Postpartum Fatigue

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.

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