Everybody plans for a healthy and happy pregnancy. From eating double cheeseburgers to drinking gallon after gallon of milk, the intention is to provide a healthy environment for the soon-to-be baby. And when the big day nears, squats and Kegel exercises take center stage in preparation for the big event.
Like during pregnancy, planning and taking care of yourself post-birth is essential. But what about afterward? The postpartum period can be a roller coaster of emotion, from the joys of being a new mom to the physical and hormonal changes that childbirth brings.
So, here are some tips for new moms who want to utilize the little leftover energy to take care of themselves.
1. Don’t Let Your Addictions Relapse:
Some women fight unhealthy addictions like alcoholism and smoking during pregnancy; if you’re one of them, great job! But don’t stop there. Just because the baby is out of the womb doesn’t mean you can relapse into old habits. Plus, postpartum depression tends to trigger a relapse. Take the time to find healthy coping strategies to help you stay sober and smoke-free.
Find peers who understand your struggles and stay connected to them. If you think it’s getting too much to handle, consult the experts at www.delphihealthgroup.com for behavioral health therapy and other resources to get help and lead a healthier life.
2. Squeeze the Most from Nap Time:
Let’s face it; you’ll only get so much sleep with a new baby. But that doesn’t mean you have to skimp on your health. During those precious moments, the baby naps, do something for yourself! If you can grab a quick nap, great. Otherwise, do a few of your favorite exercises or stretch out with yoga to give your muscles and joints some love.
When trying to sleep, put away your phone, turn on some calming music, and close your eyes. Make sure the room is dark and cool. If you can’t sleep, try other activities such as reading, journaling, or painting.
3. Eat Healthily:
It may sound like a given, but eating healthily is essential for any new mom. Keep healthy snacks around, like apples and nuts, so you can grab them when hunger strikes. Some essential vitamins for new moms include calcium, iron and Vitamin D. Make sure you’re getting these important nutrients in your diet, either from food sources or a prenatal vitamin.
Also, ensure to stay hydrated – dehydration can significantly cause fatigue and lack of energy.
As for breastfeeding moms, Brewer’s Yeast, sesame seeds, lean meats, and leafy green veggies will increase your milk supply without making you feel bloated. Plus, the satisfaction of a well-fed baby is worth it!
4. Take Care of Your Mental Health:
Having a new baby can be overwhelming. Some mothers also complain of feeling isolated and lonely. When these feelings strike, don’t be afraid to reach out and talk to someone. It could be a friend, a family member, or even an online support group. You could also try some yoga or meditation to help clear your mind and find calm.
Socializing and getting out of the house can also do wonders for your mental well-being. If you can’t meet up with a friend, try going for a walk in the park. It will give you some fresh air and a much-needed break from being indoors all day.
5. Go for Regular Ante-natal & Post-Natal Checkups:
New moms need to go for regular checkups to ensure that their bodies are healing properly and that there are no complications. An ante-natal checkup will look for signs of postpartum depression, infections, or any other issues that can pop up after childbirth. Similarly, a post-natal checkup will monitor your progress and make sure everything is healing correctly.
Your doctor may also be able to provide additional resources for physical or mental health concerns. If you can’t take time off for a visit, find virtual healthcare providers that can schedule a checkup at home.
6. Address Physical Concerns:
Post-delivery bleeding is normal, but it can be exhausting for new moms. Make sure to take care of your physical needs. Change pads often and make sure the area is clean to avoid infections. Pain is also common after childbirth and can be managed with a few simple steps. Keep the area dry, wear comfortable clothing, and avoid activities that strain the area.
If you’re a breastfeeding mom, get a nursing bra and ensure you’re comfortable. It will help prevent chafing and itchiness, which can be pretty uncomfortable.
7. Make Contraception Your Best Friend:
Your libido will come back eventually, but make sure you take precautions. Make contraception your best friend, and talk to a doctor about the right type of contraception for you. If you plan to get pregnant again, your doctor may recommend waiting a certain amount of time before trying again. It is because having a baby too close together can be hard on your body. Hence, giving yourself enough time to recover before trying again is important.
Moreover, using condoms or dental dams will protect you from fungal infections and other post-delivery complications by limiting the spread of bacteria during sexual activity.
8. Take Care of Your Lower Back:
Relaxin, the hormone that loosens your joints during pregnancy, stays in your system for six months after delivery. It can make everyday activities like carrying and lifting difficult and uncomfortable. To avoid putting unnecessary strain on your lower back, use proper technique while picking up objects or doing chores. Start with the feet slightly wider than shoulder width and bend at the hips, not your waist.
New moms should also try to incorporate strengthening exercises into their daily routines. For instance, glute bridges, hip thrusts, and squats can help strengthen your lower back muscles.
9. Get Help When Offered:
Having a baby is no easy feat. Don’t be afraid to ask for assistance from family or friends. If someone offers help, take it! Whether it’s someone offering to cook for you, clean your house, or take the baby for a walk – it will all be very much appreciated. Getting help can also give you a much-needed break to rest and recharge.
You can also alternate sleeping with your partner so that one can get some rest while the other takes care of the baby. It will help ensure that both of you get enough sleep, which is essential for a healthy post-delivery recovery.
As a new mom, you’re probably fighting two battles—trying to get rest and trying to stay awake. You may reach for caffeine or energy drinks to make it through the day. But try and practice self-care by getting as much rest as possible and cutting yourself a break if you’re feeling exhausted. It’s not uncommon to feel overwhelmed right after giving birth. But it’s important to give yourself the time and space to care for your needs. Remember. Prioritizing your needs shouldn’t trigger guilt.