Importance of postpartum nutrition & sleep for new moms

Congratulations on being a new mother! It has been 9 months of healthy eating and rigorous discipline and now you have your little bundle of joy in your hands. It’s a beautiful feeling and there is much to celebrate but along with it begins the postpartum period. 

The postpartum period is the period after giving birth and ends when your body has nearly returned to its pre-pregnant state. This period often lasts 6 to 8 weeks.

During this period, you are going through many changes, both emotionally and physically. Apart from the exhaustion of being a new mother, you and your partner are also learning how to care for your newborn and function as a changed family unit.

It is important at this stage to not only care for your baby but for yourself too. You will need plenty of rest, and good nutrition during the first few weeks.

How you nourish your body in the postpartum period is important for your health and the baby’s development. The three major benefits of eating and sleeping well post-pregnancy are - 

  1. Speedy recovery - It’s important to remember that you’ve just spent 9 months growing a human being inside you. With such high demands on the body and mind, postpartum nutrition is crucial for both your physical & mental health. 
  2. Promotes milk production - If you’re breastfeeding, what you eat & drink affects the amount and quality of the milk.  
  3. It supports your overall wellbeing- Healthy eating and sleeping, need no introduction to our well-being. But in the postpartum period, it only becomes all the more important.

Your baby is little but the stamina they demand of you as a new mom is high. Although, one can never be prepared until one becomes a parent. Here are a few tips on how to ensure you are giving yourself just as much attention as the newborn.

  • Get plenty of rest- You can’t do everything alone. Amidst all the breastfeeding schedules and crying sessions, give yourself enough time to get the 7-8 hours of sleep. Simple tips like adjusting your sleep schedule according to your baby and delegating household chores to other family members can be of huge help to get adequate rest.
  • Focus on your nutrition- You are a super mom for your child but it’s time to put yourself on priority too. Eat a well-balanced diet of nutritious food, stay well hydrated, and choose healthy snacks for those late nights up. 
  • Personal hygiene - The baby at this stage is very vulnerable to any infections so maintaining hygiene is important. Paying attention to simple things like washing our hands often, and cleaning breasts before and after feeding, all help the baby.
  • Get awareness on postpartum blues - This is common so there is nothing to worry. Due to several hormonal changes, one may feel irritated, weepy, alone, or may have other emotional reactions. It’s best to be prepared and understand how you can seek help if needed.
  • Try to stay active - Staying active not only helps you lose that post-delivery weight but it’s most important at this stage for mental health. Simple stretches, deep breathing, and a short walk, all are very welcome in boosting mood and energy levels.

New moms are flooded with advice but no matter how much research you’ve done, nothing compares to the real thing. The postpartum period can be very challenging for the mother as it is when the baby is the most vulnerable. But every period passes in a blink of an eye. If you’ve been a parent before you will be familiar with what “time flies” means.

To ensure you enjoy this little time with your baby, it is crucial for you to be there for yourself. The road to recovery is equally important if not more than pregnancy. 

Just remember “Postpartum is a quest back to yourself. Alone in your body again. You will never be the same, you are stronger than you were.” 

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