Once you have a baby, everyone around you will seem to focus on the cute little thing that you have given birth to, including yourself. And while the baby does deserve all the love and attention in the world, so do you! In your eagerness to be the best mommy around, do not make the mistake of neglecting your own health and happiness. Pregnancy is a very taxing time for a woman, both physically and emotionally. And it is followed by childbirth and the huge responsibility of raising another human being. Phew! I sweated a bit even while writing all that down. Don’t get overwhelmed. Motherhood is a beautiful phase provided you do not skimp out on self-care. Today I will simplify a few important steps that can make a huge difference to the quality of your life as a new mother.
- Eat well
During pregnancy, your body’s natural immunity is toned down by several notches to prevent your system from rejecting the fetus. Moreover, you spend 40 weeks making another human being from scratch. All this takes a toll on your health. After the birth of your baby, it is very important for you to eat nutritious meals that can help you to regain the lost strength and vigor. If you are breastfeeding your baby, then eating calcium-rich food will be of prime importance.
Being a busy new mom, you may not find the time to make an elaborate meal for yourself. Many a time, you might get the urge to skip a meal or to munch on an energy bar to ward off hunger. But resist the urge. Make simple meals like salads, sandwiches, or soups. Load your meals with fresh vegetables, leafy greens, and fruits. Avoid processed food as much as possible.
- Exercise regularly
You are very likely to have gained a bit of weight during pregnancy and it is perfectly alright. Now that the baby is out, you can focus on getting back in shape. Exercise regularly as it will keep you fit and healthy. Set out a fixed time, preferably in the morning for you to exercise. If you cannot enroll in a gym, then try to do stretches at home. You can also run or jog in the neighborhood park in the morning. Regular exercise will help to shed the extra weight and achieve the toned look of your pre-pregnancy days.
- Take help
There is a saying that it takes a village to raise a child. So, do not feel bad if you are finding it hard to manage everything on your own. Your energy levels are not likely to be at their peak and no one is supposed to know everything about a newborn baby. Never hesitate to ask for help.
If your husband or partner is living with you, try to share the workload with them. Remember parenting is not just a mother’s duty. You can also take help from other members of the family and even close friends who are willing to babysit or give you a hand with the household chores. Grandparents are often more than willing to spend time with their grandkids. Take this opportunity to give yourself a break from the baby work.
- Prioritize sleep
With a new person in your life, it will become very hard to get proper sleep. Babies wake up all the time and this can lead to disruptions in your sleep. In fact, sleep deprivation is one of the commonest complaints of new mommies. So, draw up a schedule and prioritize your sleep time. Do not be tempted to stay up late to scroll the newsfeed or to catch the rerun of your favorite show if the baby is asleep early. You will regret such decisions later when the baby wakes up and demands your attention. Good sleep can help to curb emotional issues like depression, fatigue, and anxiety. You will feel healthier and happier too.
- Put off new projects
You may feel that the house looks like a mess or that your job requires a change but this is a very bad time to take up new projects. It is ok if the house looks a little worn out. With a baby around, there will be stuff lying around here and there. Once the baby starts to move around, they will contribute their own clutter to the look. And you cannot freak out every time. Clear up as much as you can and do not mind the rest. If your current job is stable and the co-workers are nice, do not think of jumping jobs. You will work on your career, you will dress up your home, but once the baby is a little older and independent.
- Connect with others
Do not go into seclusion after having a baby. You will have too much to do, and on some days, work will seem to not end at all. But if you stop seeing your friends and family to make time for chores, you will get into big trouble in the long run.
Set out a separate time for you to catch up with your family and friends. Go out for a movie or a cup of coffee with your gal pals about once a week. Connecting with other new moms can be a life-saving decision. As a new mother, you will feel a plethora of emotions and only others in the same phase will be able to get those feelings. Just sharing your thoughts with others can be quite therapeutic. Try to take your child out for a walk in the stroller to a place where other parents bring their children. This can be a regular thing and the effect of natural light, fresh air, and other people can do a lot to cheer you up.
- Fix up baby-free time
Staying away from the baby can give you separation pangs in the beginning but it is much-needed for your well-being. Leave your child with someone you trust like the grandparents and go out with your partner or just alone. Even an hour of me-time will help you to relax. Spend this time doing something that you organically enjoy as a hobby.
- Visit the salon
New moms are often very low on confidence. You think you will come out looking as good as the celebrity moms but in reality, it is a lot of flab and stretch marks that you have to deal with. Well, fret not, my friend. A little patience and perseverance and you will be able to get back your previous figure. And keep in mind, that the pictures on those magazines are digitally altered. Imperfections on a mother’s body are absolutely normal and nothing to be ashamed of.
Visit the salon for a makeover. Color your hair or give yourself a new hairstyle. Some changes will help you a lot to regain your lost confidence. After all, you are going through a new phase, you deserve to have a new look.
- Visit your doctor
Do not miss your appointments with the doctor. Your body has been subjected to a sea of changes. Visit your gynecologist and get the tests done. Many complex diseases can take root if you neglect the annual check-ups. Early detection is often the key to proper resolution when it comes to diseases and ailments. Your baby needs their mother to be healthy and happy. So, do not feel selfish when you prioritize your health and wellness.
- Be easy on yourself
Last but not the least, be easy on yourself. Every mom in the world goofs up a little. Do not hate yourself for your mistakes. You love your baby and are doing the best for them. That is what matters the most. Forgive and forget the small things. Start every day fresh and reward yourself for progress.
When you become a mother, you are responsible for another life as well as for yourself. Do not let your life take a backseat. Self-care for new moms is a super-neglected area and mommies mostly feel guilty to spend time and energy on themselves. But this attitude can lead to long-term complications for you and obviously, that would not augur well for your children too. So, prioritize self-care and love yourself more than you did before. A happy mommy is the always the best mommy.