New mothers feel extremely 'sluggish' even after 4 months of giving birth
A new study has revealed that new mothers feel excessively tired and sleepy even after four months of giving birth due to lack of sleep.
Dr Ashleigh Filtness, from QUT's Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety, said that sleep disruption strongly influences daytime function, with sleepiness recognized as a risk-factor for people performing critical and dangerous tasks.
She further added that the study had significant implications for decisions-makers about when women should return to work, with current government paid parental leave entitlements ceasing at 18 weeks.
The study also found while new mums were still waking on average twice a night to attend to their babies at 6, 12 and 18 weeks - their total sleep time was about 7 hours and 20 minutes.
With the birth of every baby the new mother must adjust to the demands of parenting and one aspect of that would be to remain functional while experiencing potentially severe sleep disruption. To put this into context, the assessment tool used to determine new mums' sleepiness GPs also uses it to determine clinically relevant levels of sleepiness.
The researcher suggested that soon-to-be mums should be aware of the importance of their own sleep and consider how they are going to preserve their own sleep during the first few months of caring for a baby, especially during the first 12 weeks.
The study is published in PLoS One.
(Posted on 03-08-2014)