The smiles, the soft coos and yes, even that now all-too-familiar cry – it’s only been a few months but already you can’t picture life without your little one. You’re constantly focused on their every movement and will do anything to make sure they have what they need. But while you’re focused on your baby’s happiness and health, who’s doing the same for you?
“It’s common for new moms to put the needs of their baby first,” says Dr. Jessica Shepherd, a practicing OB/GYN, women’s health expert and founder of Her Viewpoint, a premier online women’s health community. “While it’s a natural tendency for most mothers, it’s critical they don’t ignore their own health. My resounding message to all new moms is that the healthier you are, the better you’ll be able to take care of your newborn.”
To better take care of yourself so you can ensure your overall wellness and that of your child, Dr. Shepherd offers these five tips:
* Manage your expectations. Your baby’s arrival didn’t come with a cape so don’t expect to be Super Mom. It’s OK to ask for help when you need it, and if something doesn’t go the way you planned, don’t be too hard on yourself. Learn from the situation and move on.
* Address stress urinary incontinence. A common result of pregnancy or childbirth is stress urinary incontinence (SUI) – bladder leaks triggered by everyday activities like coughing, sneezing, laughing or exercise. Now, women with SUI can have the freedom to live without worrying about their next leak! Poise Impressa Bladder Supports are the first over-the-counter, internal product designed to help stop leaks before they happen. Safely inserted into the vagina like a tampon, Poise Impressa Bladder Supports gently lifts the urethra to help prevent leaks for up to eight hours every day. Note that new moms with SUI should wait at least three months after childbirth before trying Poise Impressa Bladder Supports, but once they do, Impressa can help give them the freedom and confidence to live active, fulfilled lives.
* Stay active. Yes, being a new mom naturally keeps you pretty active, but it’s also good to take some time for activity that focuses on you instead of your child. Ask your partner, family member or friend to babysit once a week so you can go for a run, hit the gym, take a yoga class or find some other physical activity that reinvigorates you.
* Don’t skip the most important meal of the day. What did you have for breakfast today? If you routinely skip this meal because you’re so focused on getting the bottle ready, stop. Studies show a good breakfast can leave you feeling more satisfied and empowered with more energy, perfect for taking care of a child.
* Set an appropriate bedtime… for yourself. Yes, bedtimes aren’t just for your youngsters; they’re good for you as well. Many moms make the mistake of supplementing a lack of sleep with extra caffeine or sugar, exposing them to harmful health effects and weight gain. Instead of spending that last hour of the day in front of the TV or iPad, try going to bed earlier. You’ll be amazed at how much better you feel in the morning.
New motherhood can be the most rewarding experience of your life and it can also be the most taxing, particularly if you haven’t supported your own wellness. However, if you place some much-needed emphasis on you, there’s no reason this first year can’t be as enjoyable for you as it is for your baby.