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Article Gapianne Insomnie Post Partum : Comprendre, Surmonter et Retrouver un sommeil réparateur
Maternité

Postpartum insomnia, finally get back to sleep

The arrival of a newborn into the family is a time of happiness and adjustments, but it can also be accompanied by challenges, one of the most common of which is postpartum insomnia . As new moms, sleepless nights become an unexpected reality after giving birth, which can lead to increased fatigue, heightened emotions, and difficulty adjusting to this new chapter in our lives.

In this article, we will delve into the world of postpartum insomnia, understanding its causes, its effects on mental and physical health, as well as the solutions to regain nights of restful sleep. Whether you are a new mother who is having difficulty sleeping or you are looking to support a friend or loved one in this situation, this information will be valuable to you.

Get ready to explore the tips, tricks, and caring approaches to overcoming postpartum insomnia and regaining the energy you need to fully experience motherhood.

Do you have postpartum insomnia? You are not the only one !

It is important to recognize that postpartum insomnia is a common, but often overlooked, experience. A study conducted by Public Health France in 2019 found that 50 to 70% of new mothers experience baby blues or postpartum depression, with insomnia being one of the most common signs.

Yes, these figures are alarming.

However, it is crucial to understand that postpartum insomnia is not necessarily a symptom of depression. Other factors, such as hormonal changes, adjusting to a new pace of life, and even concerns about caring for the newborn, can also contribute to sleep problems.

By recognizing these various causes, you can begin to look for suitable solutions to overcome this challenge.

But one thing is certain, you are not alone and many solutions exist! We will talk about it during this article.

Risk factors for postpartum insomnia

Postpartum insomnia is a multifactorial disorder . It is often influenced by a variety of risk factors. To better understand and address this condition in order to find suitable solutions, it is crucial for you to know them:

Factors related to pregnancy and childbirth

Giving birth is an extraordinary experience that requires total investment of oneself. Pregnancy, in itself, represents a real challenge for our body. During this period, one may feel both physical and mental fatigue, accompanied by various pains and discomfort. These sensations can last for several months, sometimes even beyond. These many changes and challenges are therefore all factors likely to disrupt sleep after childbirth. Let's take a closer look:

  • Physical Fatigue: Childbirth is an intensely physical experience and can be one of the most exhausting experiences. Fatigue accumulated during pregnancy and labor can persist after delivery , making restorative sleep more difficult to achieve. Additionally, the need to recover physically after delivery may be at odds with demands for ongoing care for the newborn.
  • Postpartum pain: Many of us experience pain after childbirth, such as perineal pain, uterine cramps, and pain around incisions in the event of a cesarean section or even cracks following breastfeeding . These pains can be severe enough to disrupt sleep, especially when the woman is trying to find a comfortable position to sleep.

For those looking for a solution to take care of their perineum as well as their scars (tearing, episiotomy, cesarean section) we highly recommend the Louvz repair serum ! This serum was created by a midwife and is 100% natural.

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  • Hormonal changes: Here, we won't teach you anything by telling you that pregnancy and childbirth lead to significant hormonal fluctuations! After childbirth, levels of certain hormones, such as progesterone and estrogen, drop rapidly, which can influence sleep cycles and sleep quality. For example, low progesterone can contribute to insomnia because this hormone has sedative properties. Furthermore, this drop in hormones can cause other symptoms such as postpartum hair loss, which can cause stress.
  • Changes in biological rhythm: During pregnancy, the circadian rhythm can be altered due to hormonal changes, physical discomfort and anxiety. After delivery, this rhythm is even more disrupted, because the newborn's care does not follow a regular 24-hour schedule. Adapting to these new conditions can further disrupt our sleep-wake cycle.

Also read: Finding a flat stomach after childbirth

Child-related factors

Welcoming a newborn into your life is an overwhelming experience, both for the baby, who discovers a new world, and for us, parents, who learn to adapt to this new presence. Many factors linked to the child can contribute to sleep disorders :

  • Nocturnal awakenings: Newborns have constant needs that do not fit in with adult sleep cycles. They wake frequently to feed, sometimes every two to three hours, including during the night. This need to wake up regularly to breastfeed, change diapers or simply reassure the baby can significantly fragment our sleep and lead to poor quality sleep.
  • Crying and colic: Infants can often experience colic or discomfort, which manifests itself as prolonged crying. These episodes, particularly common in the evening, can last several hours and are a major source of stress and sleep deprivation. The need to comfort a crying child, often while trying to guess the cause of their discomfort, without being too sure of ourselves, can be an emotionally and physically draining task.
  • Adapting to the needs of the newborn: Babies do not have a well-established circadian rhythm at birth, which means that their periods of sleep and wakefulness can be very irregular. So we have to adapt to this unpredictable rhythm, which can disrupt their own internal clock and sleep patterns. Additionally, worry about the baby's safety and well-being while sleeping can increase anxiety and increase our hyper-vigilance, further exacerbating sleep difficulties.

Maternal factors

Of course, there are more personal factors that can be the cause of this postpartum insomnia.

  • History of insomnia: Women who have experienced insomnia before pregnancy are particularly vulnerable to postpartum insomnia. Because the mechanisms that regulate sleep have been disrupted in the past, these women may find it more difficult to maintain stable, restorative sleep after childbirth. Additionally, anxiety related to the previous experience of insomnia can create a vicious cycle where the fear of not sleeping makes the insomnia even worse.
  • Anxiety or depressive disorders: Mood and anxiety disorders, whether pre-existing or resulting from pregnancy and childbirth, can play a significant role in the onset of postpartum insomnia. Postpartum depression, in particular, is often accompanied by sleep disturbances. Anxiety, on the other hand, can manifest itself as persistent and worrying thoughts, making it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep.
  • Stress: Managing the new responsibilities of motherhood can be a major source of stress. Concerns about the baby's health and well-being, changes in personal and professional relationships, and adjusting to a new role can all place considerable pressure. This stress can disrupt sleep patterns, making it difficult to fall asleep and less restful sleep.

What consequences?

Postpartum insomnia can have significant consequences on our physical and mental health , as well as our well-being and quality of life. It can in particular lead to:

Chronic fatigue:

This fatigue can affect our ability to care for our baby and complete daily tasks. It can also negatively influence our mood and our ability to interact with others.

Irritability:

It can lead to tensions in our family and social relationships, and affect our ability to provide loving and patient care to our child.

Difficulty concentrating:

This can impact work performance or the ability to manage household chores and care for the baby.

A decrease in libido:

It is essential to emphasize that experiencing a drop in libido after childbirth, even several months later, is completely normal and acceptable. It is crucial to surround yourself with people who understand and support this situation. Furthermore, it is important to recognize that it is not fair to be put under any pressure on this subject.

Increased risk of depression:

This can have serious impacts on our mental health, our well-being, our relationship with our child and those around us, and our ability to function in daily life.

What solutions?

Management of postpartum insomnia must be personalized and adapted to each of us . However, here are some solutions that might help you sleep better.

Create a sleep routine:

To combat postpartum insomnia, it is crucial to establish as regular a sleep routine as possible, as well as to create an environment conducive to sleep (even though we know it can be difficult).

Going to bed and waking up around the same time each day helps regulate the sleep cycle. Relaxing rituals before bed, such as reading or a warm bath, can also help.

For mothers who have a partner, it can be beneficial to alternate waking up at night with their partner and thus create a routine between you. This allows everyone to get a full night's sleep on a regular basis.

For single mothers, ask for help from loved ones, such as grandparents, brothers, sisters or friends to take necessary breaks to recover some sleep.

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Learn relaxation techniques

Relaxation techniques can be extremely beneficial for mothers suffering from insomnia. Deep breathing exercises, guided meditation, or gentle yoga can help calm the mind and prepare the body for sleep .

At the editorial office, we particularly like Yoga Nidra, which is a deep relaxation technique that is particularly beneficial for mothers who have just given birth. It promotes relaxation, reduces stress and anxiety, improves sleep quality and contributes to physical recovery after childbirth.

There are also mobile applications dedicated to relaxation or meditation which can be useful tools.

Learn to manage your stress and fatigue

Managing stress and fatigue is essential to combating insomnia. It is important to learn to prioritize and delegate tasks to reduce workload.

Techniques like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) are proving to be a valuable solution for new mothers facing postpartum insomnia. This non-drug therapeutic approach offers a safe and suitable option for breastfeeding mothers. If you've never heard of it, this technique focuses on identifying behaviors and thought patterns that disrupt sleep, allowing them to be modified constructively. She also teaches valuable skills for managing stress and anxiety, commonly associated with motherhood, and provides practical tips for establishing a regular sleep routine and creating a supportive sleep environment. By personalizing its approach according to individual needs, CBT offers a response truly tailored to each mother.

Engaging in hobbies or relaxing activities can also help reduce stress!

Supplement yourself with supplements specifically designed for the postpartum period

Supplementing with specific supplements after hormones drop is highly recommended postpartum due to the many physiological and nutritional demands placed on the body during pregnancy and childbirth.

An example of these supplements is Boome's Postpartum Treatment , which offers both emotional and physical support. This treatment was developed to meet the unique needs of new mothers after childbirth. They are 100% natural and plant-based, making them a safe option for breastfeeding moms. They contain key ingredients such as rhodiola, which helps the body adapt to emotional and physical stress, nettle, which promotes lactation and participates in the remineralization of the body, as well as L-tyrosine, which stimulates brain function and promotes the production of happiness hormones.

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The postpartum period can be emotionally and physically taxing, and dietary supplements can help support recovery, reduce fatigue, and restore hormonal balance.

Listen to white noise

White noise is characterized by regular, constant sounds that can help create a more peaceful sleeping environment by masking disruptive noises.

Plus, their calming effect can help reduce stress and anxiety, two factors that can contribute to postpartum insomnia as we've seen. Listening to white noise can therefore be integrated into the sleep routine, which will signal to the brain that it is time to relax and help you fall asleep.

However, it is important to note that the effectiveness of white noise can vary from person to person, and it is recommended to try different methods to find the one that works best for each new mother. Find a Spotify list of white noise here.

In some cases, drug treatment may be necessary.

In some cases, medication treatment may be necessary to manage postpartum insomnia. It is important to consult a healthcare professional to discuss options. Medications should be chosen with their safety in mind, especially if you are breastfeeding. It is also essential to discuss potential side effects and duration of treatment. Drug treatment is often used in combination with behavioral therapies and lifestyle changes!

When to ask for help?

It is absolutely essential to recognize that postpartum insomnia can have a significant impact on our lives as new moms.

Knowing when to seek help is crucial to preventing the situation from getting worse. You should know how to seek help when insomnia begins to have a noticeable effect on your quality of life and well-being. This may manifest as excessive fatigue, high levels of irritability and anxiety, difficulty with daily activities, feelings of hopelessness or depression, social isolation, or intrusive and obsessive thoughts related to sleep or stress. maternity.

If you experience any of these symptoms persistently and your ability to function in daily life is affected, it is time to seek help from a mental health professional. Don't wait until things get worse, as early treatment may be more effective in managing postpartum insomnia and related mental health issues.

Remember, asking for help is a sign of strength and concern for your well-being and that of your baby! Courage ❤️

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