Bringing a new life to this world is the most intense and life-altering experience a woman undergoes. You might find yourself feeling elated one minute and down the next. You may find sleeping difficult and experience anxiety, crying spells, and mood swings. It is easy to forget your needs as you learn to function as a changed family unit, as your whole world will revolve around your child. With all the responsibilities and expectations that come with your baby, you might feel that the only way forward is to put your needs last. However, it is crucial to regain your physical and mental strength if you wish to fit yourself into the demanding role of motherhood. To introduce you to the methods of self-care as a new mother, consider following these tips.
1. Do not Hesitate to Ask for Help:
As a new mother, you will undergo a massive transformation and may need help to make your way through the initial months. Considering you might be responsible for a job, taking care of your kids, managing household activities, etc., it might not be a great time to practice independence. To ensure your well-being and that of your newborn, advocate for your needs and ask for help where necessary.
Especially if your newborn faces a medical complication at birth, you would be too overwhelmed to determine your next steps. For instance, if your child has suffered a birth injury due to medical negligence, knock at the right door to get assistance in fighting for your rights. Birth injuries before, during, or after the delivery can arise due to the use of an improper medical procedure. If your child has suffered the same fate, contact experts at the Birth Injury Justice Center to file a lawsuit and get financial compensation from the negligent party for your child’s treatment. So whether these are the day-to-day chores or legal matters, getting help will shed some weight off your shoulders. You might feel burdened with the expectations to do it all yourself. However, know where to put a stop and reach out for help.
2. Get Plenty of Rest:
After giving birth, you have an internal wound actively bleeding and healing. If it had been external, you would prefer to take a break and rest. However, since you can not see your internal wound, it is easy to ignore it, and hence, the importance of rest.
With a newborn on board, resting is nothing less than a luxury. It might even be non-existent on your priority list since you will have your hands occupied catering to everyone’s needs. As much as the act is selfless, it might not go in your and your child’s favor. The postpartum period should be just about you and your baby and not about cooking meals or doing the laundry.
The time after birth includes physical changes and emotional turbulence that can wipe you out at the end of the day. On top of that, expectations of society to get back to work right after giving birth is the reason for high rates of postpartum depression. So give yourself time to heal and adjust to this transformation in your life before you get back to work.
3. Pack Yourself with the Right Nutrients:
Your diet is as essential for you and the baby after birth as it was before. The nutrients will give you the energy to heal and take care of your newborn. On average, most new mothers need 1,800 to 2,200 calories each day. If you are nursing your baby, add 500 calories more. Ensure the daily intake of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, such as whole-grain bread, to ensure your fiber supply. Also, ensure the supply of proteins from foods like eggs, meat, and soy products to recover from childbirth, and try getting five to seven servings a day. If you had a difficult delivery and have lost a lot of blood, consume a diet that includes iron to form new blood cells. Red meat and poultry are good sources of this nutrient, and so are beans.
In addition to taking a healthy and balanced diet, consider taking postnatal vitamins to cover the nutritional gap upon your doctor’s advice. While postnatal and prenatal vitamins have many common core elements, the postnatal vitamins also address concerns unique to the period after birth. For instance, they contain iron to treat anemia. Likewise, the vitamin D content will ensure bone health and avoid its demineralization. So whether you continue with prenatal vitamins, switch to postnatal ones, or go for the standard multivitamins, carefully weigh the health benefits and risks associated with each. Check with your doctor before starting them.
4. Shed Excess Weight:
While weight gain after birth is not uncommon, check if it is within a healthy range. If you have put up some extra pounds that make your weight unhealthy, shed them to return to normal scale.
Getting your body back to its previous shape can be a real struggle after delivery, but essential to avoid the diseases associated with being overweight, such as diabetes and joint pains. Avoid highly processed foods with high-added sugar and refined carbs to mitigate the risks. However, do not crash diet and limit your calorie intake to stimulate safe weight loss.
Moreover, as soon as your doctor approves exercise, get moving and establish a daily workout routine. Exercise has many benefits in store, and one of them is supercharging a healthy weight loss process when you combine it with good nutrition. Likewise, resistance training will help you lose weight while maintaining muscle mass and bone mineral density. Start gradually with a light walk and slowly build up to intense exercise as your body recovers.
Having a tiny human by your side is so transformative, yet caring for this delicate life round the clock is a taxing task. You will face many emotions, from deep euphoria to extreme exhaustion, and may swing between the baby blues and postpartum depression. However, by taking good care of yourself, you will feel better about the situation and more optimistic about taking care of your newborn. No matter what the magazines or social media portray, it will take time for your body to heal and for things to fall back to a comfortable rhythm. Through consistency, you will soon achieve a healthy body, a sound mind, and a refreshed soul and nail your responsibilities as a mother.