4 -: Ways to Keep On Top of Your Health After Having a Baby
Life is much busier now that you have your little bundle of joy and now that you realize that your baby's needs are endless. Do you feel like you have no time for yourself? Remember that your body is healing and is in a state of recovery and you need just as much tender loving care as your little one does.
Once baby is born it is essential that you look after yourself and ask for help when you need it. After all, a healthy mom equals a healthy baby. It's imperative that you address every aspect of your life - physically, mentally and even spiritually. As your baby grows, you will grow into your new challenging role as a Mom, but try not to forget about yourself along the way. Here are 10 ways you can keep your health intact while you take on your new busy, yet rewarding role as Mom.
1. Exercise Does a "Post-Baby Body" Good
We've all heard how amazing exercise is for our bodies, but it is even more important after having a baby. Not only does it help you shed the pregnancy weight faster, it also improves your mental state while you go through the hormonal changes after birth.
You are not expected to go jogging after the birth of your baby, but you can get started on a gentle exercise plan as early as four weeks post partum. (This of course depends on what type of delivery you experienced and how much recovery is needed. Speak with your doctor) Exercise will help improve your mood, keep your heart healthy and make you feel healthier overall. Strolling with your baby is the perfect way to get started. Talk to your doctor about your exercise plan before doing anything too strenuous.
2. Ask for Help
Asking friends and family for help after having a baby is very important. You will be up night and day with your newborn so reach out to them and ask them to help with cleaning the home, cooking, laundry and watching your little one while you get some solid hours of sleep or rest in.
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3. Talking it Out
Some new moms need a little extra mental support after giving birth. With all the hormonal changes, a newborn baby and new worry, anxiety and stress added to your day, you may need to talk to someone who knows what you are experiencing. Some moms experience port partum depression which is nothing to be ashamed of. Talk to a counsellor, your doctor or talk out your feelings with someone you trust if you are experiencing mood changes, extra anxiety and depression. Just talking things out can offer some sort of relief.
4. Join a New Group
A great way to keep healthy after having a baby is to be surrounded by other moms who know what you are going through. There are numerous groups that a new mom can join and it can really help when you are feeling isolated and overwhelmed at home all day with baby.
5. Visit Your Doctor
Most moms have a six week check up after giving birth. At about three months post partum, go in to see your doctor again for an overall check-up on your health. Ask your doctor to take a blood test after you have given birth. Sometimes new moms are lacking iron and other various nutrients, or they may have issues with their thyroid. Simple blood and urine tests can help identify any issues after giving birth.
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6. Your Spiritual Connection
If you are religious and haven't had time to do your regular religious activities such as go to church or temple, make time for them again. Re-connecting with your religious activities, religious groups and strengthening your beliefs can be great for your mental health.
7. Keep in Touch with Friends
If you have lost touch with your friends since having baby, get back in touch. Being in touch with loved ones is a healthy choice as sometimes new moms feel isolated when they are taking care of baby at home all day on their own. Better yet, if your friends have babies or kids, plan play dates or group activities.
8. Keep Productive
Even though the role of mom is being productive enough, try to make time for other personal activities and projects. When baby takes a nap, finish that winter hat you were crocheting or brainstorm design ideas for your new home office.
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9. Get Some Solid Z's
Sleep. You know, that thing you are missing most these days? Do whatever you can to get some sleep. Ask a family member to watch baby while you sleep in the next room or ask your partner to do some night feeds if you are pumping or feeding your baby with bottled formula. When your baby naps, try to nap too. Sleep is what will keep you healthy, both physically and mentally.
10. Eat Well
It is easy to grab things on the fly when you have a crying newborn in the next room. Make sure you make time to eat properly and eat healthy foods. If you have family nearby, ask if they can cook you some meals that you can easily freeze and heat up when your are hungry. Try to avoid the junk food snacks and grab an apple or banana instead. Your post partum body will love you for it.
All of these healthy tips may seem easier said than done, but they can be accomplished if you start with one or two and then add on another after you have managed to incorporate the first two into your life. Look out for yourself and move towards a healthier you in your new active role as Mom to your little one.