The arrival of a new baby can be a thrilling and delightful moment for new mothers, but it can also be a time of immense physical, emotional, and mental pressure. Amidst the new challenges, it is not uncommon to see new mothers neglecting their self-care needs.
Shockingly, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), roughly 4 in 10 women don’t turn up for a postpartum visit, which can result in severe health conditions and a higher possibility of short-interval pregnancy and preterm birth. Figures like this make it necessary for every new mother to care for themselves during the postpartum period so that they can enjoy the motherhood experience.
In this blog, we’ll discuss a few lifestyle tips that new moms can incorporate into their daily routine to prioritize their postpartum wellness and take care of themselves.
Prioritize Rest and Recovery
Following childbirth, new mothers must make rest and recovery their top priority. This involves taking ample time to unwind and rejuvenate while avoiding pushing oneself too hard.
As the postpartum phase can be challenging both physically and emotionally, it is vital to give the body time to heal and recuperate. It is advisable to strive for a minimum of 6-8 hours of sleep every night and take advantage of any opportunities to nap.
Being a new mom, you should prioritize rest and sleep during the postpartum period, as this can help you manage the emotional ups and downs that can accompany childbirth. These ups and downs are often termed “baby blues. As per the studies published in the National Library of Medicine, these feelings are likely to disappear after the first 2 weeks, but more than 14% of women still develop postpartum depression (PPD).
PPD can have far-reaching effects that can hinder a woman’s ability to return to normal functioning and also damage her relationship with her infant. Thus, prioritizing rest and finding ways to get adequate sleep can help new moms better manage their emotions and feel more equipped to handle the challenges of caring for a newborn.
New moms should also prioritize recovery by taking care of themselves in other ways. This might include gentle stretching, massage, or taking warm baths with Epsom salts to soothe sore muscles. Some women may also find relief from postpartum pain or discomfort by using heat or cold therapy, such as a warm compress or ice pack.
New moms should remember that recovery is not a one-size-fits-all process. Every woman’s body and postpartum experience is unique, and there is no right or wrong way to prioritize rest and recovery. Some women may need more time to rest and recover, while others may feel ready to ease back into their regular routine sooner. The key is to listen to your body and do what feels best for you and your baby.
Beware of Harmful Baby Care Products
When it comes to taking care of a new baby, there are countless products and gadgets on the market designed to make the process easier. However, not all of these products are created equal, and some may even be harmful to both the baby and the mother. Hence, new moms need to be aware of potentially harmful baby care products and take steps to avoid them.
One common culprit is baby wipes that contain harsh chemicals, such as fragrances or alcohol, that can irritate a baby’s delicate skin. Opting for fragrance-free and hypoallergenic wipes can help reduce the risk of skin irritation or rashes on the baby.
Some baby care products, such as lotions and shampoos, may contain potentially harmful ingredients like phthalates and parabens. These chemicals have been linked to hormone disruption and other health issues. Opting for natural and organic products can decrease the possible exposure to these hazardous chemicals.
Another area of concern is baby powder, which can be a respiratory irritant and has been linked to cancer. Talc-based baby powder, in particular, has been linked to various types of cancer in women. Various international organizations have classified talc-containing asbestos products as carcinogenic to humans. The perineal use of talc-based body powder has been classified as a possible cause of cancer in humans.
Many studies have linked the use of talcum-based baby powders by women in genital areas to the development of several types of chronic diseases, including ovarian cancer, endometrial cancer, talcosis, etc. Unfortunately, many women who have used talcum powder regularly have developed these conditions, causing them significant pain and suffering.
In response, many affected women have turned to the legal system for help. By filing a talcum powder lawsuit, these women are seeking compensation for their medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages caused by their use of talc-based body powder. To file a talcum powder lawsuit, you should seek the assistance of a qualified lawyer who specializes in personal injury cases.
According to the TorHoerman Law website, Johnson and Johnson, a leading manufacturer of talc-based body powder products, paid a settlement of almost $100 million in 2020 to resolve approximately 1,000 talcum powder lawsuits. In the same year, 22 women received a settlement of $2.12 billion to settle their talcum powder claims. These settlements demonstrate the seriousness of the health concerns associated with talc-based body powder products.
Being a new mom, you should not forget that while it may be tempting to try out the latest baby products on the market, you should prioritize the safety and health of both yourself and your babies. Being aware of potentially harmful baby care products and opting for safer alternatives can help ensure a healthy postpartum period.
Focus On Proper Nutrition and Hydration
Proper nutrition and hydration are essential for new moms’ physical and mental well-being. Having a well-balanced and healthy diet is important to recover from childbirth and provide proper nourishment to the baby. Eating a healthy and balanced diet also helps to maintain energy levels, which can be depleted due to lack of sleep and stress.
It is recommended for new moms to diversify their food intake by incorporating a range of food groups such as whole grains, lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats. Consuming foods that are abundant in protein and fiber can keep you full and help supply consistent energy throughout the day. It is crucial to avoid processed and high-sugar foods, which can lead to energy dips and impact emotional well-being.
Breastfeeding moms require additional calories and nutrients to produce milk for their babies. According to new studies, breastfeeding mothers need more nutrients and energy to support both their own health and the growth of their infants. These include essential nutrients such as protein, iodine, vitamin B12, and vitamin D that play a key role in healthy bodily functions.
Proper hydration is also crucial for new mothers. As per scientific research, during pregnancy, the body’s water needs significantly increase to accommodate the growing fetus and support its development. Proper hydration is vital for both the mother’s well-being and the fetus’s growth, as it enables the transfer of significant amounts of water between them.
Moreover, proper hydration is vital for plasma volume expansion, amniotic fluid constitution, and placenta formation, all of which are necessary for the healthy growth of the fetus. Therefore, proper nutrition and hydration are vital during pregnancy and postpartum to support maternal and infant health.
Incorporate Light Exercise and Movement
Light exercise and movement can help new moms recover from childbirth and improve their physical and mental health. Even short walks can help increase circulation, reduce muscle stiffness, and promote a sense of well-being. New moms can start with gentle exercises, such as pelvic floor exercises and kegel, and gradually progress to more challenging exercises as their bodies heal.
Yoga is another great option for new moms to incorporate light exercise and movement into their daily routines. There are many yoga classes specifically designed for postpartum women, which can provide a supportive environment for new moms to connect with others and share experiences.
Swimming is a low-impact exercise that can be particularly beneficial for new moms recovering from childbirth. The buoyancy of the water can help reduce pressure on joints and muscles while still providing a great cardiovascular workout. Swimming can also be a great way to bond with your baby, as there are many baby swim classes that offer opportunities for moms to interact with their infants in the water.
Dancing is another fun and effective way for new moms to incorporate light exercise and movement into their routines. Dancing can be a great way to boost mood and energy levels and can also help improve balance and coordination. There are many dance classes specifically designed for postpartum women, such as babywearing dance classes, which allow moms to dance with their infants in carriers or slings.
ACOG suggests that breastfeeding women should engage in regular aerobic exercise, which can enhance their cardiovascular fitness without any adverse effects on milk production, composition, or infant growth. On the other hand, these mothers should feed their babies before exercising to avoid engorged breasts and ensure proper hydration before starting physical activity. This information indicates the significance of including light exercise and movement in a postpartum wellness routine.
Prioritizing postpartum wellness is crucial for new mothers as it can greatly affect their physical and mental well-being.
By following these lifestyle tips, such as getting enough rest, staying hydrated, eating a balanced diet, exercising, and seeking support, new moms can take care of themselves and ease the transition into motherhood.
Taking care of oneself is not a luxury, but a necessity, and prioritizing self-care can lead to better overall health and well-being for both the mother and baby.