A massive 80% of new mothers who have postnatal depression suffer from insomnia and feel the very real effects of being sleep deprived. I was one of these mothers, even though I tried, I couldn’t relax enough to sleep. People would offer to come take my children out for a while so I could get some shut eye, it was useless, sleep was like the itch that couldn’t be itched.
My experience got me to thinking about the link of PND and lack of sleep, can it be that poor sleep results in the onset of PND? Well I’m convinced of this with myself and my husband (yes fathers also get PND) and there have been several studies done which suggest lack of sleep causes PND and visa versa that PND can result in poor sleep for mothers and their babies or result in the ‘normal’ baby wakings being too much to handle.
I was a second time mother, I knew we were in for some sleepless nights, this is normal, I was looking forward to night feeds and all that goes with a new baby in the house. I have a confidence in our bodies and minds to adjust and adapt to less sleep so we can provide the responsive 24 care our new-borns need.
jeesy peeps I wasn’t prepared for NO. SLEEP. EVER! My son never slept, it felt like day or night. He was so unsettled, crying all the time, up every hour, even as a new-born when babies ‘should’ sleep happily in your arms after feeds, and wake to feed, and feed to sleep he NEVER. I Remember walking along Aberdour Road in Dunfermline, for every nap at a speed - with my daughter (3 at the time) on the buggy board in the pouring rain to try and get him some sleep, he was miserable and nothing worked though.
Fast forward and we found he has an allergy to the protein in cows’ milk (CMPA) and some other food allergies, he was 5 months when we got his allergies under control. I dreamed of him sleeping for hours (he certainly needed it) but his sleeplessness never improved.
So I did what all mothers do, took action on google lol, I was confused, don’t sleep train, do sleep train. The advice from all sides made sense to me, but conflicted each other. I looked at evidence and read peer reviewed journals from some very highly regarded researchers and academics but no help, nothing practical.
I am so grateful I came across Dana Obleman the creator of the sleep sense program - which has helped well over 57,000 families, her coaching gave me the confidence to make the necessary changes to my sons sleep environment. I observed such a positive change in him – you see his behaviour was ‘raging’ we would go to play dates and parties and he was wild I really thought there was something else ‘wrong’ with him – well I know a lot more now than I did then…..and it was lack of quality sleep that was the culprit.
My Daughter also benefited with less broken nights, I was so sleep deprived that I was ‘raging’ too and would often shout at her and my husband – everyone got it. Depression doesn’t always show as crying (I did that lots too like!) but I was angry very angry. Once the whole family was sleeping better this slowly got better (with professional help too)
So I made a huge decision in 2016 and jacked in my day job to start my own Baby & Toddler sleep Consultancy. I was personally trained my Dana the same person who helped me with my son and qualified as a Consultant in 2016. I now help families and teach them the exact same methods I used with my Son 3 years ago, what we achieved was amazing, from no sleep even when rocking, bouncing, in sling, out in the car or pram to:
Yes we have had bumps in the road, but I’m skilled to deal with them now and because I have better sleep when the ‘normal’ sleep regressions happen they were absolutely manageable.
Since certifying as a Sleep Sense Consultnat I have helped 100's of families all over Scotland, I have trained with some of the best academics and researches in the industry of baby sleep, passed exams on Breastfeeding, Giving Birth, Reflective Practic, worked with world renowned IBCLC's, professors, paediatricians, took courses on nutrition, play therapy, mindfulness anything which relates to helping with better sleep or learning about how sleep works, how babies and toddlers work how we work...but all with the intention of being able to offer real practical and honest strategies for parents who are desperate to get better sleep.
If you like to chat about your child’s sleep you can book a call with me its FREE and we evaluate your child's sleep situation and see how I can help. You can use this link for a date and time in my diary.