So, baby is here, you are home and healing from what seemed like a marathon to get them here. Whether natural delivery or through the sun roof it absolutely takes a huge toll on your body! You are probably feeling so overwhelmed, emotional, happy, teary, sore and totally and utterly shattered all in one.
Now it’s time to see where you fit in to bubs schedule. When can you sleep? When can you eat? When can you shower? Usually these things are top priorities, but if this tiny person doesn’t want you to do those things, it ain’t happening mum!!
I have some tips from one mum to another and as a Nutritionist and Naturopath that can help you keep well through the extra demands.
- A good quality multivitamin. This is a huge necessity and honestly you do get what you pay for. Make sure it is compatible with breastfeeding…. Throughout pregnancy and even breastfeeding that baby is stealing it all from you and leaving you with sweet FA. You need the additional boost to keep yourself in check, a run down mum is not a happy mum!
- A good probiotic. essential for gut health, immunity and general well being. It can also help restore healthy vaginal flora and even help prevent thrush which is pretty common with all of the hormonal changes that come about with A. Pregnancy and B. Breastfeeding.
- A high quality fish oil supplement boasting with loads of DHA for mental health and also helps bub through the breastmilk. This is pretty important and has great research in preventing and helping with post natal depression and anxiety.
- Breakfast. If there is one meal a day that is so important, it is breakfast. Make it in advance. Make a big old batch of Museli with Oats, nuts, seeds, quality dried fruits, coconut shreds. You can soak it in little jars and leave in the fridge or just pour some milk over it and eat. Little to no prep needed and it really helps with breastmilk production.
- Buy a nice body scrub or even make your own out of sea salt, ground coffee and coconut oil. Do this twice weekly, it can help with those stretch marks and assist with tired looking skin. It also helps with blood circulation and cellulite. Not to mention it makes you feel a million bucks!!
- Don’t compare yourself to other mums. You may think everyone else is coping and doing it better, no… They are just better at hiding it. You are doing wonderfully and it’s OK to feel exhausted and emotional and feel as though you are constantly holding and feeding a baby. We are all in the same boat, you don’t have to compete with anyone, just know that “this too shall pass”. Being a mum is so HARD.
- Ask for help. I can not stress this enough. Don’t be too proud, or worry that you aren’t coping. Don’t feel like you have to do everything. Don’t clean up before visitors come, better yet, don’t get out of your pjs if you don’t want to. Hand the baby to them when they get there, jump in the shower and scrub. And hopefully you come out to a hot cuppa and a fresh outlook.
- Vitamin D. Absolutely essential for mum and Bub. If you don’t feel like you can get out for 10-20 mins a day for a walk at the moment you may want to supplement. Vitamin D is so essential for mum and baby and as Aussies we actually have so much sun, yet a rapid rise in vitamin D deficiency. I recommend supplementing with vitamin D. Check with your naturopath or doctor on the dose right for you. Added benefits is that it helps prevent depression helps with immunity.
Its a tough gig on our bodies getting pregnant, staying pregnant, being pregnant and then that isn't even the beginning. That baby is a bit like a parasite, stealing everything from you. The baby rarely misses out, but its another story for mum, often being deficient in multiple vitamins and minerals, essential fats and even essential amino acids.
Being deficient in these crucial elements can really wreak havoc on our bodies and nervous system. If you aren't looking after yourself, then you will have a hard time looking after that tiny human, sadly sneaky ailments like, depression, anxiety, fatigue (moreso that normal tired new mum syndrome) difficulty losing weight, rapid weight loss, sleep disturbances, or even diminished milk production can creep up. This is where you can really get some help nutritionally.
When i had my first bub Jack, i remember feeling like i just wanted to be seen as coping. I wanted to know that i could do it all and have it all too. Really i couldn't do it all. I needed an entire tribe to help me!! It took a pretty low time for me to decide to create this tribe. I had a great mothers group who kept me sane, a supportive husband and family who would drop anything to come and help if i asked, i got blood tests done to check my thyroid and iron levels as these are contributing factors to feelings of anxiety and stress. I asked fellow Nutritionists and Naturopaths to help me decipher where to go next and had some crazy ass concoctions made up. I got through the fog of having a new born, was planning a first birthday party and well... I fell pregnant again... soooo needless to say these tips were even more important.
If you are feeling a bit overwhelmed, run down, anxious or even depressed, we urge you to speak to someone, whether it be your partner, GP or us girls at Mums and Bubs; there is help available. Dont let it snowball on top of you!