Being a new mother can be an extremely stressful time. You spend 9 months literally growing a baby inside you, and then all of a sudden, or after an agonizing 22-hour-long marathon birth, you have a tiny life to take care of. Many new mothers feel a little lost, which is why I wanted to give some advice for new mothers.
In the chaos that ensues, it can be easy to lose sight of your own health, as the focus shifts entirely to this new little bundle of amazingness who you have to keep alive. Yet, it’s important to remember that your own health matters too. A happy and healthy mother has a far greater shot at raising a happy and healthy child.
Advice for New Mothers
You can ask for help!
Often the maternal instinct can be so strong that you forget that other people can pitch in. When you have your new baby, you might feel like you have to take care of the baby all by yourself. You are the mother, right? You don’t need to lock everyone out, though. Your friends, your mother-in-law, anyone you love and trust can help lend a hand and ease the constant stress that can come with those first weeks of motherhood.
Men can help too! Ask your dad to come make dinner, ask your neighbour to watch your baby for half an hour while you take a bath. People want to help, they just might not know how. It’s okay to tell them.
Keep taking your prenatal vitamin
The term “prenatal” is just plain misleading. While you are breastfeeding you and your baby need those vitamins, perhaps more than ever. It’s advised that you continue taking prenatal vitamins. Definitely speak to your physician about continuing to take vitamins after giving birth.
If something is up, get a blood test
This one could be lifesaving advice for new mothers. In the weeks after giving birth some mothers feel dizzy, sad and fatigued, as if they’re living in a fog. Often times it’s due to a hormone or nutrient imbalance, so go make sure everything checks out. You should always speak to your doctor if you feel like something isn’t right with your health. Giving birth to a baby then immediately breastfeeding can take a lot out of you!
Eat a ton of healthy food!
Your baby doesn’t know how to share. If you’re not getting enough to eat, he or she is not going to eat less and you’re going to be left with nothing; so you have a lot of catching up to do! Breastfeeding can burn 500 to 700 calories a day, so be sure you’re eating enough and that the food you are eating is high quality and nutritious.
Make your own well-being a priority
Maybe the most important piece of advice for new mothers! Just because you have a baby doesn’t mean that suddenly you no longer matter. Caring for yourself is vital to having a good family life at home. Try to sneak in exercise, do some yoga, or artwork or read. It can be easy to let fatigue turn into exhaustion and depression. But if you ask for help, take your vitamins, and eat healthy, that first year can easily turn into the best one of your life.
Read next: A 23-Year Old Mother Made History With A Birth That Apparently Only Happens Every 480 Years