A new mother’s top priority is to tend to the immediate and round-the-clock needs of her baby. Add to these responsibilities the confounding postpartum hormones, and you might find that getting the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep is next to impossible.
Babies generally sleep in fits within the 24-hour period, with feeding demands that come in more or less two-hour intervals. This costs parents of newborns at least two hours of sleep every night until the babies reach their fifth month. This article on Medical News Today states that new parents lose an average of six months of sleep during the first two years of their child’s life.
And don’t think that this is just an issue of adjusting to a new sleeping schedule or finding new sleeping habits. Even women with unhealthy or unorthodox sleeping habits before pregnancy still found staying up to care for an infant taxing. Iryn recalls the first few months of her now one-year-old son, Tristan, “I used to sleep late and wake up early before I got pregnant. Yet, after Tristan was born, I still felt like I was losing a lot of sleep. There were times I would only sleep for two to three hours [at] a stretch.”