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The words new mom and exhaustion pretty much go hand-in-hand. While it’s to be expected to some extent, it’s more than just a rite of passage into motherhood. There are real reasons behind your exhaustion… which means there are real solutions.


Here are 10 of the 10,687,653 reasons you might be so tired, mama:

1. Recovery from birth takes a long time

You've probably heard that it takes about six to eight weeks to recover from birth. That's sort of true—that's how long it takes for your uterus to shrink back down to its pre-pregnancy size (a process called involution). But I'll tell you that I have never met a woman who "felt like herself" again at six weeks out.

Pregnancy and birth are arguably the most intense things our bodies ever do. Recovery is about way more than a shrunken uterus—it involves every aspect of our physical and mental selves. We have to start looking at our transition to motherhood as a discovery of our new identities, not about bouncing back to some pre-baby version of ourselves.

What you can do: Heal. I know this sounds silly in its simplicity. But you would never expect someone to clean their house a few days after having surgery, or to run errands when they are getting over the flu—so why do we expect ourselves to snap out of giving birth? Pregnancy and birth are not ailments, but they are the real deal. Be gentle on yourself, and allow your body to heal.

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2. You might be anemic

It is estimated that as many as 56% of new mothers are anemia (have low levels of iron in their blood). This can be caused by pregnancy itself, lack of iron-rich foods, or bleeding during or after birth. Anemia can include a fast heart rate, difficulty breathing, dizziness and of course, fatigue.

What you can do: Talk to your provider. A simple blood test can determine your iron levels, and some supplementation and diet changes can often really help you to feel better.

3. Your brain is on high-alert

Crying is your baby's way of letting you know he needs something. Of course this method of communication is super important now, but back in our cave-lady days, it was essential for survival—baby sees bear, baby cries, mama saves baby from bear.

While bears are generally less of a risk now, our brains still respond as if they are. Research shows that when a baby cries, a woman's brain is triggered into a state of acute alertness, while a man's brain is not. This constant danger-awareness can be pretty exhausting.

What to do about it: Try meditating. A recent study found that mothers who meditated experienced a greater sense of self-efficacy, improved well-being and decreased stress. If you need some help getting started, we love HeadSpace!

4. Your work schedule is ridiculous

The average mom of a 5 to 12-year-old in the United States clocks a 14-hour work day—every. single. day. That means she spends 98 hours per week doing work and/or parenting related activities. Now add to that the work of a mother with a newborn, who wakes up every two or three hours all night long—I am exhausted just typing that.

Your work as a mom is physically and emotionally demanding—and your little boss doesn’t ever let you get a break. You may love being a mom, but that doesn’t mean you’re not overworked.

What to do about it: Take a break. Labor laws exist for a reason! Breaks are necessary for optimal functioning and mental well-being. Research indicates that even a five-minute break—when taken before you feel totally depleted—can help boost your energy levels significantly. Ask a friend to come hold the baby while you shower in peace, take the baby on a walk around the block, or #teammotherly’s favorite pastime: Target.

5. Moms multitask—all the time

Studies have found that women are better at multitasking, probably because we do it all the time. While this has proven beneficial for our survival as humans (and being able to simultaneously shop on Amazon while talking to your best friend and stopping your kids from trying to see if that cat knows how to skydive), it takes a serious toll on our brains.

Daniel Levitin, professor of behavioral neuroscience at McGill University, told Quartz that multitasking, “comes with a biological cost that ends up making us feel tired much more quickly than if we sustain attention on one thing."

What you can do: Daydream. Professor Levitin recommends taking 15-minute breaks every few hours to simply let your mind wander. Hello, daydream, believer!

6. Women physically need more sleep than men

Says science. You're welcome.

Research finds that women need about 20 more minutes of sleep than men do (likely due to all that multitasking our brains are trying to do). While 20 minutes doesn't exactly feel like a luxurious amount of sleep, it does explain why it might be hard for us to pry ourselves out of bed in the morning.

What you can do: Get into bed 20 minutes earlier. Just 20 minutes. You might be surprised by how much better you feel in the morning.

7. Breastfeeding is hard core

In general, we are pretty good at taking care of our bodies when we are pregnant, but once the baby is born we often assume our physical work is done, and revert back to our pre-pregnancy ways.

However, women that are breastfeeding are actually using more energy to make breast milk than they were to grow their babies when they were pregnant. It requires about 500 calories per day to exclusively breastfeed a baby—that's the equivalent of walking about seven miles per day!

What you can do: Chow down. If you are breastfeeding, ensure that you are getting 1800-2200 calories per day (unless your provider suggests otherwise of course). Check out some of our favorite breastfeeding powerfood ideas here.

8. Postpartum depression

While tiredness is to be expected after having a baby, research has found that women that continue to feel very tired for weeks after birth are more likely to be diagnosed with postpartum depression.

Maybe the depression is causing the fatigue, or maybe the fatigue is causing the depression—either way, if you are really tired it might be a red flag.

What you can do: Get help. Up to 25% of new moms will experience postpartum depression or anxiety. You are not alone, and there is so much out there that can help you. Speak to your provider or head to an emergency room if it's really bad.

9. Decision fatigue

Moms everywhere nod.

Scientists have discovered that we only have so much energy to devote to decision-making—once it's gone, it's gone (for the day, at least).

John Tierney wrote in the New York Times, "Decision fatigue helps explain why ordinarily sensible people get angry at colleagues and families, splurge on clothes, buy junk food at the supermarket and can’t resist the dealer’s offer to rustproof their new car. No matter how rational and high-minded you try to be, you can’t make decision after decision without paying a biological price."

Motherhood is a seemingly endless collection of decisions that need to be made. It's no wonder our brains feel like mush at the end of the day.

What you can do: Click off. Take some time to figure out what you can put on auto-pilot. For example, decide on a one or two-week menu rotation, and never stray from it. Taco Tuesday every Tuesday sounds just fine to us.

10. We don't take very good care of ourselves

You are an amazing mama to your little. But are you an amazing mama to yourself? I'd venture to argue that every mom out there could stand to prioritize herself more than she does. We get so caught up in the guilt of "are we enough?" for our kids, that we forget about being enough for ourselves.

Take care of yourself, mama. Put yourself first sometimes. I promise, your kids will be okay—and even thrive—when you do.

What you can do: WHATEVER YOU WANT! Do something (or a lot of somethings) just for you. You've got this.

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If there's one thing you learn as a new mama, it's that routine is your friend. Routine keeps your world spinning, even when you're trucking along on less than four hours of sleep. Routine fends off tantrums by making sure bellies are always full and errands aren't run when everyone's patience is wearing thin. And routine means naps are taken when they're supposed to, helping everyone get through the day with needed breaks.

The only problem? Life doesn't always go perfectly with the routine. When my daughter was born, I realized quickly that, while her naps were the key to a successful (and nearly tear-free!) day, living my life according to her nap schedule wasn't always possible. There were groceries to fetch, dry cleaning to pick up, and―if I wanted to maintain any kind of social life―lunch dates with friends to enjoy.

Which is why the Ergobaby Metro Compact City Stroller was such a life-saver. While I loved that it was just 14 pounds (perfect for hoisting up the stairs to the subway or in the park) and folds down small enough to fit in an airplane overhead compartment (you know, when I'm brave enough to travel again!), the real genius of this pint-sized powerhouse is that it doesn't skimp on comfort.

Nearly every surface your baby touches is padded with plush cushions to provide side and lumbar support to everything from their sweet head to their tiny tush―it has 40% more padding than other compact strollers. When nap time rolls around, I could simply switch the seat to its reclined position with an adjustable leg rest to create an instant cozy nest for my little one.

There's even a large UV 50 sun canopy to throw a little shade on those sleepy eyes. And my baby wasn't the only one benefiting from the comfortable design― the Metro is the only stroller certified "back healthy" by the AGR of Germany, meaning mamas get a much-needed break too.

I also appreciate how the Metro fits comfortably into my life. The sleek profile fits through narrow store aisles as easily as it slides up to a table when I'm able to meet a pal for brunch. Plus, the spring suspension means the tires absorb any bumps along our way―helping baby stay asleep no matter where life takes us. When it's time to take my daughter out, it folds easily with one hand and has an ergonomic carry handle to travel anywhere we want to go.

Life will probably never be as predictable as I'd like, but at least with our Metro stroller, I know my child will be cradled with care no matter what crosses our path.

This article is sponsored by Ergobaby. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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After quite a wait (he was born last week) Kim Kardashian and Kanye West have finally revealed their baby boy's name and it isn't what the internet was expecting.

While Kim had previously hinted at the name Robert, after her late father and her brother, the couple went with a name that makes sense given Kanye's new Sunday Services.

Baby number four for the Kardashian-Wests is called Psalm West, his mom announced via Instagram.

Psalm is the fourth child for Kim and Kanye, who are already raising 5-year-old North, 3-year-old Saint and 1-year-old Chicago.

Welcome to the family Psalm!

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Back in the day, when I saw my mom sporting a fanny pack, I cringed. I was a tween, and my mom was utterly embarrassing with her nylon belt bag. Flash forward a couple of decades and as I juggle four kids at a playground while my tote keeps slipping off my shoulder, I find myself thinking, "Maybe, just maybe, my mom was onto something."

And I'm not the only one. That's right friends, fanny packs are BACK. Why? Well, for celebs and fashion-types, it's because everything that was once old must always be reincarnated.

But for us mamas, there is one simple resounding answer: The bag is incredibly convenient. It allows us to have our hands free—to, ya know, change a diaper or put a bandage on a knee—and it also forces us to pare down the litany of items we'll throw into our purses before we head out the door. Like, those ten extra snacks or a juice box or a coloring book — the items that result in your purse suddenly weighing 50 pounds.

Oh, and this just in: You can also sling a fanny pack around your body, now. We've got options!

Is it the ultimate mom bag? Listen, we're not going to say it is. But we're also not going to say it's not. Catch our drift? And if you see yourself in a mirror while sporting your new belt bag, we dare you not to start singing, "I'm too sexy for… my fanny pack."

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Shop our favorite patterns and styles below, some of which start as low as 6 bucks.

Dagne Dover Ace Fanny Pack, $85.00

Dagne Dover Ace Fanny Pack

This just in: We all need more neoprene in our lives! We're loving the yellow lace design detail, and the fact that this one has a key clip and card holder inside, too.

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Pam & Gela Leopard Print Belt Bag, $105.00

Pam & Gela Leopard Print Belt Bag

We're just going to say it: One can never have too much leopard in their closet. This one will definitely spice up your daily jeans and t-shirt outfit.

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Herschel Supply Co. Fifteen Belt Bag, $30.00

Herschel Supply Co. Fifteen Belt Bag

Durable? Check. Fun colors? Check. Cute Herschel logo badge on the front? Check.

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Lululemon Everywhere Belt Bag 1L, $38.00

Lululemon Everywhere Belt Bag 1L


Yes, you need a sporty fanny pack, too. This one is perfect when you're heading to Saturday morning yoga.

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Sun Squad Cooler Fanny Pack, $6.00

Sun Squad Fanny Pack Cooler Grapefruit

A insulated fanny pack that keeps snacks cool? Amen!

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State Crosby Fanny Pack, $42.00

State Crosby Fanny Pack

Proof that fanny packs can be uber-hip (and sleek!) at the same time.

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No Boundaries Fanny Pack, $5.97

No Boundaries Fanny Pack

This sweet-pea pattern screams, "Spring!" and at this price, we might buy two.

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Lola Los Angeles Moonbeam Belt Bag, $28.00

Lola Los Angeles Moonbeam

We're loving the nylon fabric and cool Lola badge on this one, which also comes in black, red and maroon.

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Tee Shirt and Jeans Janie Fanny Pack, $11.99

Tee Shirt and Jeans Janie Fanny Pack

This one had us at pompoms. Oh, and that price. Sold!

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MZ Wallace Metro Belt Bag, $145.00

MZ Wallace Metro Belt Bag

Moms everywhere love MZ Wallace for their crazy parenting-friendly totes, and turns out they make an equally utilitarian belt bag in a variety of fun hues and patterns.

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Gucci Ophidia Small Suede Belt Bag, $1,390.00

What's that? You only wear designer bags? Fear not, they've adapted to the fanny pack trend (except they refer to the style as a "belt bag,") and this Gucci stunner will transition seamlessly from the park to date night.

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Clare V. Perforated Leather Fanny Pack, $299.00

Clare V. Perforated Leather Fanny Pack

The epitome of cool-girl bag brands, Clare V. has brought its chic aesthetic to the fanny pack category, and we couldn't be happier about that. We adore the perforated leather of this bag, as well as the high-contrast zipper.

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Jansport Fifth Avenue Fanny Pack, $17.00

Jansport Fifth Avenue Fanny Pack

If we're going to go the fanny pack route, we might as well go the whole way, right? Right. And nothing screams "90s!" like a Jansport bag. The good news is they haven't raised their prices too much in the past two decades.

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Nike Benassi Just Do It Fanny Pack Slide Sandal, $50.00

Nike Benassi Just Do It Fanny Pack Slide Sandal

Okay, okay, this isn't a true fanny pack per se. It's better! It's actually two amazing '90s trends packed into one perfect product. We give you... the fanny pack slide!

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Motherly is your daily #momlife manual; we are here to help you easily find the best, most beautiful products for your life that actually work. We share what we love—and we may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

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Mornings can be so rough making sure everyone has what they need for the day and managing to get out the door on time. A recent survey by Indeed found that 60% of new moms say managing a morning routine is a significant challenge, and another new survey reveals just why that is.

The survey, by snack brand Nutri-Grain, suggests that all the various tasks and child herding parents take on when getting the family out the door in the morning adds up to basically an extra workday every week!

Many parents will tell you that it can take a couple of hours to get out of the house each morning person, and as the survey found, most of us need to remind the kids "at least twice in the morning to get dressed, brush their teeth, or put on their shoes."

According to Nutri-Grain, by the end of the school year, the average parent will have asked their children to hurry up almost 540 times across the weekday mornings.

We totally get it. It's hard to wait on little ones when we have a very grown-up schedule to get on with, but maybe the world needs to realize that kids just aren't made to be fast.

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As Rachel Macy Stafford, the author of Hands Free Mama, Hands Free Life, writes, having a child who wants to enjoy and marvel at the world while mama is trying to rush through it is hard.

"Whenever my child caused me to deviate from my master schedule, I thought to myself, 'We don't have time for this.' Consequently, the two words I most commonly spoke to my little lover of life were: 'Hurry up.'" she explains.

We're always telling our kids to hurry up, but maybe, maybe, we should be telling ourselves—and society—to slow down.

That's what Stafford did. She took "hurry up" out of her vocabulary and in doing so made that extra workday worth of time into quality time with her daughter, instead of crunch time. She worked on her patience, and let her daughter marvel at the world or slow down when she had to.

"To help us both, I began giving her a little more time to prepare if we had to go somewhere. And sometimes, even then, we were still late. Those were the times I assured myself that I will be late only for a few years, if that, while she is young."

It's great advice, but unless we mamas can get the wider world on board, it's hard to put into practice. When the school bus comes at 7:30 am and you've gotta be at the office at 8 am, when the emails start coming before you're out of bed or your pay gets docked if you punch in five minutes late, it is hard to slow down.

So to those who are making the schedules the rest of us have to live by, to the employers and the school boards and the wider culture, we ask: Can we slow down?

Indeed's survey suggests that the majority of moms would benefit from a more flexible start time at work and the CDC suggests that starting school later would help students.

Mornings are tough for parents, but they don't have to be as hard as they are.

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If you've ever shopped at Vineyard Vines you know two things. One, it's simply adorable. Like, the stuff that Nantucket dreams are made of. Stripes, checks, plaids and pinstripes in soft pastel hues for the entire family. Even the dog.

And second, you know that in order to achieve such a crisp, cool East Coast vibe that will look oh-so-perfect in your professionally-shot family photo you'll have to pay. Nope, that wee whale logo is not cheap, folks. How much are we talking? In the range of $50 for a boys button-down shirt or $70 for a girls madras dress (to be fair, it does have flutter sleeves and holy cannoli it might just be worth the price tag!). The good news is that we can verify the quality is top notch—my two sons regularly receive my nephews' hand me downs and even after being worn by four boys, they're still in top-notch condition.

Needless to say, for those of us with a penchant for prep on a tighter clothing budget, the news of Target's Vineyard Vines collaboration was music to our ears. We've actually tried the product and we're drooling... over the styles, the quality and the prices! Comprised of more than 300 pieces, the collection is priced from $2 to $120, with most of it costing below $35.

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Let's say it together, friends: Yassss!

Check out our favorite pieces for the whole family below.

Vineyard Vines for Target Women's Sleeveless Ruffle Tie Waisted Midi V-Neck Dress

Price: $35

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Vineyard Vines for Target Baby Ruffle School of Whales Sleeveless Bodysuit

Vineyard Vines for Target Baby Ruffle School of Whales Sleeveless Bodysuit

Price: $12

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Vineyard Vines for Target  Boys' Short Sleeve Polo Shirt

Vineyard Vines for Target  Boys' Short Sleeve Polo Shirt

Price: $16

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Vineyard Vines for Target Men's Striped Swim Trunks

Vineyard Vines for Target Men's Striped Swim Trunks

Price: $25

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Vineyard Vines for Target Girls' Striped Scoop Neck Romper

Vineyard Vines for Target Girls' Striped Scoop Neck Romper

Price: $20

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Vineyard Vines for Target Toddler Boys' 1/4 Zip Pullover Sweatshirt

Vineyard Vines for Target Toddler Boys' 1/4 Zip Pullover Sweatshirt

Price: $16

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Vineyard Vines for Target Women's Blue One-Piece Swimsuit

Vineyard Vines for Target Women's Blue One-Piece Swimsuit

Price:$35

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Vineyard Vines for Target Women's Women's Gingham Long Sleeve Shirtdress

Vineyard Vines for Target Women's Women's Gingham Long Sleeve Shirtdress

Price: $35

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Vineyard Vines for Target Throw Blankets & Pillows

Vineyard Vines for Target Throw Blankets & Pillows

Price: $25-$30

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Vineyard Vines for Target Pet Accessories

Vineyard Vines for Target Pet Accessories

Price: $6-$11

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