Being a new mom is an exciting adventure that can also be challenging. One thing that can't be overlooked is taking care of yourself after you deliver your baby. You can do this by eating well, resting, seeking support, and staying active.
Gaining weight during pregnancy is normal and healthy and it is possible to achieve a healthy weight gain after delivery by starting slowly and following these tips: After talking with your doctor, gradually add physical activity into your day by taking a walk or, parking further from the front door when shopping, and taking the stairs instead of the elevator.
Your body will let go of extra weight if you are aware of your hunger. Eat when you feel hungry and don't skip meals. Healthy foods keep your energy up and give you the strength to lovingly care for your baby. Planning ahead is the key. You can make a fruit smoothie with low fat milk and fruit; try low fat cheese and crackers; fresh vegetables and low fat dip; whole wheat toast with peanut butter or cereal and low fat milk. Serve yourself from a small plate to avoid large portions and when eating in a restaurant, order an appetizer or share an entree.
Pregnancy depletes the body of vitamins and minerals. Important nutrients for post partum health are:
- Iron is found in red meat, beans, and chili. Add more iron to your diet by cooking in a cast iron grill or skillet.
- Folate is found in fortified breakfast cereals, citrus fruits, green vegetables, and whole grain bread.
- Calcium is found in low fat milk, yogurt, cheese, and white beans.
If you are having trouble sleeping, low energy, difficulty concentrating, feelings of depression, or having thoughts of guilt, you may be experiencing post partum depression. You will get through this as your hormones adjust. Meanwhile, talk to your health care provider and seek support from family and friends. Many of the thoughts and emotions you are having are normal. Most importantly don't forget to ask for help.