For moms, the post-partum period is one of the most integral stages of motherhood. It usually lasts for six to eight weeks after the delivery of the baby, and ends when your body goes back to its normal state. This period is a time of adjustment for both the mother’s physical and mental health. For the first few weeks, you will need a lot of rest, support, and self-care.
Here some essential tips to get you started.
Watch what you eat
During the first two months following childbirth, most doctors suggest a daily calorie intake between 1,800 and 2,200. If you’re underweight or breastfeeding more than one baby, the number could go higher. Nutrition experts from You Are Mom recommend food rich in omega 3 and vitamin C, like oranges, seafood, and lean meat to boost the immune system. Post-partum mothers can also benefit a lot from eating collagen-rich foods such as egg whites, berries, and nuts to speed up recovery.
In general, hydration is crucial for everyone — but more so for post-partum moms. The more fluids you consume, the faster your body heals. Usually, doctors will encourage around eight to ten glasses a day, but breastfeeding mothers are encouraged to drink at least ten. This is so that their bodies can produce enough breast milk to feed their babies.
It’s very safe to begin exercising a few days after giving birth, or as soon as you’re ready. A study from University of Castilla-La Mancha found that low-intensity exercises like aerobics and walking greatly improve psychological wellbeing and decrease the risk of post-partum depression. It is also important that post-partum mums make sure they stay active, as this will reduce the chance of them getting ill. Unfortunately, the U.S. healthcare system is already stretched with Maryville University reporting that ‘the nation is expected to be short at least 100,000 family medicine doctors’ by 2025. This means that if you get ill it could be hard to get the treatment you need at the time you need it unless you are willing to travel far. Something a new mum won’t want to do. Staying fit and active is best way to avoid costly hospitals visits for illnesses related to poor lifestyle habits.
Get a hobby
Though no amount of hardships can amount to the joy your baby gives you, it may take a while before you start settling back into your normal routine again. Picking up a hobby can bring some semblance of normalcy back into your life. Make sure to choose ones that are on the relaxing side, like reading, knitting, or cooking, so it doesn’t add to your physical and mental stress.
Surround yourself with fresh scents
Using essential oils and other various scents is an excellent form of self-care. You can use aromatherapy diffusers or scented candles to keep your environment smelling sweet and fresh even after a diaper change. However, just ensure that whatever you use is non-toxic and safe for you and your baby. As a rule of thumb, always check the label if it’s approved by FDA. For more information, head over to our guide on ‘How to Keep Your Baby Safe From Toxic Chemicals’.
After nine months of dedicating your time and health for your baby, post-partum is your chance to catch up with some needed R&R. Fortunately, the U.S. has supportive policies on maternal leaves and post-partum medical coverage, so take advantage of it accordingly. Don’t pressure yourself to get back into the swing of things right away. Take care of yourself not only for your sake, but the baby’s as well.
Article written by: Shannon Fraiser
Exclusively for beematernalorganics.com