Dr. Sunitha Mahesh, Consultant – Feto Maternal Medicine & Medical Director, Milann Fertility & Birthing Hospital, JP Nagar, Bangalore
Pregnancy and childbirth is considered to be important milestone in a women’s life. A new baby brings in a lot of joy and excitement into the family, but it also adds to causing a lot of exhaustion and stress. Traditionally, the new moms are protected and given extra care to have a smooth and blissful transition into parenthood. It is critical to “mother our mother”—to nurture them, anticipate their needs, give unconditional empathy and support in the same way as new mothers care for their new baby.
Here are 5 tips a new mother should follow in order to live a happy after birth life:
- Nutrition- Women’s body undergoes a number of changes during pregnancy and childbirth which causes both physical and mental stress to the women. After the delivery, these changes take around 6 weeks to return to normalcy. There is additional calorie requirement during lactation and new mothers need to eat a healthy and balanced diet so that she can be active and able to care for her baby. It is important to maintain a ‘My Plate’, that includes adequate proteins, carbohydrates and vitamins from all of the recommended food groups. A nutritional diet will go a long way in meeting the needs of newborn, not only in the infancy period, but also throughout the life of the child.
- Exercise Regularly- Exercises should be commenced in the pregnancy period itself. Regular aerobic exercises is recommended during pregnancy and after childbirth. For upto 6 weeks following delivery, strenuous exercises are not recommended. If you had a healthy pregnancy and a normal vaginal delivery, you should be able to start exercising again soon after the baby is born. Mother should get at least 150 minutes of moderate- intensity aerobic activity every week. The aim should be to stay active for 20–30 minutes a day. When you first start exercising after childbirth, try simple postpartum exercises that help strengthen major muscle groups, including abdominal and back muscles.
- Be positive- Parenting is a tough job. It is absolutely normal to feel sad, negative, or angry sometimes, so do not be hard on yourself about the emotional roller coaster. Focus on the things that makes you control and celebrate small victories. At times, kids may not always want hugs and snuggles, and someday they’ll go to bed without fussing. Remember you’re exactly who your child needs; no matter where you are in your parenting journey, you’re the most important person in the world to your child.
- Best clothes to wear- When picking out pieces for your wardrobe, keep in mind the patterns, prints, and mainly focus on light colours and loose fit, to be able to breastfeed properly and look more discreet. While breastfeeding, there should be close contact of baby to the mother’s skin. Look for a fabric with a little stretch for comfort.
- Reclaim your day- A mother gets so occupied looking after the baby that she forgets to carve out space for herself. Getting involved in any kind of daily activity like knitting, playing music, meditating or anything that breaks the train of everyday thought- can induce anti-oxidation and anti-inflammatory changes that combat stress in the body. Allow yourself time to play. While it can be tempting to use the time when your baby sleeps to catch up on work or chores, you can also take a few of those minutes to read, work in the garden, play with pets, bake, sew, paint, dance, sing, or anything else you enjoy.