Mom smiling at her baby.

How to Beat New Mom Exhaustion

Bringing a baby into the world takes a lot of work. After nine months of pregnancy, labor, and delivery, it’s normal to feel worn out. Even with the excitement of welcoming your baby into your family, new mom exhaustion is a very real thing. You might feel drained, overwhelmed, or even discouraged, but all of that is natural. Between sleepless nights and what feels like ongoing feedings, those first few weeks after birth are difficult to adjust to. However, you’re not alone. New mom exhaustion is something that everyone experiences in some capacity or another and just because you have these feelings does not mean that you’re not doing your best. When you’re trying to find ways to improve your energy levels, consider a few tips on how to beat new mom exhaustion.

Causes of Postpartum Fatigue

Experiencing fatigue after pregnancy and delivery is an expected part of your journey into motherhood. Your body has been diverting resources and nutrition to support your growing baby, which can put a lot of stress on your own system. Once you deliver, you’ll be caring for a newborn with sporadic sleeping schedules and constant breastfeeding needs, which doesn’t give you much time to recover. In fact, having a ton of energy while juggling postpartum recovery and a newborn would be a little strange, so try to be kind to yourself during this adjustment period.

New mom exhaustion can increase in severity for moms who are caring for more than one child, older mothers, or women who experience longer labors. If you’re worried about your energy levels, don’t hesitate to reach out to your doctor. While new mom exhaustion is normal, there are medical causes of postpartum fatigue that your doctor can check for. Some of the most common causes of postpartum fatigue include:

  • Prescription Pain Medication Use
  • Anemia
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Excessive Blood Loss
  • Postpartum Depression


If you’re experiencing additional symptoms that are indicative of postpartum depression, see your doctor as soon as possible. These can include feeling extremely overwhelmed, experiencing thoughts of worthlessness, mood swings, extended periods of crying, sleep loss, or feeling disassociated with yourself. Postpartum depression is treatable, so getting the proper support is essential to feeling better.

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Overcoming New Mom Exhaustion

The transition into parenthood is an ongoing process that continues to evolve as your children grow. Even mothers having their second or third child go through an adaptive period, as each pregnancy is different and can have varying effects on the body. The first thing to remember when you experience new mom exhaustion is that it’s expected. Regardless of if it’s your first baby or your third, here are a few great ways to help you beat fatigue and get the most out of your newborn’s first few months of life.


1. Let Yourself Rest

Arguably, the most important way to overcome postpartum fatigue is to actually allow yourself to rest. Even if it’s just for a few minutes, try to sleep or rest whenever you can. This is especially true when your baby is asleep. While many new moms feel overwhelmed with the number of chores that need to be done, don’t overdo it. You can tackle things slowly when your newborn is awake. Remember, your main concern is taking care of yourself and your baby, so don’t stress about household responsibilities.

Newborns tend to sleep on average, about 16 hours a day, giving you plenty of time to sit down and relax. While your sleep may be segmented into three-to-four-hour intervals, it’s still better than nothing.


         2. Ask for Help

While you might think you can handle everything on your own, it’s rarely the case. Don’t feel bad or ashamed to ask for help. As they say, it takes a village. When you need help or are feeling overwhelmed, ask for a friend or family member to come by. You should also try to split up nighttime feedings with your partner so that you’re able to enjoy longer stretches of sleep. To do this, use a breast pump to build your milk supply.

If you’re someone who gets anxious when the housework piles up, ask for help. This will give you some much needed time away from chores so you can rest, take care of your baby, and focus on getting your energy back.

Depending on your budget, consider hiring extra assistance. While it’s not a feasible option for everyone, if you can afford it, it’s a great way to help you get the rest you need. There are several different types of help you can pay for, including a cleaning service, postpartum doula, lactation consultants, and even a night nurse. The prices for services vary, so always make sure that you check to see whether or not you can afford it to avoid creating additional stress.


3. Reduce Visitors

While having your friends and family help with housework, cooking meals, and even watching your newborn is great, sometimes entertaining visitors requires more energy than it’s worth. If you get drained from having people over, don’t be afraid to limit contact. You’re in no way obligated to invite people over to meet your baby. In fact, try to communicate that you’re not taking visitors as you recover from delivery and bond with your newborn. Your friends and family will understand that you’re tired and there will be plenty of time in the future for them to meet your baby and bond with them.


4. Monitor Your Mental Health

For the first few months following delivery, new mom exhaustion is completely normal. It’s something that happens to almost everyone and you should never feel distressed or upset about it. However, postpartum exhaustion and postpartum depression are two different things. If you think you’re experiencing any signs of postpartum depression (PPD), getting help is the best way to start feeling like yourself again. Some of the most common symptoms of PPD include feeling depressed or having severe mood swings, excessive crying, struggling to bond with your baby, withdrawing from loved ones, hopelessness, feeling like you’re not a good mother, thoughts of harming yourself or your baby, and more. Monitor your mental health and seek help at the first sign of postpartum depression.


5. Eat Nutritious Foods

One great way to help increase your body’s energy levels is to eat whole, nutritious food. By properly fueling yourself with vitamins and minerals, you’ll encourage natural energy and boost postpartum recovery. Aim to eat plenty of lean proteins, healthy fats, complex carbohydrates, and fruits and veggies. Talk to your doctor about taking supplements if you feel like you’re not getting enough vitamins from foods and always stay hydrated throughout the day. Hydration is especially important during breastfeeding, so aim to drink about 16 cups of water per day to nourish your body.


6. Try to Move

While it might feel impossible, getting some exercise will actually help increase your overall energy levels. Exercising in the morning can boost endorphins and give you residual energy for the rest of the day. However, if you haven’t been engaging in some sort of routine, start small with daily walks or postpartum yoga. You don’t want to overdo it or feel burnt out, as doing so reduces the likelihood that you continue an exercise regimen later on. Always discuss new workouts with your doctor to make sure that you’re staying safe and not overdoing it.

While postpartum fatigue is normal for new moms, it’s not always the primary cause of your exhaustion levels. If you’re struggling to feel energized even after eating nutritious meals, getting rest, and staying hydrated, contact your doctor. Postpartum depression can be a contributing factor to exhaustion and a proper diagnosis is essential. However, even if you’re experiencing postpartum depression, know that you’re not alone and when you undergo treatment, you can take steps to begin feeling like yourself again.

Allowing your partner to take over some of the feedings is a great way to ensure that you’re getting the proper rest after delivery. To do this, make sure that you’re using a breast pump in addition to nursing. Breast pumping is an easy way to supplement nursing without sacrificing the essential nutrients that your baby needs to grow and develop. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, new and expecting mothers are eligible to receive an insurance covered breast pump with zero out of pocket costs from Byram Healthcare. To browse your options and find a breast pump that works with your lifestyle, visit our breast pump comparison chart and begin your order today.