From diet tips to taking care of your mental health, here is everything you need to know to bounce back to health after giving birth:
Women undergo significant physiological, hormonal, and psychological changes during and after pregnancy. For most, recovering to their pre-pregnancy health after childbirth requires significant additional effort in their daily lives. Here are some ideas that new mothers can include into their life in order to better regain their health.
A well-balanced diet for a breastfeeding mother is essentially identical to that of any healthy adult, except for the portion size.
Women should try to consume between 2,300 and 2,500 calories per day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (500-600kcal extra than normal diet while women are on exclusive breastfeeding).
If a new mother is not breastfeeding they do not require the extra calorie but should have a Vitamin C rich diet which will help in the healing the body needs.
Here are some tips to remember if you are breastfeeding:
1. New mothers must stay hydrated at all times. Aim to drink for eight to ten glasses of water per day.
2. Nursing mom can keep a supply of nutritious snacks on hand at all times to fulfil their cravings for sweet, instead of chips or cookies.
3. World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that pregnant and nursing women should consume 300 mg of EPA and DHA per day or more, essential vitamins and nutrients, either through eating fish or taking an omega-3 supplement. Thus, fish rich in EPA and DHA should be considered an optimal diet for nursing women.
4. Dark leafy green vegetables such as spinach, colourful ones such as carrots, and tomato are high in nutrients, particularly calcium. Additionally, they contain phytoestrogens, which may aid in the formation of breast milk.
5. Nuts, especially raw almonds, are a good source of protein and calcium that can add up in breast milk production.?
6. During nursing certain types of seafood should be consumed in moderation, as mercury is found in the flesh of majority of sea fish and can be transferred from mother to baby via breast milk. As a result, the brain and nervous system of a breastfed infant may be affected.
7. Caffeine travels in trace levels through breast milk to her infant so it is ideal to take mild to moderate amount of caffeine that is about 300 milligrams or less per day, which is equivalent to?2 to 3 cups of tea or coffee/day.
We all know experts suggest that children be breastfed exclusively for the first six months of their life. According to the WHO, breastfeeding should be supported until a child reaches the age of two, if possible.
What most of us do not know is Breastfeeding enables moms to get back in health faster as well.
It allows mothers to lose weight more quickly following birth since it requires an additional 500 calories per day to establish and maintain a milk supply. It induces contractions and returns the uterus to its usual size. Additionally, it assists in reducing the risk of postpartum bleeding, infections, anemia, and depression, as well as promoting a more cheerful mood following childbirth.
Exercise, particularly in the postpartum period, has the ability to: strengthen and tone abdominal muscles that were stretched throughout pregnancy, enhance energy, promote better sleep, and aid in the removal of any excess weight gained during pregnancy.
According to a study, light-to-moderate intensity aerobic activity (such as walking) can also aid with mild to severe depressive symptoms during the postpartum period.
In general, women who have had a normal pregnancy and delivery can resume exercise as soon as they feel ready. This can occur as soon as few weeks after delivery for some women.
If a woman has had a cesarean section or has experienced other complications such as severe vaginal tears, she should visit her doctor to determine when it is appropriate to begin exercise.
It is advisable to be active for 20-30 minutes each day to maintain a healthy weight. If they discover that twenty minutes is too long, they can reduce it to ten to fifteen minutes twice a day.?
Self-care is critical for the mental health of everyone, but it is especially critical for new mothers.
Most new mothers will experience some negative feelings after giving birth, believed to be brought on by sudden change in hormone levels, sleep deprivation, stress and fatigue. This is known as the baby blues.
However, if the symptoms are severe, lasts longer and shows no signs of improvement over time, it may be a case of Postpartum depression (PPD). Specially during this pandemic, more and more cases of PPD is being reported.
Treating these symptoms as we treat any other symptom is the first step. We need to be aware of these conditions and make sure new mothers get help from a doctor or a counsellor. Be assured, new moms can feel better with proper intervention.
Few basic tips can help improve the emotional wellbeing of a new mom:
1. Taking care of yourself is one of the best ways to relieve or prevent postpartum depression. Simple lifestyle changes taking a 15-minute break for yourself, getting some sunlight, can go a long way towards helping you feel like yourself again.
2. Lean on others for help and support. Receiving social and emotional support from others can enable you to better cope.
3. When you're feeling depressed and vulnerable, it's more important than ever to stay connected to family and friends. Isolating yourself will only make your situation feel even worse.
Giving birth is one of the most incredible experiences one's body has ever had: it carried another human within it. Each time a woman gives birth, she confronts new health issues, which raises a slew of new health concerns.
So take your time, do not rush and just hand in there. Wishing everyone a happy motherhood!