I have a four month old baby. I am only twenty but I have no energy
and I'm ready to start feeling good again. I have started exercising
but I would also like to start taking vitamins. I am still nursing also.
So, what I would like to know is are there certain brands better than
others, there are so many and their prices are very different. Also
are most vitamins and herbs safe while I'm nursing?
Feelings of exhaustion and fatigue are extremely common for
women after childbirth. This lack of energy is usually brought on by
a combination of factors. The first, and most obvious, is the simple
lack of sleep a new parent experiences. The pressure of night after
night of interrupted sleep will catch up with anyone. A new mother
should try to nap when her baby naps. Although it might seem like
the only time to get things done, it is an essential time to catch up
on sleep. It is also a good idea to ask for help sometimes, have a
friend or a family member come over, or hire a babysitter; not for
you to go out, but for you to sleep.
Depression can also become a real issue if a woman's mental
health is not given attention. It is important for a woman with a
newborn to be engaged in activities outside of the house, and
activities that allow for the outlet of stress; exercise is one of these.
Having a child introduces enormous change and stress into a
woman's life, without much time to adjust. A new mother must learn
to build moments into her life that belong just to her, otherwise she
will begin to suffer from chronic stress.
Breastfeeding is a good idea for many reasons, but it also puts
additional strain on a new mother. Any mother who is
breastfeeding should be taking in additional calories, to sustain
herself, and her added efforts. I know it is of concern to many new
mothers that they regain their pre-pregnancy weight quickly, but it
is essential that a woman take in enough calories that she does
not end her day exhausted.
Another cause of fatigue may be anemia. Anemia is a common
result of blood loss during childbirth. It can easily be treated with
iron supplements, or with an increase in iron-rich foods, such as
lentils, beans, chickpeas, iron-fortified cereal, or lean red meats. It
is a good idea to take a vitamin supplement. Along with iron, there
are several vitamins and minerals that are essential to a mother's
healing process, and a woman's general well being, (such as
Vitamin A which helps with postpartum tissue repair, and Vitamin
C which helps the body absorb iron). There is an enormous range
of products available, from multivitamins to very specific vitamin
supplements. A multivitamin should do the job. If a woman
continues to experience fatigue and suspects that she may be
vitamin deficient, she should consult her doctor, asking to be
tested for anemia.
As far as treating fatigue with herbal supplements goes, it is
difficult to judge the safety and efficacy of particular herbal
remedies, because of the lack of regulation and standardization of
herbal products. If a woman is getting enough rest and proper
nutrition, and she still feels tired, she should consult a doctor about
the possible causes. Any herbal stimulant is just that, a stimulant. It
can potentially be passed on to infants during breastfeeding. It may
address the symptoms but there is a root cause for the exhaustion.