The joy of holding a bundle of love so new to this world is incomparable. You’re no longer just you; you are now a mom too. And everything changes.
For the first few weeks, it’s all about survival. However, as time passes and the reality of caring for a tiny human 24/7 starts to set in, it can all become a bit overwhelming. You’re a sleep-deprived, emotional wreck of a human being. But you’re still enjoying it. You’ll now realize that PPD is a real demon that will try to take over your life.
Relax, it’s okay!
Your body underwent a massive change, and it will take some time to readjust. But the sooner you can get into a good routine, the better you’ll feel. We have a few tips for new parents to maintain their mental and physical health.
Address Your Mental Health Issues:
One in eight moms fights postpartum “baby blues.” The reason behind this is a dramatic drop in hormones after you give birth. Add to that the lack of sleep, and you have a recipe for disaster. PPD can bring spells of crying, sadness, anxiety, and even thoughts of harming yourself or your baby. Physical signs include loss of appetite and problems with recalling information.
Sadly, most mothers don’t realize they’re suffering from PPD until it’s too late. As a result, it weakens their bond with their child and spouse.
Vista Pines health is one of the best rehabs across Florida, providing dedicated support and resources to help mothers struggling with PPD. Their specialized programs are tailored to meet the unique needs of postpartum moms, helping them get back on track and reconnect with their families and loved ones. For further information, visit www.vistapineshealth.com and speak with one of their experts today.
Get Enough Sleep:
Sleep is often the first thing to fly out the window for new moms. With feedings, diaper changes, and general caretaking, it can be hard to get enough rest. However, getting 7-8 hours of sleep every night is essential. Lack of sleep can lead to needless stress, anxiety, and even depression. It can also make it harder to fight off sicknesses. If you can’t sleep well at night, try napping when your baby naps during the day.
You and your partner can switch turns sleeping so that each of you gets enough rest. Or, if you’re breastfeeding, pump milk so your partner can feed the baby a bottle while you catch up on some sleep.
Eat Healthy Foods:
It’s easy to let nutrition fall by the wayside when you have a baby. But eating healthy foods is crucial for your mental and physical health. Your body is deficient in nutrients, and you need to replenish them. Eating a healthy diet will give you more energy to take care of your baby.
Some foods specific to maintaining post-baby health are salmon, spinach, yogurt, blueberries, and whole grains. These foods are high in omega-3s. This super nutrient improves mood and cognitive function. Bone broth is also a great way to get nutrients and protein.
If you’re a breastfeeding mother, you must include semolina and fenugreek in your diet. Semolina is high in iron, and nursing mothers are at risk for iron deficiency anemia. Fenugreek is a galactagogue, which means it helps increase milk production.
Your body is physically drained after intense labor and delivery. So, it’s natural for you to avert exercise at this point. But, letting the muscles and bones remain idle for too long can lead to complications later. You must at least take a short daily walk to keep your blood flowing. You can start doing light exercises at home as your energy levels increase.
Exercising releases endorphins, which have mood-boosting properties. For new moms, this can be the difference between good and bad days.
If you’ve delivered vaginally, you shouldn’t start strenuous activity until your six-week postpartum checkup. It is to ensure that your pelvic floor muscles have adequately healed. C-section mothers can start sooner. But always check with the doctor before starting an exercise routine.
Talk to Someone:
Having a baby is a big life change, and adjusting can be tricky. Breastfeeding gives moms the hardest time as it can be painful and lead to sleep deprivation. You might feel like you’re not cut out for this.
You might feel like you’re the only one struggling, but that’s not the case. Every parent has their fair share of struggles, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of.
Talking to your new mom squad can help you work through your feelings. It’s nice to have someone to talk to so you can express your feelings. You may also get to pick some helpful tips up from other moms!
Practice Mind Relaxation Techniques:
Day in and day out, new parents are bombarded with a never-ending to-do list. You always have something on your mind, from sterilizing milk bottles to fixing a clogged diaper genie. It can lead to anxiety and even panic attacks.
To combat this, you need to find ways to relax your mind. One way to do this is by practicing meditation or deep breathing exercises. These techniques help you focus on the present and let go of your racing thoughts.
You can also try aromatic baths to help you relax your body and mind. For example, add some lavender oil or chamomile tea to your bathtub to create a spa-like experience at home.
Experts suggest that reconnecting with nature can also help reduce stress levels. So, take a walk in the park or sit in your backyard for a few minutes daily.
Protect Your Back:
You can’t resist lifting the little cuddle bug every time they cry, but all that picking up can wreak havoc on your back. So, when you lift your baby, use your legs and not your back. Squat down to pick them up instead of bending over.
It’s also important to carry your baby close to your body. It will help distribute their weight evenly and take some strain off your back.
Use a baby carrier if you need to carry your baby for long periods. It will help take some of the weight off your arms and shoulders.
It’s also recommended to shift position often when holding your baby. Don’t stay in the same position for too long, as it can strain your back.
This new phase of life will bring lots of challenges. You’ll miss sleeping for long hours, going out when you want, and having a social life. But each challenge will be compensated by giggles, first steps, and lots of love. The secret is to pay attention to yourself (and your partner) just as much as you pay attention to your baby. So, don’t forget to schedule some “me-time” or “us-time” into your busy schedule. Remember, you’re in it together!