Being a mother, I know how beautiful motherhood is. It is an experience that is both joyous and overwhelming at the same time. My baby makes me feel exceptionally complete and it was love at first sight for us. However, it was not all rosy and the struggles began right after we brought her home. My life wasn’t mine anymore as she became my first priority. I wanted to be the best mother and in the process, neglected myself. Sleepless nights, regular feeding cycles and managing the house took a toll on me.
I know that a lot of you would relate to my story. Childbirth is a significant event when our body goes through huge stress. We forget that we need time to recover fully and want to get back to being ‘normal’. We ignore the fact that we need to be in good shape to handle the stress and anxieties of handling a new baby.
I came across a study that was conducted by Dr Julie Wray, of Salford University. She interviewed women at different stages in the first year after their delivery and came to the conclusion that women take one year to recover completely after childbirth. Yes, one year as opposed to the popularized time frame of six weeks.
You are in the right place if you are expecting or are a new mom. I have arrived at a few common suggestions from my own experience and after talking to a few fellow mommies.
Read along to know a few tips that may help in your recovery post delivery.
Take it slow
Many new mothers want to get back to their normal routine quickly. However, motherhood slows down the pace of life. You may feel that the baby is consuming all your time and you are not able to do much. This is normal and every new mother goes through this phase. Utilize this time to bond with your baby and recover from the delivery. Rushing back into your normal life will only upset your well-being.
Sleep, sleep and sleep
A newborn takes a couple of months to set into a daily routine. In the first few months, you will have to feed your baby every 2-3 hours which means your sleep cycle will go for a toss. Try to sneak in a nap whenever you can. Go to bed early with your baby or sleep till late in the mornings. Ask your husband to attend to the baby so that can sleep for some extra time.
Do not diet
I understand that you want to get back to your pre-pregnancy weight. Please understand that It took 9 months to gain this weight and it will at least take the same amount of time to lose it. Rushing into this will do you no good, especially if you are feeding the baby. Your body needs all that fat for nursing and will help you in faster recovery. Dieting will deprive you of the essential nutrients and only worsen the exhaustion. Focus on eating right so that you don’t put on more weight. This becomes all the more important if you had a C-section delivery.
Ask for help
It’s true when they say ‘it takes a village to raise a baby’! You may have been independent up till now but managing a baby alone is not easy. Do not hesitate to accept any help offered and if you can, ask for it. Ask your friends to get meals or babysit while you take a nap. Take your husband’s help in changing diapers or ask him to take the baby out for a stroll. If your friends want to visit and you are not in the right mood, politely decline.
Take an occasional break from the monotony of feeding, changing diapers and putting the baby to sleep. Some mothers find it difficult to leave their baby and step out from the comfort of their homes. It may take some effort and you may have to force yourself to go out on a dinner date with your girlfriends or get your nails done. However, Taking care of your body and pampering yourself is an important part of your recovery. Having an occasional downtime will rejuvenate your soul and will leave you energized.
Join a group
Motherhood is not all joy and happiness. On the contrary, it can take a toll on you and I say this from experience. Join a group if you are finding it difficult to cope up with your new role. You will get to interact with other women who are going through a similar phase and learn from their experience. Sometimes, you need to pour your heart out and know that you are not alone. Baby blues are real and can impact anyone. It is a normal part of being a new mother and joining a group can help alleviate some stress and anxiety.
Start working out once your doctor gives a go-ahead. Many women tend to ignore themselves after delivery and dedicate all their time to the baby. The aim of the exercise is not to lose weight but to uplift your mood. Start light by walking or gentle stretches and then progress to more rigorous forms like yoga and gymming. Continue your kegel exercise even after delivery to strengthen your muscles. A short 30 minutes of workout is enough and you will enjoy having some time to yourself. If you do have the help to leave your baby behind, put on some music and dance to lighten your mood.
In the end, I want to mention that every mother does the best in her capacity. This is not an easy journey but little self-care can make it simpler. Make sweet memories as this time shall not come again. With our baby and pregnancy printables, you can capture these memories and save them forever. Click here to view our products.