New parent exhaustion

Child Psychiatrist and Author Joshua Sparrow, MD, shares his top tips for new parents on how to deal with and prevent postpartum exhaustion
Top Tips For Dealing WIth New Parent Exhaustion -
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New parent exhaustion

For parents of a two or three-week old baby, probably the most common experience is to just be exhausted and worn out. When the baby comes home, after maybe just a day or two, the baby's sleep cycles are completely reversed, maybe the opposite of the parents. Parents are up all night. Of course, they have to be feeding the baby so often, that they are unlikely to get much sleep. By two or three weeks, the most common experience is to just be really, really tired. Now, there is not much you can do about this except that trust that this is one of those times where you don't have to do it all by yourself. If you've got a friend or a parent or a grandparent who can give you a break, so you can stretch out your own sleep and maybe try to get a couple of hours, instead of being awakened every one or two hours. It'll help you get through this period. It also is the time at which, despite being so tired, postpartum blues should be over. Typically, we say postpartum blues lasts up to about ten days. If you are still feeling blue after that, it may be time to talk to your doctor about whether or not you need help for postpartum depression.

Child Psychiatrist and Author Joshua Sparrow, MD, shares his top tips for new parents on how to deal with and prevent postpartum exhaustion


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Joshua Sparrow, MD

Child Psychiatrist & Author

A child psychiatrist, Dr. Sparrow’s care in the 1990s for children hospitalized for severe psychiatric disturbances, often associated with physical and sexual abuse, and for developmental delays aggravated by social and economic deprivation, prompted his interest in community-based prevention and health promotion. At the Brazelton Touchpoints Center, his work focuses on cultural adaptations of family support programs, organizational professional development, and aligning systems of care with community strengths and priorities, and has included collaborative consultation with the Harlem Children's Zone and American Indian Early Head Start Programs, among many others. He has lectured extensively nationally and internationally on related topics and has consulted on media programming for children and parents, including PBS’s Frontlines and Discovery Kids. Co-author with Dr. T. Berry Brazelton of 8 books and the weekly New York Times Syndicated column, “Families Today,” Dr. Sparrow has also served as a contributing editor to Scholastic Services’ Parent and Child magazine. In 2006, he revised with Dr. Brazelton Touchpoints: Birth to Three, 2nd Edition and in 2010, co-edited Nurturing Children and Families: Building on the Legacy of T. B. Brazelton, a textbook on the ongoing generativeness of Brazelton’s seminal research in a wide range of fields. Dr. Sparrow has authored numerous other scholarly works, teaches and lectures nationally and internationally, and is frequently called upon for his expertise by national and international media. Prior to attending medical school, Dr. Sparrow worked for several years as a preschool teacher and journalist in New York City.

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