Being pregnant and giving birth are two of the biggest changes a woman’s body can go through. If you’re a new mum, you’re going to need some time to get adjusted to the new lifestyle, no matter how fit you used to be. Your world is changing, and while you’re learning to take care of the baby, you also have to learn to take care of yourself. Staying healthy should be your priority, even though it seems that the baby should come before everything and anything else. When you start doubting prioritizing your health, remember that a happy and healthy mother means having a happy and healthy baby.
1. Pay attention to breastfeeding. Breastfeeding is a healthy and natural process, but it doesn’t mean you can be careless about it. What you eat affects how much milk you make and how healthy you and your baby are. Even though you don’t have to follow any kind of special diet for breastfeeding, you should avoid certain things. Traces of what you eat can be found in your milk, meaning that they’ll definitely reach your baby’s tummy.
Keep track of what you eat, then see if your baby has any sort of reaction to your milk. If they’re not putting on weight, has digestion problems, it might be that they’re having an allergic reaction to whatever is in your milk. Thus, by paying attention to your own diet and staying healthy, you’re also directly making sure your baby stays healthy too.
2. Stay hydrated. Staying hydrated is important on a regular basis, but becomes a must when you’re a new mum. Water does wonders for our bodies, as it helps our inner organs function optimally, gives us more energy, and even clears our skin. Drinking plenty of water can help your body heal faster and will definitely make you feel more like yourself again.
Whatever you do, stay away from sugary drinks. Sodas might be tasty, but they don’t do you any good. All you’re doing is ingesting sugar you really don’t need right now. If you’re used to drinking soda and just can’t stand the blandness of water, try taking it one step at a time. For example, you can infuse your water with some mint or lemon. This way, you’re making the drink tastier while also giving yourself an extra boost of energy,
3. Exercise (lightly). Even though exercise might be the last thing on your mind right now, it can be extremely beneficial for your health. By exercising lightly, you’re teaching your muscles to work again and you’re gradually building up your strength. It’s going to be hard in the beginning, but just sitting around will make things even harder. For example, a daily walk with your baby will do you a world of good.
As your body heals, you can even move on to home workouts. In fact, there are a ton of mummy and baby exercises that you can try. This way, you’ll be bonding with your little one while also doing something good for yourself. Even though they won’t really understand what’s happening, they’ll know they’re having fun with their mum. When you’re ready, you could even join a mummy exercise group or start going to the gym. Even just yoga or pilates could be exactly what your body needs to recover.
4. Focus on your diet. The best way to rebuild strength and stay healthy is to focus on your diet. You’re going to need to eat a lot of healthy things now that your body is recovering. Vegetables and lean meats should make up most of your diet.
The biggest problem with any type of whole-food diet is that it requires a lot of prep and cooking time that you simply don’t have. In fact, that’s the main reason most new mums give up on their new diet entirely. Instead of stressing yourself out and putting pressure on yourself because of your diet, try looking into alternatives. For example, having healthy meals delivered to your address could be the perfect solution. You wouldn’t have to put in the work, but you’d still get the diet your body deserves to be healthy and strong.
5. Get some sleep. Regardless of whether you want to hear it or not, you need more sleep. It seems that it’s impossible to get some quality shuteye when the baby is still small, but you need to figure out a way where you can actually get some rest. Not only is your body exhausted from giving birth, but you also have to keep getting up at night to breastfeed.
One way to ensure you can catch some z’s is to build a routine for your baby. Teach your baby that naptime as at a certain hour each day. Soon enough, they’ll fall asleep by themselves at that hour and you’ll get to nap, too. One other idea is to have Dad or someone else close to you spend some quality time with the baby while you lay down and get some rest. Being away from the baby for an hour or two isn’t going to harm either of you, but will do wonders for your health.
As you can see, you’re going to have to do a lot to get into your new routine. Living a healthier lifestyle isn’t a decision you make once. It’s something you have to decide every day, multiple times. There’s no doubt that you’re going to have some ups and downs while trying to fit your health along with everything else in your new life, but with willpower, motivation, good organizational skills, and hard work- nothing is impossible.