It’s not uncommon for a new mother to find themselves deprived of sleep, which is known to affect mood, appetite, stress hormones, and more. However, the exhaustion of new motherhood can also wreak havoc in other ways, particularly when it comes to daily health necessities — like eating consistently (and healthily). Whether you’re expecting for the first time or are already going through the trials of new motherhood first hand, here are just a couple ways you can better look after yourself.
Fixing Sleep Issues
Because of how sleep deprivation can have such an impact on your health and mood, remedying your baby’s sleep schedule and addressing any issues they may have is one of the first things to consider, which can contribute immensely in getting your own good night’s rest. For instance, if your baby is constantly waking up due to hitting their head on the crib, then the safe use of crib bumpers can present a simple solution. You might also consider forgoing the crib completely in favor of co-sleeping peacefully which ensures everyone will get a better night’s sleep.
On the other hand, your baby may have trouble sleeping due to a poor bedtime routine. Always listen to those who tell you to cuddle your baby and listen to their cues. The best thing you can do for your child is to comfort them, cuddle them, and let them know that you will always meet their needs no matter what. This sets up a relationship for life and a bond that won’t be easily broken later. As a new mother, beware of well-meaning but poor advice to start allowing your baby to self soothe. “Sleep training” your baby might give you a better night’s sleep after you break their will and teach them that you are in fact NOT coming to comfort or cuddle them, but it can have extremely damaging long term affects on their development, brain, and health.
Breastfeeding & Eating Right
Your nutrition as a new mom is extremely important when it comes to staying healthy, and even more so if you breastfeed. In fact, if you choose to breastfeed, you may even need to eat a little more in order to have the energy to do so. With that in mind, nutrient rich foods like fruit and yogurt, as well as foods with plenty of protein should be staples in your diet as a new mom. However, cooking full, healthy meals each day is often impossible with such a full plate — although that doesn’t mean your health has to suffer. In fact, opting for “quick and easy” methods — like making breakfast smoothies, throwing together a simple crock pot dinner, or even making use of meal delivery service subscriptions can all be healthy and easy ways to get your nutrition in.
Navigating the challenges of being a new mother certainly isn’t easy, and it’s quite easy to forget to also take care of yourself in the process of things. With that in mind, combating sleep deprivation through fixing your child’s issues and utilizing easy to manage cooking methods can be key assets in ensuring you’re taking care of yourself as a new mother.