Becoming a mom, whether it’s for the first time or the fifth, can be a very stressful time in a woman’s life. Besides the nearly universal challenges of getting sufficient sleep and managing a household while caring for a newborn, many women also face additional health challenges such as postpartum depression, chronic pain, and nutrient deficiencies.
Establishing healthy habits from the beginning can help new moms manage these health issues or even prevent them altogether. Read on to learn about five healthy habits that new moms should practice to maintain their well being as they care for their new baby.
1. Eat Whole Foods
If you’re like most new moms, you’re probably eager to lose the weight you gained during your pregnancy. Instead of obsession over calories or weighing every gram of food you consume, a good way to shed excess weight without adding extra stress to your life is to simply focus on eating mostly whole foods.
When your diet is comprised of whole, nutrient dense foods, you’ll feel satisfied and will be less likely to turn to sugary or salty processed foods.
Remember that the goal here is to eat mostly whole foods; it’s not to be perfect. Sometimes, a processed snack is all you have on hand, and that’s fine. But, try to make nutrient-dense foods a priority as much as possible. Keep fresh fruit and vegetables on hand for snacks, and meal prep proteins like chicken, hard-boiled eggs, or ground beef so that you can quickly throw meals together.
If your budget allows, you can also buy prepared meats and pre-cut vegetables and fruit to make things even easier.
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2. Find Easy Ways to Move
Many new moms feel a need to jump back into exercise as soon as possible after they give birth. It’s important to remember, though, that your body needs time to recover. Forcing yourself to exercise before your body is ready could actually do more harm than good.
Until you feel truly ready to do more intense forms of exercise, focus on making movement easy and restorative. Stretch gently, go for a walk outside, or put on some music and dance with your baby. Exercise should be a stress reliever, not another source of stress while you’re adjusting to being a parent. Don’t make it harder than it has to be.
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3. Take a Daily Multivitamin
Nutrient deficiencies are common among new moms, especially those who are breastfeeding. In order to get all the vitamins and minerals you need for ideal health, make a habit of taking vitamins for women each day.
Some women take the same prenatal vitamin that they took during their pregnancies. But, if you’re breastfeeding your baby, it’s better to take a multivitamin that is geared toward your specific nutritional needs.
Multivitamins for nursing moms have greater amounts of vitamin D and B vitamins. These vitamins are essential for promoting overall health and ensuring that your baby gets the nutrients they need from your breast milk.
4. Drink Water
It seems so simple, but lots of new moms forget to drink enough water. Hydration is essential, not just for overall health, but also ensuring you can produce enough milk for your baby.
Try to drink between eight and twelve eight-ounce glasses of water each day. If you drink coffee or caffeinated tea, try to shoot for closer to twelve glasses, as these drinks can be dehydrating.
If you have a hard time remembering to drink water, try filling up a large water bottle at the beginning of the day and place it in an area you spend a lot of time in — such as the kitchen or on a table in the living room. Set a goal to take a drink from this bottle every time you walk by it.
5. Be Kind to Yourself
Finally, make a habit of saying nice things to yourself. It’s easy to get down on yourself as a new parent, especially when you’re inundated with women on social media who seem to have it all together.
Remember that you’re not in competition with other moms, and your number one priority should be to do what makes you feel best. Don’t fall into the trap of beating yourself up for every little mistake.
When you start to feel stressed or discouraged, make a habit of stopping and reminding yourself that you’re doing your best to make sure you and your baby are healthy and happy. It might feel forced at first, but, over time, you’ll create a new habit and this affirmation will become the norm. It will soon drown out negative thoughts you may be having about yourself and your abilities.
Being a new mom is hard. There’s no getting around it. But, establishing healthy habits right from the beginning can make things a little easier and give you the strength you need to push through difficult days. Whether you’re feeling overwhelmed by new parenthood or want to be prepared for when your baby arrives, establishing these habits can make a big difference.
Hope this article was of help to you! Please share your comments/queries/tips with us and help us create a world full of Happy, Healthy and Empowered Women!!