I’m nearly 7 months down the line now after having a baby. I do wish I knew some of these important tips on taking care of yourself at the start.
Once you’ve had your baby, all of your focus will of course be on them. However it’s important not to neglect your own health too. To stay energized, happy and productive you’ll need to take good care of yourself.
Here are some of the things to consider after you have just had a baby.
Get Plenty of Rest
This might seem like an impossible task when you have a newborn baby. But ensuring you get enough rest is an essential part of healing, and being able to cope with this brand new situation. You could lean on your partner or friends and family at this time. Even if they can help with cooking and cleaning, it leaves you free to focus on recovery and looking after your baby. Having too much to do could easily leave you feeling overwhelmed, and so accept help from loved ones if they’re willing to give it. This will give you more time to rest in preparation for everything you have ahead of you.
Eat Nutritious Foods
Your body will have gone through many changes in pregnancy and childbirth. To promote healing and give you energy, a healthy diet is essential. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables where you can, whole grains and lean protein. Before you give birth, you could spend some time creating healthy meals to freeze. Then once your little one arrives, you have your nutritious meals ready to go. Your body will change during pregnancy, and you might be eager to shift any pregnancy pounds that you have gained. But crash dieting or any unhealthy fads should be avoided. It can take several months to lose any weight you have gained, sticking to a healthy lifestyle plan is the best way to speed up the process.
Along with eating healthy foods, staying hydrated is paramount to your health after a baby too. If you are breastfeeding, you will need to drink extra water to stay hydrated. You should drink enough water to quench your thirst, plus a little more. You don’t have to be obsessive about it, but being mindful of how much you have had to drink and how much you need is important. Keeping a bottle of water nearby should serve as a reminder to keep sipping on it throughout the day.
Get Your Contraception Sorted
It is possible to have another baby as early as ten months after delivering. Your fertility after childbirth is likely to return very quickly, and so getting contraception sorted as soon as possible is important. Long-term methods such as the implant and IUD can be useful, as now you’re a busy parent it gives you one less thing to think about. Although if the pill works for you, there are places you can get the contraceptive pill online which can make life easier.
Ease Into Gentle Exercise
It may take a good few weeks until you feel ready to start exercising again, and if you have had a cesarean section you should wait for at least six weeks. Take it slow; your body has been through a lot and so you will need to be gentle with yourself. Going out for walks with your baby in the pram is enough to begin with. Wait until you’re fully healed and you have regained your strength. From there you can look into postpartum exercises and start a routine which works for you. Exercise is good as it can help repair diastasis which is a separating of the abdominal muscles which can occur in pregnancy and childbirth. It can also help to strengthen your pelvic floor, and provide a great mood booster/ destresser. Don’t beat yourself up if you can’t do as much as you like. With a new baby in tow it will take a while to settle down into a routine again. Everything in your life is now about them, but you will find ways to fit things in as time goes on.
Reduce Stress Levels
To avoid postpartum depression, and keep yourself happy it’s important to make sure stress levels are reduced as much as possible. Have a chat with your partner before the baby arrives. Work out what each of you will be responsible for around the house in the first few weeks. This can help you stay organized and on top of things. You could set all of your bills to be paid by direct debit so you don’t have to worry about manually paying things or falling behind. You could make sure your home is as clean and tidy as possible so that you know where everything is.
Simple things like this can make a big difference, and ensure things run smoothly in the early days.
Do you have any other tips on how to take care of your health after having a baby?