Motherhood changes you. It can transform you physically, emotionally, and mentally. After nine months of carrying your baby and then giving birth, you won’t be the same inside or out. Some of the evident changes in your body include your breast shape, hip width, and even your foot size. You may also experience shifts in your emotions and mood due to hormonal changes.
So besides looking after your newborn baby, it’s vital to look after yourself and make sure you’re getting enough support. You’ll deal will several changes in your life as you attend to your duties as a mother and take care of the household. To handle all your responsibilities, you should rebuild your strength, take measures to lose baby weight, and stay healthy.
Here are four lifestyle practices you can do to bounce back after giving birth:
1) Get Adequate Rest
Before you think about losing weight right away, prioritize your body’s primary need at the moment: rest. When taking care of a newborn baby, you’ll have plenty of sleepless nights since babies have different body clocks compared to adults. Usually, newborns wake up every three hours throughout the day as they need to be changed, fed, and comforted. You may not get enough sleep for a few months.
To help you rest well, try these tips:
- Sleep when your baby’s asleep. Even if you only get to take naps, those are good for your well-being. (Having just had a baby myself, I know this is easier said than done!)
- Ask someone else to take care of your baby for a while so you can sleep longer.
- Place your baby’s bed near yours to save time when feeding them at night.
It would also be beneficial to give yourself a few baby breaks wherein you take several minutes away from your baby. Let your partner care for the baby while you do something for yourself alone such as having a cup of tea or meditating, and any other relaxing activity. Even a shower works here!
2) Provide Yourself with Proper Nutrition
As mentioned, your body goes through a lot during pregnancy and more so when you give birth. To help your body recover, eat a healthy diet and ensure that all your meals are packed with proper nutrition.
It’s common for mothers to overlook their need for healthy meals as they tend to get busy and forget that they’re hungry. To make sure you’re eating the right food at the right time, create a simple yet healthy meal plan for each week. Let your partner help you with the planning and preparation, especially when you’re busy with the baby.
Some of the essential foods you must incorporate into your postpartum diet plan include:
- Fresh Fruits
- Lean Protein
- Fish or Omega-3 Filled Foods
- Whole Grains
Avoid extreme diets requiring you to consume fewer calories than your body needs. Although you may rapidly lose weight, the diet can harm your body and affect your breast milk production.
If you want to reduce your calorie intake without compromising your nutrition, avoid high-fat snacks and switch to healthier options like yogurt or fruits. Lastly, increase your water intake to keep yourself hydrated.
3) Perform Light to Moderate Exercises
Before you try exercising, have yourself checked by your doctor to determine if your body’s ready for increased physical activity. Once you’ve been given the go signal, you can ask for recommendations regarding the best postpartum workouts.
Moreover, it’s ideal to do light exercises such as walking, and ensure that you bring your baby with you. It’ll do you and your baby a world of good to spend time together outside while you get physical and mental health benefits from walking and breathing in the fresh air.
4) Socialize With Adults
Just because you’re busy taking care of your newborn doesn’t mean you must deprive yourself of a social life. Spending time with other people like your friends, family, or partner is good for your mental and emotional health. Their companionship can help you alleviate stress and make you feel less lonely. For instance, you can have your morning walk with your baby and partner, or you can walk with other mothers in your neighborhood.
Giving birth will change not only your body but also your lifestyle. You may feel uncomfortable at first, but you’ll eventually adjust. It’s normal if you go through ups and downs—those will slowly improve over time. Embrace this new life with its thrills and beautiful memories while they still last. And don’t forget to look after your well-being and be the best mother you can be.