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Navigating Postpartum Recovery and Self-Care: A Mother’s Guide

by Emma

The postpartum period is the time that begins right after delivery and lasts for the next six to eight weeks. Postpartum brings several physical, emotional, and mental changes, and when paired with parenthood demands and responsibilities, it often causes mothers to neglect their own needs. As a new mom, you should remember that the best care for the newborn starts with proper care for yourself, and this article will help you navigate postpartum with self-care in mind.

Prioritize Emotional Well-Being

Having a child is a massive life transformation on its own, and it is normal to experience all sorts of emotions during the postpartum period. New mums are faced with sleep deprivation and hormonal fluctuations, and for some women, this creates a path towards anxiety and depression. That is why you must dive deep into self-awareness and look for everything you need to feel calm. Also, set realistic expectations for yourself as a mother. Instead of being hard on yourself, be flexible with your goals and accept that parenthood is a learning process. Also, form your very own support group made up of close friends and family members who can understand your feelings and concerns. Of course, if you feel like your emotions are getting out of control, do not hesitate to seek professional support.

Tips for Physical Recovery

The following points will help you facilitate physical recovery during the postpartum period:

Gentle Exercise

As a new mom, you must be feeling tired all the time, and in that state, being active probably seems like the last thing you want to do. However, regular physical activity helps your body relax and have more energy for daily tasks. On top of that, exercise can help your physical recovery, and reduce the risk of postnatal depression at the same time. Early on, you should avoid strenuous workouts, but there are many different gentle exercises whilst carrying to term and after delivery. For instance, some women turn to postnatal yoga, while others choose simple walks around the neighbourhood. Also, do not forget to train your pelvic floor muscles through Kegel exercises as they were weakened during pregnancy.

Nutrition

Forming healthy eating habits should be at the top of your list of priorities since regular and balanced meals can have a huge impact on your recovery. Maintaining a healthy diet means consuming a variety of foods that include five servings of fruits and vegetables, some carbohydrates such as rice, potatoes, pasta or bread, a bit of dairy or dairy alternatives, and of course, high-quality protein that comes from eggs, fish, or meat. Furthermore, you should drink plenty of water. Have at least six to eight glasses each day to keep your body hydrated. Maintaining a healthy diet may seem too demanding during the postpartum period, especially if you’re in charge of the cooking. That is why you should be practical about it. So whenever you’re preparing meals, make a bit more than you need and then freeze the extra portions for meals you will need in days to come.

Resting

After the birth, you will experience disruptions to your usual sleep patterns, and that is sure to cause fatigue. Although some new parents find ways to manage their tiredness and move on with their day, if you are feeling so tired that you’re feeling irritable, overwhelmed, or simply low, you need to look for ways you can get some extra sleep. Some tips that can help you do so include the idea to sleep whenever your baby sleeps, even if that means you’ll have to neglect housework for a while. Next, try to go to bed as early as possible instead of staying up, regardless of the work that might be waiting. Finally, try to involve your partner more so the two of you can share a portion of the nights when the baby needs your attention.

Whether it’s your first child or not, giving birth to a baby is a challenging time for every mother. As a new mom, you always strive to do the best for your infant, which often makes you put yourself last. However, if you follow some of the tips listed above, it should be easier for you to navigate the postpartum period and experience faster recovery.

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