After nine months of carrying Baby and enduring labor, the small bundle is finally here. You are likely feeling excited, overwhelmed, and maybe a little nervous. After all, your doctors are sending you home as the primary caregiver of a newborn when you are still recovering from your own birth experience. Your feelings of anxiety are certainly warranted, and it is all too easy to forget about your own health when caring for your new addition.
Fortunately, the medical community is beginning to pay more attention to what wellness practitioners have known for so long: the first three months after childbirth is intense for Mama. This “fourth trimester” is considered an especially vulnerable time for new mothers, and can be a particularly unhealthy period for recovering moms. Here is what you need to know to stay healthy during these postpartum months.
Take Help (and Ask For It Too)
First and foremost, remember that it takes a village to not only raise a child but to also raise a mother. Even when you are feeling great, take help when it is offered to you by well-meaning friends or family members. Happily take prepared meals dropped off at your door, go ahead and pass the baby to someone new while you take a 30-minute nap. If you find you are struggling to get yourself the care you need, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Your partner and your family members are ready to step in once you ask.
Water intake is crucial to your health during recovery after labor and delivery. Drink plenty of water, and try to steer clear of too many caffeinated beverages as these can cause more dehydration. If you are nursing, your water intake is especially important to your milk supply. If you aren’t breastfeeding, it is still important for you to drink plenty of water. Keep a water bottle near you at all times and sip throughout your day.
Just as important as hydration is nutrition. However, making yourself a healthy meal can seem like an impossible task after you have been caring for a newborn all day (and night). Ask for help in regards to healthy meal drop-offs from family or friends, and ask your partner to pick up your favorite fruits and veggies when they run to the grocery store. Keep snacks available everywhere, as new moms are often ravenous.
Sleep When You Can
Exhaustion is par for the parenting course, but irregular sleep can have serious physical and emotional health consequences. Work to sleep when you can, for as long as you can. Perhaps this means following the advice of sleeping when the baby does, but if you can’t snooze with your newborn, try to find time to squeeze in naps.
Visit Your Chiropractor
At Select Health Chiropractic, we focus on the health of all our clients. However, new moms have a special place in our heart. We are determined to give your body the care it needs to recover after delivery through nutritional support, adjustments, and providing a realistic plan to help you feel better. You can even bring your newborn to your appointment; we can adjust Baby too and provide a bit of support as you learn how to be a mom.
Are you ready to take a small but important step in being healthy during the fourth trimester? Give us a call to set up your appointment. We can’t wait to work with you, Mommy!