The postpartum period, or the period after childbirth that usually lasts between six to eight weeks when the body has not yet returned to its pre-pregnancy state, is a challenging time for new mothers. Drastic lifestyle changes to accommodate a newborn baby can sometimes be too overbearing, resulting in unrest, fatigue and even depression in extreme cases.
To ensure a relatively stress-free recovery period, read on for the following three essentials that will help you get through the first few months:
A baby’s sleep/wake times contrast with those of adults. An average newborn tends to wake up every 2-3 hours, making a solid 8 hours of sleep every night impossible and causing restlessness along with fatigue. Adapt your sleep times to the baby’s to get the maximum amount of shut-eye and keep the baby’s bed near you to save up on sleep-time. Do not hesitate to take naps during the day while the baby sleeps. Even a few minutes at a time will make-up for the much needed rest lost from multiple nightly interruptions and day-long baby care. Long periods of confinement can take a toll on one’s mental health, so make it a point to go outdoors for a few minutes each day, most preferably by yourself, to relieve stress. Furthermore, remove yourself from all household responsibilities as much as possible -including obliging yourself to entertain the streams of congratulating guests-and focus on taking care of yourself and your baby.
2- Get the Right Amount of Nutrition:
A healthy diet is imperative in promoting fast healing and full recovery. While the weight gained during pregnancy serves as a useful energy store later on, maintaining the right diet is still essential. Therefore, do not avoid eating whenever you are hungry. Cut down on sugar and carbohydrate rich snacks and add whole grain foods, leafy green and orange-red vegetables. Also add fresh and dry fruits and dairy products to your diet for a well-functioning digestive system and to maintain iron and folic acid levels along with necessary vitamins.
Adequate amounts of exercise will help you remain active during and after the postpartum period. It is advised not to overdo it though, no matter how quickly you wish to lose the baby weight. For the first few weeks, take short 5-10-minute walks, slowly increasing the time as the weeks progress, adding light post-natal exercises to your daily regimen in order to lose weight speedily and effectively.
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