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3 Simple Ways New Mothers Can Manage Post-Birth Health

By AK, 2 June

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During pregnancy, every expectant mother is advised to be safe and take care of their body while waiting for their bundle of joy to arrive. You can never be too careful about your limitations as an expectant mother, and once your baby has been born you will still have to be able to take care of your body as it continues to change over time.

As a new mother, taking care of your body will be just as important to you as it will be for your baby. Caring for your body soon after your baby is born will be a new experience and a process. Recent studies now show that discharging new mothers and their baby just hours after birth is harmless. Going home soon after birth will allow you and the baby to settle in at home, bond and receive care in a less upsetting environment.

Don’t worry if you are kept in the hospital for sometime after the baby is born. Normally, hospitals will offer constant care to new mothers for several days and sometimes weeks at a time depending on the situation.

The post-birth period normally lasts six to eight weeks. During this period, new mothers will progress both physically and emotionally. These gradual changes allow your body to heal and shed surplus water. Also returning to its non-pregnant state is your uterus. It shrinks back to its pre-pregnancy size during this time.

With all these changes happening to your body, the postpartum period can be very stressful. In most cases, new moms are too focused on playing their role as a parent that they forget to take care of themselves.

To rebuild your strength, you need to take care good care of your body and your mind. Here are a few things you should do to ensure your body bounces back to its pre-pregnancy state smoothly.

1Maintain a healthy diet

With pregnancy and childbirth comes along multiple body changes. However, your body does not snap back to its post-baby state immediately after delivery. You will have to be able to adopt a healthy diet to promote the healing and recovery of your body over a period of time. It is important that every new mom implements a healthy diet to ensure both you and your little one are healthy.

It is very easy for new moms to forget to eat and choose sleep over food due to exhaustion, but lactation experts recommend that you eat whenever hunger creeps in. The healthy pounds you put on are actually crucial for the healing of your body and breastfeeding your baby. Whenever you decide to eat, be sure that your plate includes some of these foods:

  • Grain products such as foods made from wheat, oats, barley, rice, cornmeal etc.
  • Proteins such as low-fat, lean meat and poultry. Be sure the protein you consume varies from time to time. Consider eating fish, peas, beans, nuts etc.
  • Vegetables such as legumes (beans and peas), starchy vegetables and any other dark green, red or orange vegetables.
  • Dairy products that are fat-free or low-fat and high in calcium would also be a good choice.
  • Fruits of any kind that are either pureed, whole or cut-up should also be part of the diet.

2Get ample rest

Most parents to newborns are often overwhelmed by exhaustion due to the late night feedings, diaper changes and comforting the baby. This means that getting the eight hours of sleep is going to be quite hard for the first couple of months. However, there are multiple ways you can try to squeeze in those extra minutes of sleep each day. Try these tips to help you get some rest:

  • Relieve yourself of chores and other responsibilities around the house. Then you can handle the baby’s feedings and taking care of yourself.
  • Implement a schedule for your baby’s nap time. When the baby goes down for a nap, then you could sleep for a bit as well.
  • After the first three weeks, you could consider bottle feeding your little one, thus allowing someone else to feed the baby as you sleep uninterrupted.
  • Let your baby’s crib be near your bed. This saves you time and lots of movement whenever you have to feed him or her.
  • Remember you are under no obligation to entertain guests in your current state. Do not hesitate to excuse yourself to take a nap, change your baby’s diapers or feed him or her.
  • Avoid staying indoors all day. Consider taking a walk or doing post-baby exercise that is recommended by your healthcare provider.

3Ask for help

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Caring for a baby often needs a lot of time and energy and could make any parent neglect some of the other responsibilities in the home.

New parents can manage on their own but having someone to help around the house can make it much easier for the parents to adjust to the new baby.

This allows the new parents to concentrate on the needs of the mom that just gave birth and the newborn baby instead of the laundry and dirty dishes from last night.

These helpers can be relatives, friends, or even a professional home care provider. A family member could be invited to the new parents’ home to stay for a couple of weeks or longer to help out with the other kids if any, housekeeping and caring for the baby and mom. Asking for help does not make you less of a mom. If you need help to be sure to ask for it.

Other ways to take care of yourself after delivery include:

  • Avoid lifting heavy loads particularly if you had a cesarean section.
  • Be sure to wash your hands every time you visit the washroom, change diapers and before feeding the little one.
  • Limit the use of stairs during the first week after delivery.
  • Ensure the baby care process is simple. He or she does not need to have a bath daily, just wipe the little one’s face, hands, feet, and diaper area daily.

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