Having a baby is an exciting time for a new mom. It can also be challenging as you navigate not only having a newborn but also the changes your body, mind, and emotions undergo. Taking care of yourself is paramount to ensure that you are able to take care of your baby. Here are several tips on how to take care of your health and wellness while you take care of your new baby.
Whether you gained the bare minimum or several pounds more than you needed, you’ll need to lose weight after the baby arrives. This is easier for some moms than others. It’s important that you not be too hard on yourself if you struggle to lose weight.
Eat healthy, nourishing foods and drink plenty of water to get your weight back to where you’d like it. After you’re given the all-clear by your doctor, ease back into a gentle and simple exercise routine.
Keep in mind that if you’re breastfeeding, your body may hold on to some extra weight in order to provide milk for the baby.
The days of a solid night’s sleep and sleeping in are behind you – at least for now. Sleep becomes a precious commodity after the baby arrives. You can get more of it by taking a few simple steps.
Start by sleeping whenever the baby sleeps. Use a sleep mask or blackout curtains if you struggle to sleep when it’s light outside.
Ask your partner to alternate with you on night wakings. You might alternate every other night, or ask your partner to get up on weekend nights while you get up on weeknights. This allows you to get a few full nights of sleep each week.
If you can afford it, you might consider hiring a mother’s helper or babysitter to stay with the baby for a couple of hours while you sleep.
Stretchmarks, extra skin, dryer skin, acne – there are a variety of skin changes that come with pregnancy and childbirth.
If your nipples are cracked from breastfeeding, massage some breastmilk or lanolin cream into them. Change nursing pads often to ensure your nipples stay dry between feedings.
You can use an eczema body wash when showering if you have eczema or sensitive skin. Massage a moisturizing lotion into your skin after showering or bathing.
Stretch marks are a scar, and like any scar, they tend to be permanent. But you can find creams, lotions or oils that can help improve their appearance and eliminate itching or other irritation.
Many new moms experience something referred to as “Baby Blues” and some experience the more serious condition, postpartum depression. Having a baby is a huge change to your lifestyle, and has physical impacts on your brain chemistry, emotions, and hormones.
It’s important to be alert to the signs of postpartum depression. While there are some risk factors that make some women more prone to the condition, it can happen to any new mom. If you experience symptoms, you should reach out to your doctor immediately for help.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help even if you aren’t dealing with Baby Blues or PPD. Ask your spouse, relatives or friends for help to lighten your load so you don’t feel overwhelmed.
Exercise is important to the recovery process once your doctor gives you the go-ahead. Easing into a gentle and simple routine will help with returning to your previous weight, as well as making you feel better mentally and physically. It can get you out of the house and give both you and the baby fresh air.
Try easy things like walks, yoga or pilates.
Taking care of yourself after you have a baby is critical. Your baby will be healthier and happier if you make yourself a priority because you’ll be better able to take care of them. And remember that you are not alone in this. Ask for help so you can take care of yourself.