The Sleeping Beauties- Executive Summary

Postpartum insomnia is a mental disorder that often occurs after mothers have given birth recently. Postpartum insomnia is not just regular lack of sleep, this disorder is the feeling of being overwhelmed and stressed in the mind, even when the body is tired. As The Sleeping Beauties we decided to partner up with Austin Prenatal Yoga and help reduce postpartum insomnia using the techniques of yoga and mindfulness to reduce stress and therefore prevent or eliminate postpartum insomnia.

To begin the process of developing our solution we sent out a survey to mothers that participate in postnatal yoga and asked questions about if they have ever experienced postpartum insomnia. More than half of the mothers surveyed experienced postpartum insomnia which indicates that this is a problem in the community. The majority of mothers indicated that the cause of their insomnia was stress, discomforts, anxiety and mentally overwhelm.

According to a study in the Journal of Perinatal Education yoga can effectively reduce stress after labor and improve general feelings of well being in new mothers. Women can practice yoga in class at Austin Prenatal Yoga, but our surveys showed that the mothers still did not sleep well, even when doing yoga. We wanted a solution to postnatal insomnia that mothers could access in the comfort of their own home to help reduce stress and allow new mothers to fall asleep and stay asleep to get the rest their bodies need.  

We were aware of many meditation videos available online to help people relax and fall asleep.  As a group we thought of the idea that we could make a video with suggestions for relaxation and meditation that specifically meets the needs of new mothers. The video would be a way for mothers to access yoga and relaxation more easily at home and not be time consuming.  The video would include meditations that mothers can listen to and follow along. We plan to make our video audio with relaxing and soothing music since we want to make mothers feel calm. We plan to have someone guiding them to meditation that has a soft speaking voice so that it doesn’t sound so harsh but is very clear so that it isn’t as difficult to understand.

We will share our video with Austin Prenatal Yoga clients by the middle of May or hopefully more soon. We hope that our video is effective and plan to test our solution’s abilities by sending the video out to mothers who attend Austin Prenatal Yoga that Ms.Young originally sent out to. We will send the video out to all the same mothers who originally answered the previous survey and from that information we would use only the information of mothers that said yes that they had experienced postpartum insomnia and that the video actually helped them. We will also include some ARS mothers to know if our solution actually worked in anyway.

We hope that our video is effective and useful for the mothers. We would know if our solution worked, if mothers see an improvement in their sleep quality and feel better about themselves. We will know if their sleep quality has improved by gathering data by sending out another survey about the video we created, and ask mothers if the video made any improvements with their sleep quality and if not to give us suggestions on how we can improve the video to make it better.

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