum, when the baby is born. The term specifically describes the fatigue felt by the person in the couple who experienced childbirth, as opposed to the fatigue, physical and emotional, that may be felt by both parents when the baby arrives.

Postpartum fatigue is a common and recognized phenomenon–but just because it's common and recognized doesn't mean it's not difficult to get through. ♥️ It is also one of the factors in postpartum depression, which is why it is important to get help if you feel the need: we will talk about it a little later in this article.

What are the causes ?

Postpartum fatigue is one of the most complex challenges of motherhood. Having a child is a physical, psychological and emotional upheaval! Life, body and habits are turned upside down!

Lack of sleep

Lack of sleep is the first source of fatigue that comes to mind when we talk about postpartum fatigue.

Baby doesn't sleep through the night yet, wakes up very regularly to breastfeed and if you have chosen to breastfeed, you can very quickly find yourself, as a mother, having to watch every night.

And beyond the infant's awakenings, there is the worry and hormonal upheavals which can lead to postpartum insomnia when, finally, an opportunity to sleep presents itself!

Hormonal changes

In addition to the lack of sleep linked to the arrival of the baby, hormonal changes upset the young mothers that we are.

The postpartum period corresponds to the gradual return to “normal” after pregnancy which has led to numerous hormonal upheavals – if we can even speak of normality when we talk about female hormones! The peaks reached by hormones during pregnancy gradually drop and the menstrual cycle gradually starts again: this is the return of confinement .

This hormonal variation, like what we experience as women during each menstrual cycle since puberty, can also generate fatigue and pain leading to difficulty getting to sleep.

Physical recovery

The postpartum period is a time marked, for many of us, by the physically and mentally trying moment of childbirth.

In the days, even weeks, following childbirth, some of us experience enormous pain in the pelvic genitourinary tract as we continue to lose large amounts of blood. For those of us who have had our flesh torn or who have had an episiotomy, the stitches can also remain painful during the healing process. As for those who have had a cesarean section, movements are limited and fatigue is significant, also generated by the anesthesia.

Alongside these genital pains, the flow of milk and the pain linked to the hormonal changes already mentioned above are diverse and can also contribute to exhausting us.

It takes time to physically recover from the birth of a child, but with the arrival of the baby and social demands, time may be running out.

Emotional fatigue

The final factor in postpartum fatigue is emotional fatigue.

Everything about the arrival of a baby contributes to this emotional exhaustion:

  • Emotional peaks: Emotions explode when a child arrives. Oxytocin bursts respond to concerns: we are afraid of not being able to do it or of not being able to understand the baby's needs;
  • Impression of forgetting ourselves: If the birth of a baby is often described as a source of enormous happiness (and this too can represent stress for those who do not have this feeling!), many people describe having the feeling of getting lost and no longer knowing who they are if not a mother;
  • Unsolicited advice and recommendations: They flock to birth from all directions and can make us feel worthless and overwhelmed!
  • Conflicts, sometimes pre-existing at birth: Conflicts can be reinforced by the arrival of the baby, within the couple and both families. This can be a source of significant stress and fatigue.

What health symptoms and when to worry?

Symptoms of postpartum fatigue are similar to symptoms related to fatigue. Because all women and all pregnancies are different, it is possible that you do not feel them at all or on the contrary that you suffer the consequences head on.

Here is a list of the physical consequences of postpartum fatigue:

  • Physical exhaustion: General feeling of weakness, heaviness in the limbs, and difficulty performing simple physical tasks;
  • Sleepiness: Feeling constantly tired and having difficulty staying awake during the day, or even feeling the need to take frequent naps.
  • Difficulty concentrating: Difficulty staying focused, processing information and making decisions.
  • Irritability and mood disorders: Increased emotional sensitivity, making you more irritable, anxious or depressed overall.
  • Sleep disorders: Disturbance of nighttime sleep, leading to difficulty falling asleep, frequent awakenings during the night, or unrestorative sleep.
  • Muscle pain: Muscle pain, tension or stiffness.
  • Gastrointestinal problems: Gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, bloating, or appetite disturbances.
  • Depression: Feeling overwhelmed, sad, not feeling emotions. This can go as far as the feeling of not being able to love your child. This is also called postpartum depression.

We mentioned it in the introduction to this article: it is normal and common, as a young mother, to suffer from postpartum fatigue. However, if these symptoms last for a long time and above all, if they begin to have an impact on your daily life and on your interactions with those around you and your baby, it is essential to talk about them, with your doctor and with your elder. -woman or your gynecologist.

What behavioral consequences?

Postpartum fatigue, like any intense and chronic fatigue, can have a significant impact on our behavior. The consequences on our behavior are diverse and the intensity of the symptoms is more or less strong depending on the pregnancies, our age or even our hormones.

Here is a list of the behavioral consequences most often associated with postpartum fatigue:

  • Irritability: Excessive or negative sensitivity and susceptibility to external stimuli.
  • Difficulties concentrating: Difficulty maintaining attention and focusing on specific tasks, which can lead to errors or reduced performance.
  • Cognitive slowing: Slowing of cognitive processes, which can result in slower reaction times and more garbled thinking.
  • Loss of motivation: Reduced motivation and enthusiasm, making it difficult to complete daily tasks.
  • Increased risk taking: Difficulty estimating risks and tendency to increase risk taking.
  • Memory deficits: Memory problems, leading to difficulty recalling information, most often in the short term, and forming new memories.
  • Communication problems: Difficulty expressing ideas clearly and interacting effectively with others. This is because of fatigue which prevents you from clearly drawing a thought but also irritability which makes exchanges more complicated.
  • Mood changes: Difficulty maintaining stability in one's emotions. Increased susceptibility to stress, anxiety and depression.
  • Depression: Feeling overwhelmed, sad, not feeling emotions. This can go as far as the feeling of not being able to love your child.

These behavioral changes can be particularly disturbing for you and those around you, to the point of destabilizing your relationship and your loved ones. If, in the months following the birth of your child, you have the impression of “no longer being yourself” do not wait: talk to the health professionals who are caring for you. It is essential not to let the problem settle to avoid worsening tensions.

How to prevent postpartum fatigue?

If it proves difficult, if not impossible, to get rid of postpartum fatigue as it is associated with the birth of a child, there are solutions to reduce it and protect yourself. Here we give you some ideas for preventing postpartum fatigue and limiting its impact. You can of course share yours with us. ♥️

Let's accept being tired and talk about it

Let’s not let anyone – and especially not ourselves – minimize our state of fatigue . Lack of sleep and chronic suffering can lead to a feeling of real hopelessness that obscures all the beauty of our baby's first months. Loving our baby doesn't mean we should pretend everything is okay all the time: we have the right to feel worse, to be tired, or to feel overwhelmed.

Let's be patient and accept being imperfect

The arrival of a baby in our daily lives is a disruption to our couple's habits. It takes time to find the right actions, understand our baby's requests or agree with our darling on the procedure to follow. Setting numerous goals and deadlines is a source of stress and fatigue when a child is born. Let's accept that we're not perfect and let's agree to be patient. The announcements will have to wait a bit, we will perhaps start with disposable diapers rather than washable ones after all, we will not visit the entire family-in-law every two weeks of the baby: and that's OK. We have time. A baby has just joined our family.

Let's ask for help

In the first months following a birth, our loved ones often want to help us but do not necessarily instinctively know how to do so. In addition to being clumsy, they sometimes get in the way by giving us unsolicited advice, increasing our stress... It's time to express ourselves and be explicit:

  • Specify that you feel tired and will have difficulty tolerating the comments;
  • Ask specifically what you need: an extended machine, a sweep of the house, a good prepared meal, etc.

🌈 If you have chosen to breastfeed, you can also consider pumping your milk to allow your partner or a loved one to replace you (and go to sleep for example). On our e-shop, we have spotted the portable and wireless breast pump from the Perifit Pump brand for you. Discreet and effective, it slips into the bra to allow you to continue your activities without worrying about it.

I want it >

Let's make sure we eat well

After birth, it can be difficult to find the time and energy to cook yourself. However, this is essential to have nutrients and regain energy on a daily basis. At first, we can consider asking our loved ones to bring us small meals, or even to cook large meals for us to freeze. A course of vitamins and food supplements can also help us regain energy.

🌈 On Gapianne, we have selected for you postpartum food supplements from the Boome brand, designed to support the emotional balance and fight against the fatigue of the young mother, following a hormonal drop. The key ingredients are rhodiola to help the body adapt to emotional stress as well as physical effort, nettle to promote lactation and participate in the remineralization of the body and L-tyrosine to boost the functioning of the body. brain and promote the production of happiness hormones.

I want it >

Let's take care of our postpartum body

During childbirth, our body suffered a lot. Only our appearance has changed due to pregnancy and we must relearn how to love ourselves, but what's more, our body is painful: damaged vulva, marked stretch marks, breasts sore from the flow of milk... Taking care of our body does not alleviate, in itself, fatigue, but allows the pain associated with postpartum to be reduced more quickly: ultimately, this facilitates physical recovery.

🌈 On Gapianne, we have selected for you The balm, from the Baubo brand which, as its name suggests, is a nourishing balm which is applied to the vulva to moisturize it and soothe irritation and itching. It will be ideal if you have undergone an episiotomy or tear, in particular.

I want it >

🌈 And to care for and hydrate your body, we like the Post-Partum hydrating body serum from the Talm brand. Its cold effect soothes areas of the body under tension, such as the chest, stomach or thighs. It is compatible with breastfeeding.

Let's try to rest when our child is sleeping

It seems obvious and yet: resting when our child is sleeping is not always easy. Because we put pressure on ourselves about tidying up, cleaning or even all the administrative paperwork to do, we can tend to get active when the baby is finally asleep. And yet. Resting when our child falls asleep helps limit our loss of energy. This is neither laziness nor indifference. We need to rest to recover physically and be ready to face any new demands.

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