The first 6 to 8 weeks with a newborn are the hardest for most mothers. But while you strive to remember every little thing your baby needs, please don’t forget about your own requirements.
Your needs matter
As a first-time mother of a newborn, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. As much as your baby’s needs seem endless, keeping your own needs in mind is beneficial to both you and the baby. Taking some ‘me time’ is important for your mental health. Avoid the heavy lifting and house work and refresh yourself with a hot bath or a cup of hot chocolate from time to time.
The correct kind of food is a mood booster. Don’t get obsessed about losing weight. Eat a diet rich in Protein, Omega-3 and Iron to fuel your body. Don’t drastically cut down on Carbs since they are essential for new mothers not only for breast milk production but also for mental health and hormone regulation. What you can cut down on is your caffeine intake; limit it to a maximum of 300mg per day.
Once your medically prescribed bed rest is completed, exercising regularly can be a big help. It is a great stress reliever and helps to prevent postpartum depression and gives you more energy. Daily walks are an excellent way to begin your postpartum fitness routine. Also try some exercises that focus on the back and abdominal muscles, which are crucial, but stop immediately if you feel any pain. And make sure you keep a water bottle nearby to stay hydrated.
Make time for yourself
Take advantage of your baby’s nap time. Do what you like best. Eat your favourite food or watch your favourite show. Or catch up on sleep when your baby is in dreamland. Also, don’t think twice about capitalising on family offers. If naani or daadi is willing to watch your baby, it will give you some time to catch up with friends or curl up with a book or even organise an impromptu date night.
Work as a team
Remember that you and your partner are in this together. It’s comforting to know that if either partner needs some alone time, the other is ready to take over for a while. A little sunshine and a walk can lift your spirits. Even the smallest forms of intimacy, such as a hug or a few words of reassurance, can go a long way.
Being a new parent is difficult, but having your loved ones nearby makes the journey easier and more enjoyable. You may be nervous at first, but in a few weeks you will have mastered it. We wish you and your baby a healthy journey.