Once you’ve given birth to a healthy baby, chances are there is one thing on your mind: the health and wellbeing of your newborn. Nothing else seems to matter. It’s a natural response, one which is central to being a great parent, but it’s important to put things in perspective.
Think about it this way. If you’ve ever been on a commercial flight, you know that, in case of an emergency, adults should secure their oxygen mask before doing so for their kids. It sounds counterintuitive at first glance but makes sense upon further consideration; small children depend on healthy and cognizant adults for their safety and security. As much as parents instinctively place the lives of their kids before their own, their wellbeing is instrumental in achieving that goal.
With this in mind, new moms should stay focused on their health while taking care of their newborn. By doing so, they further ensure the wellbeing of their baby.
Getting back into shape after giving birth needs to be a top priority for new moms. While looking great in a postpartum bathing suit is a powerful motivating factor, the push to exercise post-pregnancy is crucial for health and wellbeing. In particular, regular exercise can help prevent postpartum depression. Moms might think it’s impossible to fit a fitness routine into their lives while taking care of a newborn, but this isn’t true; 30-minute workouts five times a week is an adequate amount of exercise. New moms will find they can easily squeeze in a half-hour of exercise most days of the week.
Eating healthy foods post-pregnancy is a great way to shed those extra pounds. It also helps new moms have the energy they need to keep up with the array of responsibilities of motherhood. An optimum postpartum diet consists of a variety of superfoods. These include beans, blueberries, lean beef, and low-fat dairy. Other superfoods to incorporate into your diet include leafy greens, eggs, and whole-grain cereal.
Most pregnant women know to anticipate having difficulty sleeping after giving birth. An infant’s wants and needs come at all hours of the day and night, interrupting sleep and making it hard to fall back asleep. The best strategy for avoiding postpartum insomnia is to sleep when the baby sleeps. While this is not a foolproof approach, synchronizing your sleep patterns with those of your newborn is an effective method for getting as much sleep as possible. This ensures new moms can reliably recharge their batteries while simultaneously being present during their baby’s waking hours.
Maintaining your mental health and wellbeing while taking care of a newborn is essential. In addition to preventing postpartum depression, efforts to maintain your sanity helps to stabilize energy levels, and reinforce your capacity to be an attentive mother. Remind yourself to take breathers as often as possible; while it may seem like there’s no time to relax, make time by postponing household chores for 30 minutes to an hour. Take the opportunity to sit down and catch your breath. If grandparents or other family members are available, ask them to watch your baby for a night if they’re game to do so. Even having them look after your newborn for an afternoon can be substantial. You can go take a walk or simply watch the sunset. Little efforts to stave off burnout will go a long way in protecting your sanity and taking the best care of your newborn.
New parents tend to have tunnel vision when it comes to what matters in life; their children and nothing else. But it’s important to remember to look after yourself. By doing so, you work towards taking better care of children of all ages.