Postpartum care: Looking after yourself and baby
When you have just given birth the last thing you feel like doing is exercise or eat healthily.
It is advisable to wait at least 6 weeks after having your baby before you do any exercise that may be too rigorous and even longer if you had a c-section.
However in those first few weeks there is no harm in a small bit of walking and your baby will enjoy the jaunt too! Even just ten minutes around the block and gently build yourself up to a longer route. There are some brilliant Apps available now that help tracking your walking route. If you are in any way competitive you will have fun beating your own time and monitoring your progress.
It is important not to overdo it by sacrificing on sleep so you can exercise, a rested Mother is a better Mother!
Eating well and looking after yourself is hugely important, now you have a little one who relies on you. I personally found that once my husband returned to work, I was so busy, I was skipping meals or grabbing a chocolate bar for energy. I was really busy taking care of our baby and I was in turn forgetting to take care of me.
Try to get into a routine in the mornings, once your baby is fed and settled to sit down and make a healthy breakfast like porridge and a glass of juice. Stock up on fruit and healthy snacks like nuts, raisins, figs or seeds in a pack which are great for energy. Yogurts are a good source of energy and will fill a gap, especially with some granola and fruit thrown in.
Suggestions for lunch could be a small salad full of greens and some meat for protein like ham or chicken, and your partner can always help with dinner once he is home.
If you have never made soup now is the time to try and make a huge batch at a time that suits you and freeze it. I recommend making your own smoothies and investing in a smoothie maker. Add spinach, cucumbers and carrots to different fruits and I assure you, you will get used to the taste and you will fill a lot fuller for longer!
When you have established a good eating regime and are now able to exercise, you could start doing a daily walk.
There are many local groups for Mammy’s to join with their babies, baby massage, swimming and walking to name just a few! If you can’t find a group start one for new Mammy’s looking to get fit and looking for support, you will find lots of keen members. Having other people encouraging each other to keep fit will make the whole process a lot easier. Who knows maybe you will really enjoy walking and progress to running. You can also look to join classes when your partner is at home like spinning, yoga or if you are up for it; pole dancing!
It really is a battle when you have a new baby to find time for yourself but remember that you need to be healthy and happy for your baby!
Good luck ladies!