Your bundle of joy has arrived to complete your world and your new chapter – motherhood – will be as overwhelming as the previous one, your pregnancy. The first year for a new mother is especially challenging as you takes baby steps in the new role of being a mum. Every day is a new day, one that brings unforeseen challenges and revelations as well as much joy.
Your baby will be the centre of your and your family’s world but there’s one other person who deserves and needs as much caring – you!
A new mother needs to take good care of herself to rebuild her strength. You will need plenty of rest, good nutrition, and help during the first few weeks.
Every new parent soon learns that babies have different time clocks than adults. A typical newborn awakens about every three hours and needs to be fed, changed, and comforted. Especially if this is their first baby, parents–in particular the mother–can become overwhelmed by exhaustion. Although a solid eight hours of sleep for you may not happen again for several months, the following suggestions may be helpful in finding ways to get more rest now.
- In the first few weeks, a mother needs to be relieved of all responsibilities other than feeding the baby and taking care of herself.
- Sleep when the baby sleeps. This may be only a few minutes of rest several times a day, but these minutes can add up.
- Save steps and time. Have your baby’s bed near yours for feedings at night.
- Many new parents enjoy visits from friends and family, but new mothers should not feel obligated to entertain. Feel free to excuse yourself for a nap or to feed your baby.
- Get outside for a few minutes each day. You can begin walking and doing postpartum exercises, as advised by your health care provider.
- After the first two to three weeks, introduce a bottle to breastfed babies for an occasional nighttime feeding. This way, someone else can feed the baby, and you can have a longer period of uninterrupted sleep.
A mother’s body has undergone many changes during pregnancy, as well as with the birth of her baby. She needs to heal and recover from pregnancy and childbirth. In addition to rest, all mothers need to maintain a healthy diet to promote healing and recovery.
The weight gained in pregnancy helps build stores for your recovery and for breastfeeding. After delivery, all mothers need to eat well so that they can be healthy and active and able to care for their baby. Here are some tips to Eat Healthfully
• Grains. Foods that are made from wheat, rice, oats, cornmeal, barley, or another cereal grain are grain products. Examples include whole wheat, brown rice, and oatmeal.
• Vegetables. Vary your vegetables. Choose a variety of vegetables, including dark green, red, and orange vegetables, legumes (peas and beans), and starchy vegetables.
• Fruits. Any fruit or 100 percent fruit juice counts as part of the fruit group. Fruits may be fresh, canned, frozen, or dried, and may be whole, cut-up, or pureed.
• Dairy. Milk products and many foods made from milk are considered part of this food group. Focus on fat-free or low-fat products, as well as those that are high in calcium.
• Protein. Go lean on protein. Choose low-fat or lean meats and poultry. Vary your protein routine–choose more fish, nuts, seeds, peas, and beans.
Oils are not a food group, yet some, such as nut oils, contain essential nutrients and can be included in the diet. Others, such as animal fats, are solid and should be avoided.
Exercise and everyday physical activity should also be included with a healthy dietary plan. Don’t stress about baby fat. Baby fat is difficult to lose, especially on the lower abs. Follow a healthy diet and regular exercise regimen to lose weight but don’t obsess about it. Losing baby fat in a jiffy happens only in celeb magazines so be patient.
Include a good skin care routine to nourish and repair your skin. Dry skin after pregnancy is common. The stress, hormonal changes and tiredness that come with being a new parent can take their toll on your skin. You may have had clear skin before and during pregnancy, but break out in spots in the month or so after giving birth. Be gentle with your skin, and cleanse your face just twice a day using a mild cleanser (Epiwash Cleanser).
Well-nourished skin, heals better and reduces the appearance of stretchmarks. Epizone A, and Epizone E for adults is best for gently massaging your abdomen and other dry or affected areas.
Don’t forget People are going to want to visit and meet your new baby. Take advantage of their presence and ask for some help. Don’t be too shy to ask them to keep the baby for half an hour so you can rest. Ask somebody to take out the garbage, walk the dog, fold some laundry, or heat up some leftovers (anything they do is one less thing you have to worry about.) Don’t worry about being bossy—you’re the mom now, and “bossy” is your new middle name—it’s good practice.
Enjoy all the special moments, take pride in what you have achieved, by creating life.