Having a baby opens an entirely new chapter in your life that will be filled with new knowledge, constant learning and unconditional love and care. While you’ll be spending the majority of your time watching over your newborn, making sure it’s healthy and growing well, you’ll also have to remember to take care of yourself. Only a healthy mother is a good mother, so make sure you know how to keep your body healthy after delivery.
Take it easy
In the first few weeks after delivery, it's imperative that you rest. You’ve been carrying your baby for nine months, so you’ll have to give your body some time to adjust to the new period in your life. Try to sleep whenever your baby sleeps, and don’t be afraid to ask for help from your spouse or other family members because your health and the health of your child should be imperative. Don’t feel obligated to breastfeed always. You’ll need to rest at night, so after the first three to four weeks, start giving your baby a bottle from time to time. This way, you won’t have to be the one getting up for night feedings every time. Also, don’t put yourself on a strict diet while you’re breastfeeding because that can affect the quality of your milk.
Post-delivery nutrition should be very healthy, and if you indulged in a lot of comfort food during pregnancy, now would be the best time to switch to completely healthy nutrition. Enrich your diet with iron-rich foods such as poultry, fish, meat, egg yolks, dried fruit, tofu, chickpeas, lentils, kale and enriched flours. If you’re planning to have another baby in the future, think about also supplementing your diet with coenzyme Q10 capsules because higher concentrations of coenzyme Q10 were associated with higher pregnancy rates, according to some scientists. Introduce more omega-3 fats into your diet as well, and start eating fish, such as tuna and salmon, at least twice a week.
What foods you should avoid
Avoid alcohol and caffeine after delivery. These substances can be harmful to you and your newborn, so steer clear from malt liquor beverages and any drinks containing even the tiniest bit of alcohol. Caffeine may affect the baby's growth, so avoid drinking coffee and tea as well as eating too much chocolate. Tilefish, king mackerel, shark and swordfish are the types of fish that contain high levels of mercury, which can also be harmful to your baby's growth.
Don’t rush your body
If you’ve gained more weight than you expected during pregnancy, you’ll probably want to start shedding those pounds as soon as possible. However, it’s crucial that you allow your body to heal first, and become ready for strenuous activities such as breaking a sweat. Remember that it took you nine months to gain weight, which means that you’ll need at least as long to shed all the pounds. 7-8 weeks after you’ve had your baby, you should consider taking brisk walks and staying outside for at least 20 minutes. If walking for half an hour every day is too much, think about starting with three times a week. If you have friends who are also moms, call them and bring your little ones for a dose of fresh air while all of you stroll around and shed pounds together. Mom and baby yoga classes are great for both new moms and those who’ve been enjoying the role for some time. So, feel free to join and share your experiences with other women while also working on your figure. Exercises will help you build muscle tone and strength, reduce backaches, constipation and bloating and even improve your posture.
Becoming a mom will change you in so many ways, but even if one of the ways is gaining weight, you’ll have to be patient with going back to your old physique. The most important thing to remember is to take it slow and be patient. Your health should come first, which is why you should do your best to stay disciplined and not rush anything.