Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Postpartum Insomnia Continued

Last month, I wrote about my postpartum insomnia.  That particular post still receives about 30 views a day.  Obviously, there are other moms searching for answers and advice in this area, so I want to follow up and share what has helped me.  If you are new to my blog and would like to read the original post, click here.

First of all, I want to reiterate how terrible postpartum insomnia can be.  Trying to care for a new baby on little to no sleep (for weeks and even months) takes a toll on your mental state.  If you're dealing with this, you are certainly not alone.  It's awful.  Out of desperation, I was typing "postpartum insomnia" into every search engine I could find and reading every article that would pop up in the results.  I knew I didn't want to use sleeping pills and wanted to find another "cure".

I really didn't find any straightforward method for fixing the problem, but I did find a common theme among the women who had overcome the issue.  One way or another, they were able to sleep for the first time.  After that first night of sleep, it got easier.

This is what I did:

I completely broke down.  I asked my husband for help and stood over his shoulder as he read my original insomnia post.  I don't think he had a clue.  He knew I wasn't sleeping and that it was bothering me, but he didn't realize how crazy it was making me.  That night, we put the baby to bed, and he stayed up long enough for me to fall asleep.  Because I knew he was awake and available to care for the baby should she wake up, I was able to relax (kind of) and eventually fall asleep.  It did take a few hours, but eventually it happened.  Yes, I had to wake up at the slightest noise from the monitor, but it didn't matter because I had finally gotten a few hours of sleep.  It took a couple of weeks to get used to sleeping through the night, but it was much easier after breaking the cycle.  For a while, I still had difficulty when I would first go to bed, and I would wake at the softest sound or movement, but it really did get better.  I now sleep pretty well.  I wake when the baby wakes, but I no longer freak out every time I hear her turn her head or take a deep breath.

My advice is to simply do whatever you have to do to get one good night of sleep.  Have your partner take over for a night, hire a babysitter, ask a family member or friend to help, try sleeping pills, meditate before bed, pray, whatever you need to do, do it.  Once you have that first night out of the way, it should get better.


  1. Whew I had wicked insomnia due to postpartum anxiety and my son having colic. My husband was really good at giving me breaks but even then I couldn't rest my mind to fall asleep. My releif came in pill form.I am totally ok with that.

  2. Great blog! New Follower. Following from the blog hop. I have a food blog that's loaded with recipes, spices, food giveaways and more.

  3. Thank you for writing these blogs. I could cry because every word you have written was to the "T" explained what I am going through. Hopefully I can overcome this soon due to me starting work tomorrow. Wish me luck and thank you again

  4. I'm glad you've found my blog helpful, but I'm sorry you're going through this. It's absolutely terrible. Looking back on it, the best advice (which I hated to hear at the time) is to be patient and give it a while. If this happens with my next child, I'll probably try a natural sleep aid. I never want to go through that again, and as scary as it is to fall asleep and not be able to watch the baby or listen for every tiny sound, the little one will be fine. :)

  5. really happy to read your blog, it seems there's hope. I have been wanting to try the sleeping pill, but Im still breastfeeding. I tried to get the sleeping pill from the ob doc, but it seems she is not getting me one.

  6. thank you for your article, my baby is 3 months old and have had the insomnia off and on since his birth. I am in a really bad place now and haven't had good sleep in a while. My husband will periodically start a fight by mentioning how i'm not doing enough around the house, meanwhile I am breast feeding 24/7 and he works shifts so sometimes he is home for 5-7 days straight, about once per month. I still cook, clean and do laundry 65% of the time. I am just so very sad that he hurts me in this way by the things he says. Suggesting I am not doing enough. This is our first baby and we have been together 2 years. My insomnia gets worse every time we have a fight and I honestly can't take it anymore. I don't want to quite BF but I am scared I will have too.
    please help me.