In all the excitement with the arrival of their new bundle of joy, many women neglect their own needs, both emotional and physical. Your body has been through quite a roller coaster ride with fluctuating hormones and along with the physical toll of childbirth, a new mom is often a tired basket of nerves. After all, you are an adult; you should be able to handle it, right?! If only it were that simple!
Ironically, the needs of a woman who has just given birth are much greater than the needs of a newborn as the mother needs emotional support as well, not to mention her need for rest to regain her strength.
Get plenty of rest
This may be a good time to mend fences with your mother-in-law if you have trouble in that department because you’re going to need all the rest you can get! Babies come with their own time clocks, so getting your eight hours of sleep will slowly become a distant memory; taking a nap when the baby is asleep may be your only salvation.
In the first few weeks of your baby’s arrival, help around the house, especially if you have had a C-section, can go a long way in the recuperation process. If you can be relieved of your domestic responsibilities at this time, it will give time for your body and mind to heal after the major surgery.
Address your baby blues
If you are experiencing mood swings and crying bouts with little to no provocation and if your husband is walking on egg shells around you, you may have a case of the baby blues. Just know that how you are feeling is perfectly normal and that in all likelihood it will last only for a few weeks.
If these feelings persist and continue to intensify, don’t hesitate to consult a professional who can help you cope with these unexpected emotions.
Pay attention to your nutrition
A new mother’s body must be nourished with healthy meals that include items from all the food groups. This is irrespective of whether the mother is breast-feeding or not. Do not stop your prenatal vitamins right after your baby’s birth. Allow your body to adjust to the recent changes and continue your prenatal vitamins for at least six months.
If they cause you to have constipation, your body’s iron needs have changed so you may be able to switch to a low iron form if you desire. Make sure to get a variety of different foods while maintaining a healthy caloric and fat intake. Do not go on any kind of diet in your zest to regain your pre-pregnancy figure; if you are breast-feeding, this can impact your baby severely.
Every new mother experiences an adjustment period during which time she must learn to deal with the somewhat sudden changes her body and lifestyle are going through. So don’t be hard on yourself; you aren’t the first and you certainly won’t be the last. Everything as you know it is different now; so don’t let pride stand in your way. If you need help just ask for it.