Nothing More Beautiful Than Holding Your Miracle
So baby is finally here. Your miracle. You took care of yourself during pregnancy and now your baby is here, out of your body and into your arms. Ahh, no time to eat right or exercise, but that is ok. It seems like there is just not enough time, in fact. Lucky if I can take a shower some days. But realistically, is this the right time to give you a break from yourself? Is it just time to focus on baby and let your body slowly adjust itself to the way it used to be? You probably have answered this question in your head. You just feel you don’t have a choice. Too much to do, too tired, maybe difficulties adjusting to this new lifestyle. We all want to be the best parent we could strive to be, no? Do you feel being the best parent includes putting yourself, your health, your physical and mental well-being high on the list? You know the list. That never-ending one. Our main priority is to take care of that precious miracle you hold in your arms, but next on the list is the priority to take care of you too. It takes adjustment, organization, time and getting rid of the guilt, haha. Taking care of you helps to make you a better parent because you are there 100% for your new baby. How can we do this when some days just seem overwhelming? Are there any seasoned parents, moms out reading this that can answer? Perhaps a good word to start is : BALANCE.
First Step: In What Area Can I Take Better Care Of Myself?
Nutritionally? Do I eat just whatever I can prepare or eat quickly? And maybe sometimes these are not healthy choices?
Physically? Haven’t exercised since the baby was born. Where does the day go?
Exhaustion? Really Tired? Getting up at night to feed baby is exhausting.
Mentally? Just feel blah, or half blah. Or maybe worse.
Stressed Out? This is a wonderful gift, to be a parent. But am I doing the right parenting?
Negatively? Negative thoughts about yourself?
And Now That I Figured That Out, What Can I Do About It?
Whether you are breastfeeding or bottle feeding you have increased nutritional demands on your body postpartum. Your body went through 9 months of nutritional push to support your baby’s growth. Even if your diet was healthy during pregnancy, a healthy diet postpartum, or after delivery is essential to recover those nutritional stores used during your pregnancy. Making sure you sit down at a table and eat a balanced meal is one key to keeping your nutritionally energy up for your baby. If you are breastfeeding, your dietary intake is even more important. Have on hand, whether at home or on the go, high nutrient dense snacks: nuts, peanut butter, yogurt, dried fruits, dark chocolate. This area is important. Will expand on this in a few days with an article on postpartum nutrition.
Out the door for a daily walk with baby? What a great way to start feeling back in shape. With your doctors ok, get back into your exercise program; swimming, biking, running. You will feel so much better just moving. Your body has physically been through a lot to have this baby, getting back into exercise is a great step to getting your body back. Patience though. It takes awhile. In France they say 9 months is about normal to get your body back to the way is was before pregnancy.
It is normal to be tired with a new baby. When baby is taking a nap, you take one too. Listen to your body. If you are tired, it is telling you to rest. Ok, the list of things to do is long; but a short power nap will help tackle the list in a more focused state.
Having a new baby is an adjustment in many ways; but also on your hormones. If you are feeling particularly blah or more than blah, talk to your doctor about it. Don’t be afraid. A good doctor will listen and help. Tied into positive mental well-being is good nutrition, some physical activity and not being exhausted. Sunlight is a great mental booster too. So is spending time with the people you love!
We all have these days. Just “stressed out”. It is an American term; but accurate. STRESS. Baby having a bad day? Teething, sick, colic? Everyone has their way to let their stress go. Remember what yours is and do it. Stress is one of those hidden killers. Stress decreases your immune function. It makes us sick or have headaches or other physical ailments. Don’t let stress get the best of you.
There is always two ways to look at the glass. Look at the glass half full. Be optimistic. Be positive. It can only help. Do you agree? We can all have negative thoughts or insecurities. Those days where you don’t know if you are parenting the right way. People telling you how to parent your child. As a parent, trust your intuition. You know your baby better than anyone.
This is a short list to remind all of us parents that we need to take care of our babies or our older babies too. Let’s take care of US too!
This article is in dedication to a family friend, Kerry. They just had their first miracle. A beautiful baby and all that comes with it! Kerry was looking for ideas on healthy choices to eat when she is not always hungry or is eating quickly. This is the beginning article, Kerry. Keep reading, promise more on postpartum and infant nutrition to come. You asked and it is coming! Bisous Bisous
By the way, here is a great book about attachment parenting. This book helps to ease your mind as a parent. The words from Dr. Sears helps us to trust our instincts as a parent. A feeling that we know our child better than anyone. Any book by the Dr. Sears team won’t disappoint. Click on the book to see more in the series.