The postpartum period begins after a mother has given birth and ends when her body has almost returned to its pre-pregnancy state, which usually takes around six to eight weeks. During the postpartum period, new mothers tend to experience a number of both physical and emotional changes, all while having to adjust to having a new baby.
For first-time moms, this also involves learning how to take care of her newborn and getting used to functioning as a larger family unit. To ensure that she has the strength she needs to cope, it’s important for a new mom to take care of herself during these crucial first few weeks.
Here are some of the best things to do to improve your health and fitness after having a baby.
#1. Get Enough Sleep:
One of the first things that you’ll quickly learn after having a baby is that newborns have different body clocks to adults. Typically, newborns will wake up around once every three hours and they’ll need to be fed, changed and comforted, which can quickly lead to the parent losing sleep throughout the night. For first-time mothers, meeting the demands of their new baby can lead to exhaustion.
But although you may not be able to enjoy a solid eight hours of sleep for the new few months, there are several things that you can do to ensure that you’re getting enough rest. One good idea is to nap whenever your baby is asleep throughout the day to catch up and take turns with your partner when getting up to feed and change the baby throughout the night.
#2. Rest as Much as You Can:
During the first few weeks after giving birth, it’s important to go easy on yourself when it comes to your responsibilities. Try to focus solely on looking after the baby and yourself; ask friends and family members to help with tasks and save yourself work by shopping for groceries online instead of going to the store.
If you can afford to, it’s a good idea to have somebody come and help you with household tasks so that you can rest and take care of yourself. And, don’t feel obliged to entertain guests – while visits from friends and family can be welcomed, don’t be afraid to excuse yourself if you need a nap or if baby needs feeding.
#3. Get the Right Nutrition:
Your body has undergone several changes during pregnancy and birth, and healing and recovery is a top priority during the postpartum period. Along with getting plenty of rest, it’s important to nourish your body with the right food to give it the best chance at a speedy and full recovery. Whether you’re breastfeeding or formula feeding, it’s crucial to eat a healthy and balanced diet.
Cooking lavish meals may not be an option when you’re busy and tired from looking after your little one, but the good news is that there are several quick, simple healthy meal ideas that will give your body the nutrition it needs. Eat plenty of whole grains, leafy green vegetables, fruits, dairy, protein and healthy fats such as nut and vegetable oils.
#4. Take Supplements:
Along with eating a healthy and balanced diet, you might want to consider taking certain supplements to boost your health and wellness. There are several supplements that you might find useful to take, from multi-vitamin tablets to immune system support.
Immutol is one such supplement, which is available from Immunocorp. Their product boosts immune function and increases your body’s natural ability to combat illnesses. It contains 750mg of highly purified Norwegian beta-glucan which activates your immune system’s primary defenders. As with all supplements, it’s a wise idea to get the approval of your doctor before you begin taking Immutol, especially if you are breastfeeding your baby.
#5. Mental Health:
Postpartum depression is a condition that affects thousands of new mothers every year. After all the physical and emotional changes that your body goes through after giving birth to your new baby, the increase in hormones, and the additional responsibility of having a newborn in your life, it’s normal to feel sad or depressed.
There’s no shame in postpartum depression, so if you’re feeling symptoms of hopelessness, losing interest in things, or anger, know that you are not alone. The best thing that you can do for both yourself and your baby is to pay a visit to your doctor as soon as possible. They will be able to recommend treatments such as talking therapy which can help you find healthy ways of coping with the big changes in your life.
In addition to all of this, as a new mom don’t try to do everything by yourself. There’s nothing wrong with asking for support from your family, friends, or by joining a local mom and baby group. After all, it takes a village to raise a child!