Bringing a newborn baby home can be the most beautiful and exciting time of a woman's life, but one that can also be fraught with stress.
Your baby's health is said to be the top concern for new mums and it is easy to read the thousands of advice columns, magazine articles and internet forums and feel completely lost in a sea of over-enthusiastic and often conflicting advice. But the most important rule is to keep yourself healthy and fit to look after your baby! Here are 5 simple health tips so you can enjoy being a new mum.
Maintain a healthy dietDrink lots of water, eat lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, avoid too much fatty foods and make sure you are getting all your vitamins. Everyone knows this of course, but in the manic world of motherhood when it's easier to put a frozen pizza in the oven than to chop up vegetables, it's easy for your diet to take the back seat. Instead, take the hassle out of healthy cooking by writing a regular food plan and taking some time once a week to try to organize all of your meals.
Get regular check-upsIf you have always had the mentality that coughs and colds will go eventually and you don't usually think about your health, the period after pregnancy is one in which you should be try to be particularly health conscious. Looking after your new family member will inevitably make you feel more tired than usual. You may well be breastfeeding and will almost certainly have disturbed sleep! Be aware of your body and make sure you eat regular meals and rest whenever you have the chance. Keep an eye on your baby's weight, its sleeping and eating habits and if you're worried about anything then speak to your doctor or health visitor.
Get out of the houseYour baby needs to get some fresh air and so do you. Take some time each day to go for a little walk around where you live or to your local park. Not only will it do you a world of good to get out of the house and have a change of scene, but it is a great way to interact with your baby and introduce them to the world. And don't forget to treat yourself once in a while, either by finding wellness vouchers for your local spa or having a night-out (or in) with the girls! Having a bit of Me-Time, thinking just about you will leave you refreshed for your role as a mother.
Keep your hands clean....another simple rule, but one that gets harder and harder when you're a busy Mum with a baby around - a baby who will try to put anything & everything in his mouth regardless of where he/she finds it. Of course cleanliness doesn't have to be about keeping an immaculate 'bacteria-free' house every second of the day, but it is about clean hands, clean food and clean places for you to sit and for your baby to play.
Talk about itParenting isn't easy, but what's important to remember is that at some point all parents are going to find it overwhelming. You are bound to have some insecurities and worries and the best thing is to talk about them. Whether to your doctor, your health visitor or to a friend, neighbor or family member, you will always find people who are ready to listen and probably have some similar stories of their own to share.