The first few weeks after birthing are crucial for women to recuperate. The postpartum period is the time after you have delivered your baby and begin to return to your pre-pregnancy form. This usually takes about eight weeks.
During this period you might go through several physical and emotional changes. Some women take the time to accept the fact that they are mothers, some might get into postpartum blues, and some take the time to adjust to the new phase of their lives as a mother.
While this is the time when you bond with your baby, it is also the time when you must pay attention to yourself. Regaining your strength and vitality should be equally paramount. How do you do this?
1. You need adequate rest:
In the first few weeks, just rest as much as possible. You should be free from all the responsibilities including the daily chores. All you should do is feed your baby and take care of yourself. This is a phase when your newborn will be up once every two or three hours for a feed and would require a change of diaper. Your baby might also be up looking for you. All these account for you being by your baby most of the time. It’s totally okay to not do anything besides resting for the first three months or so.
2. Sleep as much as possible:
Given that you might have to wake up every now and then in the nights to feed your baby, you could have a disturbed sleep. You will have to make up for it at other times during the day. This means that you must sleep when your baby sleeps. It might seem to you that you are taking cat naps, but these naps will add up to the much-needed sleep. Should you have guests at home, feel free to ask them to help themselves while you retire to your room. You could make your baby adapt to getting bottle feed at night. So while you will have pumped your milk, your baby can be bottle-fed by someone in the family while you get your sleep.
3. Get postpartum exercises:
You don’t have to exercise rigorously, but it’s good to get started with mild exercises. You can speak to your health care provider as to what exercises are good for you. Breathing exercises can do wonders. Also, a thirty-minute walk will help you regain your shape.
4. Eat well:
You will be tempted to shed all the weight you gained during pregnancy as early as possible. But it’s not the time to go on a diet. In fact, you will need to eat as healthy as possible to recuperate from childbirth. A healthy diet alone is a quick road to recovery and healing. While you ate for two during pregnancy, you might still have to eat for two as long as you breastfeed.
Whatever you eat is passed on to your baby, so you need to eat to provide energy for yourself too. It is likely that you will be hungry often which is a sign that you must eat. You could, however, be too busy or tired to eat. Why not just maintain a balanced diet sheet for a week?
Simply ensure that you include a variety of grains such as barley, oats, brown rice, whole wheat, or any other cereals in your food. Include a good two portions of vegetables ranging from legumes, green/ red/orange vegetables, and starchy vegetables.
Cut down on all the junk and snacks that are high in salt or sugar. Eat a variety of fruits instead of sweets. Dairy is a good source of calcium, so you could choose dairy that is low in fat or is fat-free. For proteins, you could choose lean meats, fish, beans, nuts, and seeds. Avoid animal fats as much as possible.
It might take quite a good number of weeks and months before you lose weight in a healthy way and regain your former shape.
5. Staying hydrated:
Nursing mothers could get thirsty easily. Have plenty of water, fruit juices, and milk. Avoid synthetic juices as they contain high sugar levels and artificial flavoring agents.
6. Getting help:
Your family and friends might volunteer to help you. Accept without hesitating. You could as well ask them for help when they have overlooked offering the much-needed help! Perhaps a decent level of communication and getting things organized is the way out.
What were the measures you took to recuperate after childbirth? Write us back.
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