Motherhood is rewarding, but it is also overwhelmingly tedious and can test your patience to the limit. Here are 7 tips that will help you get some semblance of normalcy in your life, which will help you put some structure in your life and enjoy your new role as a new mom.
1. Take it Easy during the Recovery Phase
You need time and a lot of rest to recover from the hassles you had been through during labor and delivery. Like all other moms, you also will be anxious to get back to your normal self as quickly as possible. However, you need to realize that you need to give enough time for your body to heal naturally and get back to the pre-baby state. Even if you’ve had what is known as quick and complication-free delivery, you still need time to recover, before you can start doing the laundry and other household chores or start that exercise regimen you have been thinking about all along.
It is not just physical; you have to learn to adjust emotionally as well while getting used to your new role as a new mom. Now is when you should not worry about housekeeping and spend more time sleeping and bonding with your baby. Remember that the recovery time is not the same with all. While some can recover amazingly fast, for others it is a much slower process. Especially if you’ve had a C-section, you need to be extra careful and take it easy.
There’s a lot of talk about breastfeeding, not without reason. Breast milk is what gives your baby the nourishment and immunity he or she needs at this stage. Moreover, it has been established that breastfeeding has its own benefits for the mom as well. No wonder then that when moms have a time constraint (working moms) or have difficulty in lactating they depend on breast pumps to help them tide over the situation. Pumping milk and storing it for later use ensures that your baby never misses out on this amazing natural food.
Even while using a breast pump off and on, you should try to breastfeed your baby now and then. Practice makes it a lot easier to breastfeed and you’ll soon realize that it is a lot easier than you imagined. Breastfeeding ensures your baby has a steady supply of fresh unadulterated food whenever required. Alternating between the bottle (pumped milk) and breastfeeding should help you strike the right balance so that you find enough time for yourself.
3. Enjoy the Calm and Quiet Environment
As a new mom, you’ll be surprised how calm and quiet things are when you are with your baby (except for short bouts of bawling). Sometimes the little one just dozes away, allowing you to snatch a quiet moment to yourself. You may want to switch on the TV or leaf through a magazine, and the all-pervading calm and quiet have a kind of fairy-tale effect.
Moreover, a calm and quiet atmosphere will do a lot of good for your baby and the unique bonding that you share with your little one will help accrue long-term benefits when he or she grows up into an adult. What your baby needs now is a sense of security and boosting of self-esteem, which is very essential at this stage. Snuggle closer to your baby at every chance you get because all the petting and cuddling will help release oxytocin, which is a feel-good hormone that can leave you and your baby in good spirits.
4. Don’t Ignore Healthy Eating
You may have got used to a healthy diet during the prenatal stage, which would have been good during the various stages of fetal development. Now that your baby has arrived you need some extra nutrition for yourself, which will fuel the milk supply and ensures there is a steady flow. Consume plenty of fruits and vegetables, and don’t forget the grains and milk, which are a good source of the much-needed calcium.
You need to have healthy food at arm’s length and resist from reaching out for the bag of chips any time you feel hungry. Initially, you may not be able to step out to do your own shopping and will have to rely on others to replenish stocks. Soon, you’ll be able to venture out and do some shopping of your own and stock up on whatever is required. Eating right will give you the much-needed energy and also boosts the functioning of your brain. You still have enough time to think of a workable weight-loss plan using foods that you can start implementing slowly.
5. Get the much-needed Rest
There is still a lot of catching up to do and it is going to be several months before you get a good night’s sleep. However, catching those quick cat-naps whenever possible is very important so that you are not too fatigued. Try sleeping when the baby sleep’s because you can’t sleep a wink when he or she is awake. Try getting some sleep during the afternoons because sleep-deprivation can be very telling on your health.
If you are unable to get sleep during the day, at least try to get enough rest to keep you going throughout the day. For working moms, however, it is quite difficult and you can’t help but crash on the couch as soon as you get back home. Don’t worry, a bit of rest and a warm bath and the reassuring presence of your baby are enough to keep you going. Remember that this is all temporary and will pass.
6. Get a breath of fresh air
Try to step out occasionally and enjoy the fresh air and bright sunshine. You’ll be amazed what this can do to your mood. Soaking up the sun is good for you and the baby because all the Vitamin D is required to absorb the much-needed calcium. Moreover, a good dose of Vitamin D works wonders on your immune system and does a lot of good for your hormones as well. While a short stroll is ideal, just sitting in the park bench and taking in the greenery around you is a great mood-booster.
You’ll be surprised to notice that while walking outdoors you tend to cover a longer distance and the pace at which you walk is comparatively faster than walking on a treadmill indoors. Before you can hit the gym with a workout regimen, walking outdoors will do a lot of good for your physical well-being.
7. Have a Positive Perspective
The world of parenting is never easy to handle and you are not alone in this new way of life. You are likely to face difficult situations where your baby falls ill suddenly and you don’t even have the energy to have a decent shower and eat a peaceful meal. Just when you though the sleepless nights will never come to an end, you’ll find everything working out in your favor.
The good thing is difficult times never last forever. You might as well spend the time happily bonding with your baby, and the toothless smile and steady gaze are rewards that are priceless. You will ultimately slip back to your regular routine and that’s when you’ll realize all the changes were well worth your while.