The days following childbirth are a special time for a new mom. As her body recovers she gets to know her tiny infant, and during these first few weeks, caring for the newest and most vulnerable family member will be her main priority. Once she is ready to return to her job, she will need to have all the help she can get to keep her mind focused and body energized. Here are tips for gaining strength and getting back into the workforce following the birth of a child.
1. Give Yourself Time
Though a woman’s body is designed to nurture an unborn child and ultimately give birth to that child, childbirth still takes its toll on the body. It’s okay to take your time and ease back into your regular routines. The fatigue and extra weight isn’t going to wear off fast, at least not if you take a healthy approach, and accepting this and understanding it will help you achieve the best results in the long run. Don’t be hard on yourself. Nobody else is.
2. Continue Your Vitamins
While you were pregnant, your doctor likely prescribed a regimen of vitamins to help your body keep up with the nutritional demands of caring for two. Post delivery a woman needs to continue that regimen as her body works overtime to recover from the shock of delivery and continue to provide extra nutrients through breastmilk. Prenatal plus is rich in vitamins and minerals that will help you as you build strength and become active again.
3. Eat Healthy
Taking vitamins is good, but they aren’t a substitute for a healthy diet. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables will help to restore your energy. Avoid foods high in saturated fats and limit your starches. Proteins from milk, cheese, fish and beans will help build back your strength. Spreading your meals throughout the day will help you keep up with the demands of your new child.
4. Strength Exercises
Exercise is always important, but wait until your body feels up to it. It might be a few weeks until you’re up to working out again. Fortunately, during this time your new baby is taking lots of naps during the day as his or her body prepares for the growth spurts that lie ahead. It won’t be long until the baby develops a regular sleep schedule so you can dedicate the same time each day to your workout. Once you’re ready, find a routine you like that strengthens different areas of your body, especially your core.
5. Get Out of the House
Getting out and taking walks is a great way to build energy and keep your mind healthy as well. Exercise will give you mental strength as it releases endorphins that naturally make you feel good. If you start feeling depressed, talk to your doctor. He can refer you to a mental healthcare provider or prescribe medication to help get you through this time of adjustment. It’s normal to have feelings of sadness after childbirth, but that doesn’t mean you should have to suffer through them without help. The blues will also zap you of the much-needed energy you are working hard to maintain.
6. Get Plenty of Rest
The demands of a new baby can have you feeling sleep-deprived, so take naps with your little one if that’s where you can get them. These days aren’t going to last forever, so don’t feel guilty about when you sleep, just make sure you get it.
Being a new mom is a time of learning and growing as a person. Remember to give yourself time to adjust and heal. Take good care of yourself through a proper and balanced diet, plenty of rest and dedicated time for exercise. When you feel your best you are able to give the best care to your baby.
Written by Mias Morales