How to sleep in a maternity ward with a newborn

The majority of mums have to spend some time in a maternity ward after the birth of a baby. It may be for a single night as you recover and gather your bearings or perhaps there are complications and you’ll have to stay a bit longer.

Either way, sleeping amidst the mayhem of the maternity ward is pretty much impossible – in my experience.

Babies don’t wait until daytime to be born (cheeky things!), so mums are coming and going at all hours of the night. It’s never quite dark enough to feel like you can sleep and then, of course, there are the babies – some take the shock of life a lot harder than others. And dads aren’t allowed to stay over; they have a curfew, which kinda sucks.

Okay, so you’re probably going to be tired after the whole birth ordeal and although you’re probably also euphoric at the mere sight of the little life that has just erupted out of your body, it’s probably a good idea to at least try to get some sleep. Here are some things you can do:

  • An eye mask will help with the light problem.
  • A pillow from home will make you that much more comfy.
  • Count sheep if that usually gets you to sleep. Otherwise try and zone out the chaos with breathing exercises.
  • Catnapping is better than nothing; so if you have the chance for a half hour nap, take it.
  • Chillax – if you can’t sleep, you may as well relax; don’t let the stuff going on around you annoy you. Focus on your beautiful baby, which is what you’re probably doing anyway, and enjoy the moment.

My first daughter was born in the wee hours of the morning and I spent the rest of the night in the maternity ward. Sleep I did not. Not only because there was just too much distracting stuff going on around me but I kept looking at my baby and falling more and more in love with her.

I guess I was excited! I think that if I had had to be there more than a night, I’d have implemented some of the suggested sleep techniques.

What was your experience of the maternity ward? Were you able to sleep?