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The whole mommy business is not that easy, and it may seem like a herculean task if you have recently entered into this phase. You may feel all tired, exhausted and fatigued and wonder what may be the reasons behind that. Well, one of the reasons could be tending to the breastfeeding needs of your baby around the clock. Is this article mouthing your words? If so, then you may be able to relate more with the following article as we discuss what exactly causes fatigue during breastfeeding and how you can effective handling it.
Can Breastfeeding Make you Tired?
If you are thinking that it is all in your mind and you may be simply overreacting, the answer is no it is not so because breastfeeding may actually make you feel tired and exhausted. In order to make milk, your body uses 25 percent of its energy and this may make you feel exhausted. You may roughly be losing out some 1000 calories a day just by feeding a baby and believe it not; it is a lot of hard work.
What Causes Fatigue during Breastfeeding?
If you have your thinking caps on to know why breastfeeding makes you tired, following are some causes that may help you understand better:
1. Inadequate Sleep
It is very important to have at least 5-6 hours of uninterrupted sleep for your body to function effectively. But this may seem impossible after the first few months of your baby’s birth as you may have to keep waking up at night to feed, change or simply soothe your crying baby. This may hamper your sleep and lead to extreme fatigue.
2. Not Eating Properly
A breastfeeding mom not only needs extra calories but these calories should come from healthy food items such as fresh fruits, vegetables, dairy, meat etc. and not from unhealthy and junk food items. This is because food with more sugar and fat may not only provide insufficient nutrition but also consumption of such food items may make you feel more sluggish.
If you are experiencing extreme tiredness and fatigue then the reason could be anaemia too. This is because you may lose blood due to childbirth, which may make you more susceptible to anaemia. You may need to add iron supplements to your diet to overcome your iron deficiency.
4. Thyroid Issues
5. Breast Problems
A newbie-mommy may be very prone to breast problems such as mastitis, breast engorgement, etc. Some of these conditions may lead to pain, fever, breast tenderness etc. and make you feel very tired too. You should seek immediate medical attention under such circumstances.
Home Remedies for Overcoming Tiredness while Breastfeeding
Following are some of the home remedial measures that you may effectively use to overcome tiredness while breastfeeding:
1. You Should Exercise
How can exercise overcome tiredness? Well, when you exercise, there is a boost in the secretion of endorphins which will make you feel more energized. Exercising also increases oxygen levels in your blood. Remember: Only start exercising once your doctor gives a go-ahead as your body should recover from childbirth.
2. You Should Drink Adequate Water
The major component of breast milk is water. Thus the production of breast milk requires a lot of water, and if you do not drink ample amounts of water, you may get dehydrated. Dehydration may lead to lethargy and tiredness. Therefore, you should keep drinking water or drink other fluids such as fruit juices, milk, soups etc. to pep up your body’s fluid requirements.
3. You Should Eat Healthy Foods
In order to help your body feel healthy and energized, you should consume a well-balanced and healthy diet. You should include more protein-rich foods as they help in boosting the energy levels of the body. Fibre-rich food in your diet such as fresh fruits, green vegetables and whole grains do the trick too.
What Foods Should Breastfeeding Mother Eat to Regain Energy?
Some the foods that you may eat to pep up your energy levels may include:
1. Include Oatmeal In Your Diet
Oatmeal is loaded with magnesium, phosphorus, protein and vitamin B1 and this energy-boosting food is great to keep fatigue at bay. It also contains glycogen, a type of carbohydrate that is beneficial in keeping the muscles and brain functioning effectively all through the day.
2. Sip Green Tea
Green tea is very effective in helping you feel energized and refreshed. The presence of polyphenols helps in improving mental focus and reduces stress. Green tea is also beneficial in pepping up your metabolism and thus keeping various infections and ailments at bay.
3. Include Banana In Your Diet
Banana is known as an instant source of energy because it is rich in potassium that helps the body to convert the sugar into energy. It also has a good dose of natural sugars such as fructose, glucose and sucrose that aids to provide energy to the body. Apart from this banana is also rich in protein, carbohydrates, vitamin B, vitamin C, fiber, omega-3 fatty acids etc., which help in eliminating the feeling of fatigue and tiredness.
4. Add Some Yogurt In Your Diet
Yogurt is a good source of proteins, carbohydrates and probiotics and all these may prove to be effective in dealing with any kind of low energy problems or tiredness. You may either consume un-flavoured yoghurt, or if you like to add flavour, you may add some chopped fruits too. It is great for digestion and keeps it functioning effectively.
When to Consult the Doctor?
If you have made all the possible efforts to control and cure your breastfeeding fatigue and you may find it difficult to get over it, we recommend that you seek medical help for the same. It may be because of any underlying medical condition or any kind of nutritional deficiency. If you have symptoms of some medical condition such as mastitis, breast engorgement or other such condition, your doctor may advise you medication for the same. However, if the fatigue is due to some nutritional deficiencies, then your doctor may prescribe you supplements accordingly. In some cases, postpartum OCD, postpartum depression and other such mental ailments may cause fatigue too. Talk to a doctor if you feel any abnormal symptoms or you are not able to manage your fatigue.
You may find yourself struggling with your newly found responsibilities after the birth of your baby, and it is absolutely normal for you to feel tired and fatigued. You will be able to overcome all of this in some time; however, if you feel that you are getting too exhausted and low on energy, you may take your doctor’s guidance to manage your condition better.
Also Read: Nausea while Breastfeeding