Finding Your Groove in New Motherhood
Becoming a new mother is a time full of emotion. There are so many changes- your baby is finally here, milk is coming in, you’re healing, handling visitors, etc. Navigating new motherhood doesn’t necessarily come easy, but you want to be kind to yourself- remember you’re learning as you go! Parenting is on the job training.
While breast-feeding you must make it a priority to look after yourself. As challenging as it may be to get one moment of free time I’m asking you to take some glow time. Even if it’s 5 minutes to yourself in peace and quiet. Take a shower, rub your feet, take a stroll outside for fresh air, practice some yogic breathing and tune inward.
Feeding and caring for your baby is awesome and it can be tiring too. It helps to have lots of healthy, nutrient-packed snacks around to provide you with energy. Fruit smoothies, green juices, nut and fruit bars, yogurt, nuts, porridges, soups, hummus and crackers, sandwiches and trail mix all help to provide sustainable energy throughout the day. You need to eat, and often, your milk is fortified by what you eat.
3 Wellness Tips for Nursing Mamas
- Drink adequate water.Your body requires a lot more water to make breast milk, which is mostly water. Avoiding chemical additives and excess sugar is always good too.
- Eat at least five portions of fruit and veggies daily.This will provide the fiber, vitamins and phytonutrients needed by you and your baby. Having a fresh green juice or fruit smoothie in the morning is a great way to get an antioxidant boost!
- Avoid stimulants while breast-feeding. Caffeine found in coffee, tea, sodas and chocolate can cause irritability and restlessness in you and your baby, so beware.
Finding your way to comfort in new motherhood is key. After the baby’s arrival, your body feels exhausted. While you recover, there are small exercises that you can do to get things back in integration. But don’t force any major exercise within the first six weeks of delivery. There’s no rush to get back “to normal”. Once you accept that time works differently when you have a newborn and learn to manage your time and incorporate exercise into your day wherever it fits, you will be better off. Micro-pelvic tilts right after delivery are a great way to reintegrate your muscles. Elevator Pelvic Pumps, or your glorified Kegels, will be helpful once your swelling subsides and you can feel the pelvic floor again. A woman’s uterus expands to 500 times its normal size during pregnancy.
3 Transition Tips for New Motherhood
Get cozy. Make sure you have a comfortable and safe place to breastfeed your baby. Having the right props to help support you will reduce tension in shoulders and the mid-back from breastfeeding. Using a Boppy or pillows to properly position your baby when it’s time to feed will allow you and your little bundle of joy time to breastfeed in total comfort and style.
Be gentle with your practice Get on your mat and get back into your practice. Do a gentle practice, or work yourself harder to meet the needs of your new body and lifestyle. The body weight training you get in yoga helps to protect the joints, build surrounding muscles, and rehabilitate the core—which was on vacation for nine months. Try lunges to rebuild your strength postbaby. This strength-training exercise works the quadriceps, hamstrings, ankles, calves, and groin. If you engage your core muscles it also promotes core training, improves balance, and is excellent for improving posture.
Defining your sister circle and identifying support systems is critical now. It’s important to build a strong network of cheerleaders so you don’t feel you are alone. Nothing is sustainable without community. Surround yourself with people who are your elders in this process and who have the skills and resources to help support you. This will ensure that you thrive in this third trimester and beyond. Make yourself at home with your sister circle. Ask questions of mothers around you, and gather resources. Choose a mixed group of women, including seasoned mamas and single friends. Variety is key here for a few reasons. First, veteran moms know exactly how to make themselves useful, are often efficient, and usually know their way around the kitchen, so meals will be taken care of. Your single girlfriends, on the other hand, can run errands, grocery shop, answer phones, help clean, and hold the baby to give you a few minutes to take a shower! Ask one of your closest friends to help coordinate a rotation of women—you don’t want all your helpers at the house at the same time!
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