Circadian Rhythm in the brain is synchronized with the outside world by light and darkness. This kind of rhythm is present in all living beings, and it works accordingly with nature.
That is your brain sends signals to your body to rest as the night falls and wakes up as the sun rises.
A new mother will have no control over the circadian rhythm as long as the baby sets his/her circadian rhythm. Initially, the baby sleeps most of the time, sleeps most during the day, and is awake at night.
This is so because the circadian rhythm of the baby is still not set with the outside world. It takes time for the baby to sync with the outside world, and understand the difference between day and night or between the womb and the outside world.
That is why a baby is swaddled so that the baby can feel that he/she is still in the womb and feels protected.
At the least up to 3 months, a new mother can completely forget about her circadian rhythm and sleep or rest whenever she finds some time.
Though you sleep during the day, your body automatically goes to rest mode during the night due to circadian rhythm. That is why, you feel so tired, exhausted because of lack of sleep during the nights.
What you can do to feel better -
As said before, don’t bother about any kind of rhythm at least for the first 3 months after childbirth.
Sleep or rest whenever you get some time. You may have to FIND time from the available time.
Your schedule will be based on the baby’s schedule. Try to synch with the same for better rest.
At nights, if someone can help to feed the baby, you can pump and give the milk or after you feed, if the baby is still crying, someone else can take care of the baby for you for some time.
Most of the time, your baby may fall asleep while they are breastfed. Burp your baby after every feed so that baby has a comfortable sleep and you will in turn have some peace.
Waking up so many times can make you hungry, you can have a banana and warm water, or some light snack, as the digestive system slows down during the night.
Take your supplements as prescribed. This can help you with fatigue and weakness.
Thyroid glands can also feel stressed out due to irregular sleep cycles. But, you really can't do much about this during the initial days.
Eat healthily, go for a walk whenever you can.
Get some sunlight every day. You can go to the terrace or balcony, wherever you find it comfortable. Vitamin D is important for both you and the baby.
It is difficult to set a routine for your infant when he/she is trying hard to adjust to the outside world. Do not stress yourself on this, and stress only worsens your sleep deprivation.
You can buy a resting chair so that you can relax while you breastfeed your baby.
Stick to lighter food options during the night so that your digestion is easier.
You can start dimming the lights of the room so that the baby starts getting used to, day and night. It takes time for the baby to understand, at least up to 3 months for the sleep cycle to set in.
All you can do is try different methods, every baby is different and it takes time for the baby to set into the circadian rhythm. Do not exhaust yourself in trying to set a routine for your baby, just try to tune in to the baby’s rhythm for some time.
It is easier said than done! Seek help wherever and whenever you need it.
Take care mommies!