As a parent, it’s easy to get caught up in caring for your family and forget about yourself. At first, it’s hard to do much more than rest as much as possible because your body goes through so much change after having a baby.
I’m still soaking up the newborn stage of our sweet baby girl, Roemee, but I’m also reminding myself how important it is to start good habits while my daughter is young, because I know they’ll influence her health too. That’s not to say I plan on sacrificing rest; obviously, parents need as much of that as we can get.
Still, I’ve learned that implementing other healthy habits is not only beneficial for me mentally and physically, but it makes me a better mom and keeps my baby healthy.
Our sweet girl, Roemee.
Walk one step at a time.
One of the first healthy habits I implemented was some mild, mindful activity.
In my eighth day postpartum, I reminded myself that I needed to include daily activity in my schedule and turn it into a habit again. So, I used the time during one of her naps to get my body moving again and go for a slow walk on the treadmill. I may have only walked on the treadmill at 1 MPH, but hey, you have to start somewhere!
Not to mention, postpartum exercise helps strengthen core muscles, which often stretch, and may even separate, during childbirth. It can also help you sleep better, boost your energy levels, improve your overall mood, and can potentially prevent postpartum depression.
Once you’re feeling up for it, try walking for even 10 minutes at a time, a couple times a day. A little goes a long way.
Looking to lull your baby to sleep? Studies show that walking with your little one can help them fall asleep and, most importantly, stay asleep. Parenting is all about utilizing the most of your time, so why not soothe your baby to sleep while moderately exercising?
At three weeks postpartum, I've been able to walk for around 45 minutes a day. It feels so good to get some mommy time while the baby naps!
You're not alone; reach out!
An equally important habit is to prioritize your mental health. It’s easy to become overwhelmed with the responsibility of caring for another human, so remember to reach out for help when you need it. Or let family and friends help when they offer - this is something I still struggle with! It’s hard to hand off your baby for someone else to watch for an hour or so, but I can tell you that sneaking out to dinner with my husband while the baby slept, with a family member watching, made a huge difference for me!
Another way to stay mentally healthy is to be part of a community. Make some mom friends and reach out to other parents, because chances are, they’ve had similar experiences.
After I started my business and established a women’s weight loss community, I realized just how important and helpful it is to have the emotional support of like-minded people who know your struggle. Reaching out is not a sign of weakness; it’s what makes us LadyBosses.
Prioritizing my own health while taking care of a newborn is HARD, so I've been focusing instead on how capable I am. I CAN do this, and the hard work is so rewarding!
Positively affirm yourself.
The most important thing you can do for your health - and ultimately, your baby’s - is to remember that every experience is different and that you know what’s best for both of you.
Every situation is different, and no one knows your body, or your baby, as well as you do. It's easy to compare yourself to others, but try to focus on how much you are capable of doing!
And of course, talk to your doctor or obstetrician about the best ways to stay active and get the right nutrition, as well as what resources are available to assist with your mental health.
As I progress through this journey of recovering from childbirth, while learning how best to take care of my baby, I remind myself that this process allows me to prove how strong my body is.
Our bodies brought our children into this world, so why not nourish your body and give it the love it deserves?
The journey into motherhood isn’t perfect. It can be messy and full of mistakes, but we’re all doing our best. You can follow my experiences as a new mother on Instagram @ladyboss .