I’ll be honest. Shortly after having my son, I had troubles navigating through the many challenges that motherhood is synonymous with. Be it breastfeeding, sleepless nights, the shift in hormones or healing from childbirth, adjusting to my new identity as a mother was a joyful yet overwhelmingly difficult burst of change for me to digest.
If you notice closely, doctors primarily focus on the many bodily changes during pregnancy. However, once the baby is born, it’s all about him or her! A mom’s overall wellness, then, slowly fades to the background.
When that happened to me, I sought to find comfort in the company of other women, who were adjusting to a life with a newborn just like me. I believed together with them, I could hover around the various experiences revolving around motherhood.
It was seven weeks after Shlok was born that I decided to meet a small group of moms at a local café. Meeting them made me realize that each mother is unique with her own set of challenges, experiences, limitations, and expectations. It felt soothing and reassuring to talk at length about my bodily and emotional transformation with them. With time, such conversations over coffee or even a lunch at someone’s house materialized into key ways that helped us take care of our own selves in a manner like no other.
Here are my tips on ways that you, as a mother to a newborn, can easily include in your daily routine with your baby.
Nurture Your Body
Remember that during this time, you will need energy. With the baby around, and being caught up in meeting your demands as the primary caregiver, often leads to times when you forget about feeding yourself or simply taking care. But, that’s wrong! During breastfeeding, lack of adequate nutrition could mean a halt in lactation and we don’t want that, do we? Talk to your doctor about optimizing your nutrition. Keep healthy snacks handy. Maintain a proper diet, which could be a mix of proteins, carbs, and fats, and trust me, you will feel fabulous and this constant surge of energy that helps uplift your mood as well.
Work Out to Take Care of Your Body
Exercising also helps big time. Walking helped me. I would take my baby and go out for walks right before my husband left for work. It was very difficult at the outset. I couldn’t gather the energy to walk. That came as a surprise because; during pregnancy, I would walk for at least an hour a day. There were days when my husband had to push me back home as I was so tired. But, I didn’t give up. I would diligently go for those walks and eventually, it worked for the better.
It was a wonderful time for us three to bond, as well. It was a refreshing start to my day and my relationship with my baby and husband. You should try it. Avoid vigorous exercise right after childbirth. It is known to increase the cortisol levels, our stress hormone.
It’s okay to ask for help when you need it. No one is going to judge you for that. Constant stress and mood swings are normal reactions. These are triggered right after childbirth and may last up to ten-fifteen days. You don’t need to get self-conscious or breed any guilt about this! They could be your hormones or many emotional changes that you, as a new mother, are going through. Accept yourself. Talk to your partner, bare open to your family and friends who become a strong ladder of support during this time. If you have concerns, you could go to your doctor and talk about it. Relax!
Stay Social, Don’t Detach Yourself From Others
I was the first of my friend’s circle to have a baby. I also had to take a maternity leave, at a time when my career was at its peak. This not only meant a huge transition in life but also in my relationship with others. Parenthood meant no Friday nights or Monday blues but what helped was connecting with this group of lovely moms socially, playgroups in my area and building a relationship with moms in my residential complex. Motherhood at the very outset can get very lonely and biting. Don’t let that happen to you. It is essential that you stay happy for you and your baby as well as your partner, who is also well adjusting to this new life just like you are. Make the choice to think positive, build a network and also help others who could be feeling the same way just like you are.
This post is solely for informational purposes. It is not intended to be a substitute for medical advice. You should seek the advice of your doctor before taking up any new treatment.