Perinatal Neonatal

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Wellness for Mothers

Welcoming a new baby is a time of great change. As you ease into this new stage of your life, remember to take care of yourself.

There is great pressure for new mothers to be happy, trim and fit within weeks of giving birth. These expectations may be unrealistic. Give yourself time to adjust to motherhood and focus on the basics of health. They will go a long way towards helping you look and feel good about yourself.

Where to start?

Exercise: No need to run a marathon. Instead, start out gentle. Take a walk daily. Put baby in a sling and walk around the block, or take the stroller and walk inside at the mall. If you were very active before baby was born, you will be able to tolerate more. Otherwise, start slow and gentle – ten minutes a day.

Eat well: No need for gourmet meals. Keep a variety of nutritious foods in the house. Fill small containers with cubes of meat, cheese, nuts, fresh veggies and fruit and whole wheat crackers. Snack on small amounts throughout the day. This will keep you from snacking on junk food…and keep you from being cranky and super hungry at meal times.

Sleep: Even if disrupted by baby. A new baby often means that you must resort to more sleep periods, but shorter ones. Don’t ignore your need for sleep. It is a factor in weight control and mood control. Friends. Spend time with other mothers. Join a mom’s group. Sharing concerns with other mothers helps you realize you are not alone and exposes you to other ways of problem solving.

Get help: Ask friends and family to help you with the stuff you can’t seem to get done. Have them bring in a meal or hold baby while you take a nap or run an errand. Hire a temporary house cleaning service. Some women, especially if they have a history of depression, may find it harder to balance the changes of motherhood. Feelings of sadness, anxiety, fatigue, isolation or being overwhelmed are not unusual after giving birth. But if they worsen or continue, do not be afraid to ask for help. You may find that you would benefit from counseling or medications. The goal is for you to stay healthy as you nurture your baby and enjoy being a mother.

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