Pregnancy and all the changes that come with it can take quite a toll on a woman's body. Now you're facing a fresh new set of challenges as you learn to take care of your newborn baby.
At this stage, it's not uncommon for women to experience some form of postpartum blues. The hormonal changes, the period of adjustment, and the fatigue can all come together to trigger postpartum depression. If you're battling with feelings of deep sadness or anxiety after giving birth, we strongly encourage you to reach out to your support system and seek the help of professionals. Your mental wellbeing is just as important as your physical health.
Even if you're feeling perfectly fine, remember that your body's been through a lot and continues to need the VIP treatment. Here are some postnatal care tips for nursing yourself back to the best of health.
- Take all the rest you can get
Feeling tired all the time? We don't blame you. After all, bringing new life into this world is hard work! Plus your newborn child requires round-the-clock hands-on attention.
Do yourself and your baby a favor by listening to your body and giving it what it needs. If you feel tired, make sure to sleep it off or take a quick nap. The more well-rested you are, the more energy you'll have to take good care of baby.
Yes, you'll be going through sleepless nights, especially during the first few months when your baby requires constant feeding. But whenever the little one's asleep, take that time to catch some precious shut-eye, too. And don't hesitate to ask help from the people around you. They say it takes a village to raise a child. Allow that village to take care of you, too.
- Take in the right nutrients
Now that your body is beginning to heal, you need the right nutrients to help fuel your postnatal recovery. Remember that healing takes energy, so make sure that you're providing your body with enough healthy, hard-working calories.
A good postnatal diet should provide you with sufficient amounts of protein. Protein is important because it helps repair your body tissues and speed up chemical reactions needed for recovery.
You also need to be taking foods rich in calcium, because your bone density may have dipped a little after pregnancy and childbirth.
Lastly, remember that you've lost a lot of blood during childbirth, so it's important to load up on iron – an essential ingredient for blood production.
To ensure that you're getting a good balance of different nutrients, eat small meals throughout the day, and take healthy snacks in between. This way, you won't starve yourself and binge on unhealthy food later on. Also, make it a point to stay well hydrated by drinking lots of water even before you start feeling thirsty.
- Take it slow
Recovery takes time and that's okay. Try not to rush the healing process. Go easy on yourself so you don't add to your stress or exhaustion.
Say no to activities that can wear you down quite easily. Get someone to help you with your daily chores. Avoid heavy lifting or any other exercise that could leave you short of breath. This means no running, jumping jacks or crunches for now. Light exercises such as Kegels or floor bridges are much better for postnatal workouts. They're easy to do and help bring the strength back to your pelvic floor muscles.
During postnatal recovery, your body goes through a lot of changes and adjustments. Every woman's body is also built differently, so it's normal for some women to heal faster than others. Try to avoid comparisons which can put too much pressure on yourself. Just take it slow, get as much rest as you can, and recover at your own beautiful, healthy pace.