Post childbirth, taking care of yourself is as important as taking care of your baby. A nutritious diet, ample rest, and a strong support system will better equip you to take care of your little one.
Get ample rest when you can
- Sleep when the baby sleeps and wake up when s/he wakes up. Newborns need to be fed every two hours, which could mean you barely sleep in the initial weeks. Therefore, try to squeeze in sleep whenever possible.
- In the initial weeks’ post childbirth, your only aim should be to feed the baby round-the-clock. Leave the rest of the duties – like putting baby to sleep, changing diapers - to someone in the family.
- Try to make time for yourself. A hot shower, a stroll around the neighbourhood will make you feel better.
- See if body massages work for you. Massage is known to relax the muscles and relive stress. A good time to start a massage routine is when the stitches heal. However, speak to your doctor about it first.
- If you have too many family members and friends visiting, don’t worry about entertaining them. If you need to take a nap, go right ahead.
- Try to stay out of stressful situations.
- Be sure it is hygienically prepared, pasteurized, well cooked, clean and fresh so that you prevent falling ill or getting an infection. That will only upset your parenting activities.
- You would need to continue with your breastfeeding diet. A good diet will give you the strength and energy to take care of your baby. It will also help in the healing process.
- Ensure that you eat green leafy vegetables that are rich in iron important for haemoglobin formation and replace some of the blood loss during child birth.
- Avoid beans, peanuts and cruciferous vegetables (cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower etc.) and sodas that produce gas. This gas can affect breast milk leading to the baby becoming colicky.
- Drink 8-10 glasses of water every day so that there is good milk flow as water is the chief component of milk. Juices, milk, curds, ice cream and water ice are all forms of water that contribute towards your fluid intake.
- Space your meals and don’t stuff yourself with food, thinking it will increase your milk supply. Instead, eat when you are hungry in a peaceful calm atmosphere.
- Don’t bother about the weight loss right away. You need this time to heal. Moreover, with the aches and pains, now is not the time to think of hitting the gym. Give your body time, and as you begin to feel better, you can slowly start exercising.
- Take your supplements as recommended by the doctor. Supplements will help bridge any nutritional gaps.
Have a support system
- Ask your family to help with household chores. This is not the time to fret over unwashed utensils in the kitchen sink or a pile of laundry in the bathroom. Assign the job to someone in the family. You should not exert, as your body needs to recuperate and heal at this time.
- If possible, hire a nanny. While as a new mum, you must be surely excited to do everything possible for your little one, you could share the duties with a nanny. This would give you time for yourself. You could use this time to spend with your spouse or family or better still – catch up on that sleep!
- Having a support system around can also lighten the mood. After a long day with the baby, having someone to talk to or share a laugh with would make you feel better.