Every woman expects that their pregnancy will take a toll on their body, but not everyone is prepared for the mental exhaustion that comes after. Indeed, it’s not always easy to keep a great level of wellbeing after childbirth. There is also the risk of developing postpartum depression, which the Office on Women’s Health notes is experienced by one in nine new moms. While most feel the “baby blues” a few days after childbirth, some of the symptoms of postpartum depression—such as restlessness, fatigue, and negative thinking—can persist for more than two weeks.
Fortunately, moms can take care of their general wellbeing after childbirth and prevent the onset of conditions like postpartum depression. These are five easy ways you can do that:
This is a collaborative post.
1. Make time for rest
As a new mom, you might find it hard to get some rest especially when the little one cries for you. Remember that you can only take care of your baby to the best of your ability if you’re in the best state to do so. That is, if you’re well-rested and in good physical and emotional place.
I wrote down some of my best tips in ‘Solutions Against Insomnia, And How to Sleep Well’, so check it out! Some of the things you can do as a mom are to actually make time for your sleep, create an environment conducive for sleep, and stay off screens before bedtime. There are also experts who suggest co-sleeping with the baby, but make sure you do it safely so your little and you too only get benefits out from it.
2. Prioritize good nutrition
Food : nothing like it to boost your wellbeing after childbirth ! New moms need a balanced diet, filled with carbohydrates, protein, and fat. Also the vitamins and minerals you need in small doses, like iron and vitamin D.
If you’re struggling to figure out what to consume, a good resource is MyPlate.gov. You can go to Life Stages and find the ‘Pregnancy and Breastfeeding’ sections, which will show you what your plate should actually look like during this time in your life.
3. Increase physical activity
Getting physically strong will help you recover faster, so you can run around after your baby. Exercise is also an effective way of releasing happy hormones that can stave off feelings of depression and boost your wellbeing after childbirth.
You don’t have to go to the gym to increase physical activity. One easy way to sneak some exercise in is to go for a walk in the park with your baby, which can be good for their health, too. Even 15 minutes a day will do wonders for your cardiovascular and mental health. And when you’re in the house, try doing a few strength-building exercises while you do chores, like squats and lunges.
4. Give yourself words of affirmation
Self-talk, especially pep talks, can be an effective way to keep your mental health in-check. According to a SymptomFind.com article, humans feel inspired by positive quotes and affirmations. This can lead to a positive shift in one’s mindset and positive actions toward achieving certain goals you may have set yourself.
New moms can rely on this self-talk through challenging moments in this new phase of their lives. Even saying “I can do this” to yourself a few times each morning will help you believe that you can actually do it! If it makes you feel silly, try writing it down in a place you can see it, like your mirror, or using an inspiring quote as your phone’s wallpaper.
5. Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Asking for help doesn’t make you a bad parent — it’s actually the opposite. You admit that you can’t do everything on your own and other people can help so that you’re providing the best possible environment for you and your baby.
There are some useful tips from Mom.com on asking for help, like reaching out to experienced moms for tips on how to shop for the baby’s needs. Some more ideas include allowing your family to cook for you instead of rejecting their offer and asking your partner to watch the baby so you can get some rest. This takes a lot of honesty and acceptance that you can’t do it all and that other people actually want to help you.
Being a new mom is a challenging role but it’s possible to keep your general wellbeing in check. Follow these tips, from resting adequately to admitting you need help, to better care for yourself and your baby.