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Rest and Relaxation: The Role of Sleep in Postnatal Care
Apr 29, 2024

Rest and Relaxation: The Role of Sleep in Postnatal Care

It is one of the dreams of every girl to be a mother, even though that is not an easy task. Similar to that of the pregnancy period, the postnatal period too should be carefully treated as the mother as well as the newborn baby struggles a lot with the fresh start. Even though pregnancy is painful, the following period spanning a few months can be equally painful, both physically and emotionally. So, it is important to take care of both the mother and the baby either at home or from a postnatal clinic. The blog ‘Rest and Relaxation: The Role of Sleep in Postnatal Care’ lets us understand the crucial role of sleep in this period.


Why Sleep is Important in the Postnatal Period?

You may not have any doubt about the importance of sleep in postnatal care, but, do you know the reasons behind it? If not, let us look deep into it. 


Physical Recovery

The pregnant woman experiences childbirth as a process that taxed the body physically and a common result is that the body feels drained and sore. The only chance of bringing the physical body back to its optimal condition is at night when it restores damaged areas coming from labor and delivery restoring the energy lost after hard labor. Sufficient rest provides muscles time to unwind and produce less inflammation, which is desirable and will speed up recovery. This will improve the recovery process.


Emotional Recovery

The third trimester, according to the emotional ride, is full of hormonal fluctuations and adjustments to the new routine. A good sleep mood and emotional stability are very important in this stage. By reducing the level of sleep, depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts can be augmented, and extreme mood swings in postpartum are more likely to emerge. Dealing with stressful emotions, problems, and challenges surely can get harder if they aren’t adequately handled. However, giving sleep a priority will help mothers approach every new day in a better state regarding emotional stress resistance and a positive view of the world.


Bonding with Baby

The most essential thing that most women would like to use is the ability to maintain a strong relationship with their newborn. Sleep is indispensable for mothers to maintain proximity and emotional responsiveness with their toddlers by feeling more present to the child's signs. When well rested, the mothers are more capable of initiating skin-to-skin contact and putting their soothing techniques into practice, thereby contributing to the relational bond and mother-child attachment. Last, due to a release of oxytocin into the system during breastfeeding, following sleep the mother and the newborn are getting a stronger bond.


Breastfeeding Support

Those mothers who decide to breastfeed the newborn must have a well-balanced sleep to produce and maintain the quality of milk. Prolactin, the hormone which is responsible for milk creation is significantly increased in the line with blood during the sleep period, especially during the nighttime feeding. The composition of breast milk changes depending mother's sleep cycles, the more rested the mother is the more fat and nutrients their breast milk contains. Allocating time for sleep guarantees mothers they can stay in good health and feed their children with healthy milk.


Cognitive Function

A new mom or dad's brain needs to stay sharp all the time and this requirement includes the talent of remembering, as well as making decisions and solving problems. Sleep is indispensable for normal functioning which helps in memory consolidation. Sleep is the time when the brain processes and stores a whole day’s information, so you can use it again and apply new knowledge. Another medical benefit of proper sleep is that it enhances the creativity and adaptability of the mother. Therefore, mothers can overcome various challenges of child care with confidence and ease.


Immune System Boost

The period immediately after giving birth is a high-risk moment for illness because the body is not yet fresh and adjusts to the new pattern of sleep. Being a key factor in the immune system’s support, studies reveal that sleep deprivation might well inhibit the immune system leading to a greater susceptibility to infections. Moving sleep to the top of their list of priorities supports mothers' immune resistance, allowing the decrease of the risk of disease and guaranteeing their physical ability to tend to their babies.


Physical Safety

Sleep loss is likely to result in poor coordination, slower reaction time, and susceptibility to mistakes, which increases the risk of falls as well as injuries for both mothers and their babies. This is quite a challenging task largely in services such as feeding, changing diapers, or carrying the baby that calls for clarity and sharpness of mind. Being sufficiently well rested makes one less prone to accidents, thereby ensuring a safe environment for staff or family members to work.


Energy Restoration

The baby owns your body and consumes a lot of energy daily. Sleep functions as the major tool of the body for recovery as it is responsible for replenishing the energy level and replacing the utilized assets. Sleep quality becomes a must for mothers who often have a lack of sleep which interferes with their responsibilities of lulling cries, changing diapers, and sparing time for playtime.


Stress Reduction

During the postnatal period, you may experience a lot of stress and difficulties moving through such things as newborn care, changes in routine, and concern about the health and well-being of your baby. Sleep takes care of stress, for it controls cortisol, the body's main stress hormone. Sleeping enough ensures relaxation, responsivity, and mental stability among mothers, thus enabling them to deal better with the good and the bad times of new parenthood.


Overall Well-being

Most fundamentally, sleep promotes the health and wellness of not only mothers but also their babies. Sleep is considered the cornerstone for physical, psychological, and cognitive health because it is the time when one is provided with the essential rest and rejuvenation needed to respond optimally to the prenatal period. By acknowledging the value of sleep and making it a priority, mothers can be influential in whatever role and thus they can be at their best in the parenthood period.

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