Post Natal Health After Having a Newborn
Congratulations on becoming a new parent. As you’ve already started to experience, having a newborn means experiencing a whole new set of challenges. While your child will take up most of your time, you must continue to focus on your health so you can be the best parent you can be. Here’s how you can take care of your health after having a newborn.
Rest When You Can
Your nights are going to get interrupted, so it’s important to get the rest you need whenever you can get it. To ensure you get enough sleep as a new parent, sleep when your baby sleeps. Remember, he or she will be waking up every few hours, so you shouldn’t plan to get a full night’s sleep. Instead, rely on the fact that you can nap during the day when your child doesn’t need you.
One thing new parents do too often is try to take care of everything on their own. Even if you have a partner that does half of the work of caring for your child, you both might not have enough time left over to take care of yourselves. You should never hesitate to ask family and friends for help, especially while your body is healing. Your family can prepare meals and help care for any other children you have in your home.
Eat Healthy Meals
Whether you’re breastfeeding or not, you must continue to eat healthy after your child is born. Maintaining a healthy diet will help you keep your energy levels up. When you were pregnant with your child, you were eating for two, which means you increased your calorie intake.
You’ll also require about 500 additional calories per day if you’re breastfeeding. However, new parents must stick within a reasonable calorie range, especially if they want to lose that baby weight. If you’re not sure what your calorie range is, consider speaking with your doctor so you can healthily lose weight. You should also consider counting calories and eating more fruits and vegetables.
Eating healthy meals might be easy, but controlling cravings between meals isn’t something to take lightly. During pregnancy, your hormones likely gave you uncontrollable cravings, but now that you’re getting less sleep, your body might force you to eat more junk food throughout the day.
If you feel yourself getting hungry, reach for carrots instead of chips. You should also keep healthy options available at all times so you don’t have to put any work into your snacks when you’re already exhausted.
If you truly want to control your cravings, add more protein to your diet to keep you feeling fuller for longer periods.
Avoid Sugary Drinks
Everyone loves a good sugary drink, including soda, smoothies, milkshakes, and even juice. However, these drinks aren’t as healthy as they might seem. If there’s added sugar in your drinks, it’s time to look for a healthy alternative. Sugar might give you a boost of energy, but it’s short-lived, and then you’ll have to deal with the crash later on. So instead of feeling even more exhausted, consider opting for a healthier drink, such as fresh-pressed juice, skim milk, and water.
Vitamins are always a healthy choice, but new moms have higher nutrient needs if they’re breastfeeding. New parents could continue to supplement their diets with vitamins even if they’re not breastfeeding to help them keep their mental clarity, focus, and energy.
Talk to your doctor to find out when it will be safe for you to begin exercising again. When you first get back into the routine, try not to do a strenuous workout. Instead, consider taking a walk around your neighborhood before you get back into vigorous training. Even though you might feel tired just about all the time right now, it’s important to continue to keep your body moving. Exercise can help you feel more energized throughout the day.
Taking care of your physical health can help you lose the baby weight while keeping your energy levels up, but you’ll need a way to manage your stress. With lack of sleep and all of the challenges that come with having a new baby in the house, you’ll be dealing with a lot of chaos. You must find time to focus on your mental health and put yourself in a calm and collected state of mind.
Meditation can help you remain calm all day long, and it doesn’t have to take up much time. You can meditate while your baby is napping or as soon as you wake up so you can start the day on the right foot.
As a new parent, you’ll need to get better at planning every detail of your life if you want to squeeze in any time for yourself. Whether you need a half-hour to work out or ten minutes to meditate, you should start planning your days. While babies make most plans fall through, you can get into the habit of planning your tasks for the day even if you can’t accurately predict when they’ll get completed. For example, sometimes you might have to meditate in the afternoon even though you prefer to do it in the morning.
Don’t become obsessive about planning; instead, simply make a task list for the day and try to accomplish as much as you can. If you don’t finish every little thing, try not to stress too much. There are only so many hours in a day.
Take Care of Medical Conditions
Even if you work out and eat right every day, that doesn’t always mean you’ll be in perfect health. Whether you have a new or existing medical condition, you must follow your doctor’s instructions after your baby is born so you can continue treatment. For example, if you have an essential tremor, you can talk to your doctor about how often you should put on your wearable treatment device. Similarly, if you’re diabetic, you can talk to your doctor about what to eat.
Having a newborn means having new, challenging responsibilities. Of course, your baby is going to be your number one priority, but that doesn’t mean you should stop taking care of your health. Even though it might be difficult to find time to care for yourself, it’s a necessity that allows you to stay healthy and energized so you can properly take care of your child.
Marné Amoguis holds a B.A. in International Business from UC San Diego. She is a contributing writer at 365businesstips.com where she loves sharing her passion for digital marketing. Outside of writing, she loves traveling, playing music, and hiking.