Featured Image By @ivyandthefox
When your baby is born, your biggest concern is figuring out how to look after the baby. But it is very important to take some time for your own emotional and physical wellbeing, so you can actively enjoy this new phase of your life while making a full physical recovery from the birth. Staying fit and healthy after your baby’s birth is comparable to the rule of putting on your oxygen mask first – when you look after yourself, you can do your best for your baby.
Drink your water!
Giving birth and the subsequent recovery time is a dehydrating process, especially if you are breastfeeding your new baby. The cells in your bodies are mostly comprised of water, so you need to drink plenty of water to keep your cells hydrated which will make it easier for your body to heal, cleanse and maintain a steady energy level. Maintaining healthy fluid levels is also a great natural way to prevent or counteract constipation, and it can also reduce the discomfort of urinating if you have any post-natal grazing or stitches!
Choose nutrition where you can
Let’s face it – your early days with your new baby will be a fog of sleepless nights and your energy levels will be at an all-time low. So it is more important than ever to ensure that your meals are nutritious and balanced, so you can stay fueled for longer, and maintain a healthy immunity under all this pressure. Sugar loaded snacks will just aggravate the problem of flagging energy and low fibre treats will make you hungry more often and increase your risk of constipation.
Enjoy the sunshine
Going for a walk outdoors is a simple and effective antidote for cabin fever or the baby blues. Exposure to sunlight boosts your serotonin levels, helping you stay calmer and more focused. Medical experts have found there is a link to decreased sun exposure and depression.
So taking your baby for a walk in the pram is beneficial for both of you – you will enjoy the fresh air and mild exercise, while your baby will be stimulated by the sights and sounds of the great outdoors. As a bonus, a daily routine of walking outdoors will help your baby differentiate between day and night, and understand that important lesson that nights are for sleeping quietly and daytime is for more strenuous activity.
Do your best to maintain your personal grooming routine
Night and day tend to flow together when you are a new parent – you’re up during the night and it’s reasonable to want a nap during the day. A demanding baby can also disrupt your regular morning routine, so that is sometimes easier to skip your shower or even stay in your pyjamas all day. However, it is far better for your self-esteem if you set a realistic rule for yourself to showered and dressed by a certain time each morning, so you are ready for whatever else the day brings. If you are still in your pyjamas at 4pm and discover you are out of milk, getting dressed will seem too difficult; and being short of milk can feel disruptive and depressing. But if you are already dressed, you can take the baby for a walk to buy more milk. Keeping up with your regular grooming routine will help you maintain your confidence and sense of control as you tackle the new challenges ahead.
Try and establish an exercise routine
Regular exercise not only helps you bounce back from the birth – it also gives you an outlet from the all-consuming job of looking after your baby. Delegate the baby-care to your partner or a friend so you can visit the gym, play a game of tennis or go for a jog or whatever you prefer. Team up with a friend and set a regular time each day or week, so you stay motivated.
All these activities have the added bonus of helping you maintain your identity, rather than being submerged by your exhausting responsibilities as a new mum. Stay healthy, stay active and you will not only manage this newborn phase more easily, you will also enjoy it more!