Undeniably, life with a newborn can sometimes be exhausting for a new mum.
More often than not, you find it impossible to get enough rest or pay attention to your health and wellbeing in those first few demanding months. Your newborn takes all the attention.
When you arrive home with your newborn baby, as a new mum, you are mostly concerned with the feeding and sleeping of your baby and forget to take care of yourself. But as all-consuming as caring for your baby can be, it’s important to take care of yourself too.
Besides, your body needs rest, a steady supply of vitamins and minerals to recover from childbirth.
Moreso, nutrition especially is important for breastfeeding – as you’re breastfeeding, your baby is relying on you for crucial nutrients.
That’s why you need to make healthy choices as a new breastfeeding mum because you will need the extra nutrients and energy to look after your growing baby.
Particularly since your body is just recovering from childbirth, it’s essential you exercise patient, start small and make healthy choices.
That way, your body will have the energy needed to produce milk and function well.
Here are some useful health and wellness tips for nursing mothers who want to look and feel their best:
- DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK FOR HELP
As a new mum, you should focus on establishing a strong bond with your newborn through breastfeeding, resting when you can, and recovering from labour or a C-section.
During the two weeks after child birth, you will need help with cleaning, laundry, meals and general upkeep of your home.
It’s important that you are able to rely on your partner, a parent or a friend to help you take care of your surroundings so that you can take care of your baby and yourself.
- Load up on fluids and fibre
Constipation is a common problem for many women after child-birth. To prevent it, drink at least eight 8 glasses of fluids or more daily.
You can also opt for fruit juices that contain important nutrients and make sure your diet contains more plant-based food that is high in fibre.
- DON’T SKIP BREAKFAST
Just because you don’t have a regular or normal schedule doesn’t mean it’s okay to skip breakfast.
Make sure that you eat a nutritious meal when you get up in the morning.
After all, you need proper nutrition to produce breastmilk.
Your nutrition should include some protein, whole grain, some fruit, veggie and something to hydrate you like water, milk or fruit juice.
- Go easy on yourself
It can take a year or more to lose the pregnancy weight because this is a time when your body is adjusting and is trying to replenish itself after the journey of pregnancy to childbirth.
So, go easy on yourself if you’re not bouncing back as quickly as you had expected.
- MAKE SMART FOOD CHOICES
Weight loss comes down to the choices you make every day. Simple lifestyle changes such as eliminating junk foods, sugar and cutting down on sodium can make a difference. Some of these foods may seem harmless but the calories add up.
- EAT MORE FREQUENTLY
If you skip meals, you may end up eating more portion than your body require.
The habit of skipping meals increases hunger, cravings and slows your metabolism.
If you don’t eat, your energy levels can drop. To prevent these issues, have at least five small meals per day.
- GET ENOUGH PROTEIN, IRON AND CALCIUM
Nursing mums need more vitamins and minerals in their diet, they are majorly important for maintaining yours and your baby’s health during breastfeeding – and to help with recovery from labour.
Focus on eating protein and iron rich foods like lean meats, fish, eggs, milk, beans, nuts and seeds.
- MAKE EXERCISE A HABIT
Regular exercise benefits people of all ages and fitness levels, including nursing moms.
So, just like everything else, it takes time and proper planning. If you work out once in a while, don’t expect results. When it comes to exercise, consistency is the key to success.
Aim for at least four weekly workouts.
- REMAIN HYDRATED
Staying hydrated is probably the easiest thing you can do to keep your energy levels up and your digestive system running smoothly
Besides, it also boosts milk supply in nursing mothers and accelerates weight loss.
So make sure that you make an effort to drink water more frequently instead of waiting until you are thirsty.
You can keep a water bottle handy or around the house to enable you to stay hydrated no matter where you are.
At the end of the day, every mother wants a healthy transition from pregnancy to child birth and after child birth –health and wellness is a primary priority for new moms.
Remember, a healthy mom makes for a happy healthy child.