Of course, this assumes that your partner is your main sustenance and strength and that you are sharing child-caring duties equally if at all possible.
Even with a loving and supportive partner, you may need extra help with housework and preparation of meals as well as encouragement, moral support, and relief from childcare.
A lot of fatigue is the direct result of sleep deprivation. Remind yourself that the way you feel is directly related to the amount of sleep you have missed and not because you are losing your mind.
Hormonal upheavals in the postpartum period and during breast-feeding combined with sleep lack can make you feel a lot more anxious, irritable, impatient, and depressed than your usual self. It is important to have patience with yourself and remember that you will eventually return to your previous hormonal state and getting uninterrupted sleep.
Changes In Lifestyle
Adding another person to your household is more of an emotional, physical and psychological adjustment when you are older. Your life will not go on as before, and your old patterns of living will be irrevocably altered. You should avoid inflexible plans about going back to work, as well as a highly scheduled routine in which the baby is fitted into certain hours of the day. You may not be able to predict ahead of time how soon you will want to go back to work.
Another aspect of lifestyle change is the sudden and total loss of privacy. Caring for a young infant may leave you with no time for yourself. It is a demanding 24-hour-a-day job. A co-operative partner or friend can ensure that you have at least an hour a day of uninterrupted time for yourself.
The total loss of private time with your mate may strain a relationship already going through dramatic changes. So try and make sure that you and your partner go out at least once a week without the baby, even for a few hours.
As an older woman, especially with a well-established career, you may be justifiably afraid about how motherhood will affect you as a woman.
These questions have no ready answers. But despite these concerns, older mothers are often surprised by the intensity of their positive feelings for their newborn. These feelings make the adjustment to their new roles as mothers smoother and more enjoyable. Older mothers may feel inexperienced, awkward and unskilled, but their maturity and sense of priorities will bail them out in the end.
BIRTH OVER THIRTY revised 1985, by Sheila Kitzinger. Thoughtfully and reassuringly reviews the joys and challenges facing the older mother.
EVERY WOMAN'S GUIDE TO TESTS DURING PREGNANCY, 1986, by the Coalition for Medical Rights of Women, 2845 24th St, San Francisco, CA, 94110. 415-826-4401.
GESTATIONAL DIABETES. This booklet is available through BIRTH AND LIFE BOOKSTORE, 7001 Alonzo Ave NW, PO Box 70625, Seattle, WA 98107-0625. 206-789-4444.
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