Despite the fact that you are not working and are on maternity leave, being a new mom is a full-time job. However, as much as you are accountable for your children’s needs, you must also look after yourself. It is very important that you maintain your health.
Between the changes to your body, the sleep loss from late-night feedings and diaper changes, and the possibility of postpartum mental health difficulties, it may seem impossible to prioritize your wellness. It’s easy to feel angry and alienated, as if every day is a struggle, yet taking care of your health may make your life as a new mother easier and more enjoyable.
What Does Wellness Mean For New Mom?
While wellness includes being physically fit and healthy, there’s more to it than just that. It’s taking care of your social, mental and spiritual health as well.
The choices you make for your wellness affect your family as much as they do you. They affect your ability to cope with day-to-day problems, and they directly affect your child and his or her development. For example, two lessons I learned the hard way:
- What you eat will go into your breastmilk. I love hot sauce and spicy food. I didn’t realize it would go into my breastmilk until I had to deal with a screaming baby and the resulting diapers.
- Babies learn their reactions to different stresses from you. If you cry, they cry. If they are upset and your reaction is to scream back, you can end up in a very bad cycle.
Your wellness is just as important as your children’s wellness, if not more, since their wellness depends on your own.
A mother who gets enough sleep, eats a nutritious diet, exercises regularly, keeps close friendships, and seeks help when she isn’t dealing well is far better suited to be the best mother she can be than one who doesn’t. Taking the time to exercise or get enough sleep each night is not selfish.
The first thing that springs to mind when you say wellness is exercising. Ironically, it’s the toughest part of a wellness routine with a baby. But looking after your physical health as a new mom is important for a variety of reasons:
- Your body changes a lot during pregnancy. Your hips have softened and separated, and your abdominal muscles have moved apart to accommodate your growing baby. Starting a new-moms’ exercise routine will help get everything back into its proper place.
- Regular exercise and staying hydrated also have important benefits for mental acuity and recovery, which are important when you are fighting sleep deprivation.
- “Healthy body, healthy mind” is more than a cliché; exercise is one of the best ways to fight stress and depression.
With a new family, getting to the gym will be almost impossible. However, there’s a lot you can do at home with a little clear space and just a few minutes. I’ve found YouTube to be a great resource for short at-home workouts. There are a ton of YouTube fitness channels out there, even ones that cater to moms specifically. My favorites are CafeMom Studios and Moms Into Fitness. Of course, be sure to get your doctor’s approval before starting any exercise routine.
Take Adequate Nutrition
As a new mother, your body has gone through a lot of changes throughout pregnancy and delivery. You’ll require some time to recover. You’ll need to consume a nutritious diet in addition to rest to do this. The weight gained during pregnancy aids in the formation of reserves for your recovery and breastfeeding. You must eat a nutritious and balanced diet after delivery in order to be active and capable of caring for your baby.
The majority of lactation specialists advise that you eat only when you are hungry. However, many mothers may be too exhausted or preoccupied to remember to eat. As a result, it’s critical to prepare easy, healthy meals that include options from each of the necessary food groups.
Most women want to reduce their pregnancy weight, but if you’re breastfeeding, excessive diets and rapid weight loss can hurt you and your baby. Losing the weight you gained during pregnancy can take several months. Cutting out high-fat snacks will help you achieve your objective. Focus on a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as proteins and carbohydrates. Exercise also aids in the burning of calories and the toning of muscles and limbs. If you’re breastfeeding, you should drink more fluids in addition to eating well-balanced meals.
It’s scientifically proven that our brains change when we become mothers. This means it’s especially important we consider our mental wellness. We all do our best to stay calm and to make all the right choices, but it’s not always easy. Remember to be kind to yourself. Baby brain, or Momnesia, is real, and you will have bad days. But a little mindfulness, like remembering to breathe properly can help you keep calm and better handle any problems.
I’ve also found that a little planning, preparation and routine can help. I have a checklist for before I leave the house (keys, purse, phone, diaper bag), I make a shopping list before I go to the store, and, in case of emergency I have a small bag in the trunk with some diapers, wipes, a change of baby clothes and other essentials. These things won’t stop every crisis, but they put you in better place to cope.
Keeping Baby Calm
The most helpful thing I have found for my wellness has been babywearing. There are so many benefits to babywearing. Whether it was a wrap, ring sling or a buckle sling, baby carriers were a lifesaver for me. For your baby, it’s like being back in the womb. She can hear a heartbeat, she’s warm and enclosed and can feel herself moving with you. I’ve lost count of the times my baby got upset and started crying and stopped the moment I popped her into a sling. She relaxed and snuggled in. Best of all, the closeness promotes oxytocin, increasing the parent-child bond.
A calm baby means I’m less stressed and more able to fight off baby brain. This means my baby is also less stressed and less likely to get upset. The extra bonus is I don’t have to wrestle a stroller, which has given me a lot of my freedom back.
Read also: Best Baby Bottles To Prevent Colic and Gas
It’s easier to go out, and I’m not constantly checking a stroller to make sure my baby is okay. I have both hands free if I need them. More freedom has meant it’s easier to socialize with other moms, which reminds me I’m not alone. I get adult interaction, a support network and a chance to share advice and experiences with other moms, which is key to my mental and social wellness.
Take Help From Your Husband And Family Members
We all know how crucial family and societal support is when a woman gives birth. Family and friends are relays of support for the mother around the time of the baby’s birth. Isolation is known to be a risk factor for postpartum depression. This is why the presence of the other parent or a recognized person was so vital for the expectant moms to feel supported and reassured.
One of the first things that will greatly relieve the young mother is to take turns with the baby, regularly during the day. Even a few minutes can help. Give a bottle, take care of the diaper change, keep an eye on him, comfort him when he cries. Many little things that will take you a few minutes, but that will leave the mother free to do other things and take care of herself. These are also precious moments for father to spend with his newborn!
Why Wellness Is Important
A new baby can bring a lot of joy and excitement to a family, but it can also cause a lot of exhaustion and distress. Taking a little time to look after yourself physically, spiritually and emotionally is not selfish. It has amazing benefits for you and your children. Remember, as a new mom, your baby relies on you for a great many things, not just food, cuddles and safety. You are a walking, talking example to your baby.
Reclaim your body by offering yourself treatments, ideally in an institute or at home if you don’t have enough time to be pampered. And finally, don’t hesitate to get Dad involved! Breakfast in bed, a nap, a hot bath… any occasion is good to think about your well-being and take care of yourself after the birth of your baby.
Making good wellness decisions means you will feel better; you’ll be more confident and able to deal with any problems more easily. By seeing your example, your child will grow to be calmer and happier. So, be sure to look out for your wellness, not just for your sake but for your whole family.
What are your favorite mommy wellness tips? Have any funny baby brain stories? Share them below!