Tuesday, 19 October 2010
“Congratulations on becoming a new mother!”
This is one compliment that you will hear time and again after you give birth to your little bundle of joy. Then it is all about completing the necessary formalities to get discharged from hospital and head home.Once you are home, you soon discover that apart from bringing you immense joy and excitement, your newborn has also brought you the everyday challenges of taking care of yourself as a new mother.
In your endeavor to provide the best care to your baby, you may end up neglecting yourself. Remember, only a healthy mother can ensure a healthy baby. Adhering to some simple steps can bring you a load of benefits and relieve you from the stress and strain of being a new mother.
Here are some basic tips:
Make healthy lifestyle changes: It is vitally important that you take good care of yourself after childbirth. Eat a healthy, balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables. Avoid cigarettes, alcohol and beverages that contain Caffeine. Make sure to drink at least 8 glasses of water everyday. Good habits will help you gain and maintain the energy you need to take care of your newborn.
Sleep: Get enough of it. There is no way a tired mother can take care of her newborn. Your baby may keep you up all night, so grab some sleep when your baby sleeps. You can also consider the option of asking your partner to attend to your baby, while you catch up on your missed sleep.
Schedule guest visits: It is great when friends and relatives come to shower you with compliments. But it can also be an extremely tiresome routine, exchanging pleasantries for hours together. Be open and convey the fact that you need rest. On the other hand, some close friends or relatives may offer help to make you more comfortable—accept them. You can show them how to hold the baby or seek help in folding the laundry or other household chores.
Take it easy: Do not rush things. You cannot become a great mother in a matter of days. It takes practice and plenty of patience. Give yourself sufficient time everyday, whether it is nursing your baby, putting your baby to bed or dealing with his or her intermittent crying spells. Avoid outings or travel as far as possible. If you must travel, pack adequate supplies and do not forget to take extra diapers.
Mood swings: Mood swings are quite common during this time. You may adore your child, but on occasions you may lament the lack of independence that your newborn has brought about. On occasions you may worry whether you are a worthy mother or possess the necessary skills to be one. Expect these emotions and know that they are only passing clouds—you will soon grow out of it. Talk to friends and experienced mothers to get a better understanding of your situation.
Postpartum blues: Mood swings are common after childbirth. This minute you are elated, sad the next. You may feel a little depressed, have difficulty concentrating, lose your appetite or find that they cannot sleep well even when the baby is asleep. These symptoms usually start about 3–4 days after delivery and may last several days.
If you are a new mother and have any of these symptoms, you have whatare called the baby blues. The baby blues are considered a normal partof early motherhood and usually go away within 10 days after delivery.But if you have more severe symptoms that last longer than a few days,you may be suffering from what is known as Postpartum Depression. Medical intervention then becomes necessary
Talk: Bringing up a child is no easy task and you may feel the emotional, psychological, physiological or financial burden of it. If you feel stressed due to something specific, talk to your partner or friends and share your feelings and concerns with them. This can help cheer you up.
Get out, get going: Go for frequent walks with your baby. This can be of immense help to relax you. Besides, getting fresh air is absolutely necessary for you and your baby. It is also a good idea to ask your partner or friend to accompany you so that they can help you with your baby.
Relax: Household chores like dusting or cleaning can always wait. Occasionally it is okay to have a cold dinner; so do not run to the kitchen to make dinner or to put it into the micro oven for heating.
Spare time for others: Having a newborn in the house does not mean you attend to him or her round the clock. Spare time for your partner, friends and your own entertainment. Go to a movie or meet a friend for lunch. This can keep you relaxed and remove stress.
Being a new mother is never too easy. You are not born with motherhood skills—you acquire them with time, practice and patience. Good parenting is a learned skill and knowing to handle the stress related with it can be rewarding indeed. If you are depressed or you are having trouble adjusting to life with a newborn, talk to your doctor. Remember, your newborn is not going to remain that way forever. He or she is soon going to grow up. So, despite the difficulties, turmoil, sleeplessness and fatigue savor the moments that you spend with your little baby—those times will never come back.