Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Tips for new moms

With Kate looking as fit as ever barely 24 ours after having the wee Prince of Cambridge, it has spurred me on to do a post on tips for new mothers. Kate already looks fit and is smiling as ever, and I am certain has a lot of help available.

Here are my top tips for new moms, in alphabetical order:

Allow your husband/ partner to help/ bond with baby:
It's very important to involve your DH or partner as soon as possible in caring for baby. That fosters a great father child bond, but also ensures that you are not over extended. I learnt the hard way that if you don't let your husband help from the very beginning, feeding, bathing and caring for baby will soon become your responsibility only. It doesn't matter whether or not he puts the diaper on properly, just let him, and praise him copiously. After all, if this is our first child, you also only just learned to change diapers too. Letting your partner get involved is a win win for everyone involved and for your relationship too. It enables a smooth transition into a parenting partnership.

Breastfeed: I would encourage all new mothers to breastfeed for as long as they can, preferaby the first 4 or 6 months exclusively or at least just the first few weeks. The antibodies in your milk are great for baby.

Diet: Diet is especially important after you have your baby, for both mother and child. Eating a healthy, protein rich ( but not too protein rich) diet helps ensure that you , the new mom keeps your strength, and that your baby does not have unnecessary tummy aches due to too hard to digest food. I remember when little man was about a month old, I was puzzled as to why he had tummy aches. I hadn't eaten any of the typical gassy foods that cause babies to develop a tummy ache. Fortunately, my midwife visited me that day, and while talking, I mentioned that it was my DHs birthday and I had really over indulged in his yummy cream cheese cake. Cream cheese is relatively difficult to digest, so it was clear why baby was having a tummy ache. Err on the side of a balanced but not too rich diet. Do introduce new foods cautiously. You eating some foods my cause reactions in your baby if you are breast feeding. My DD refused breast milk(very loudly I might add) because I had eaten white asparagus. My son on the other hand didn't show the slightest reaction to asparagus. He actually likes it!
Exercise: Although one is encouraged to take it easy and not over exert oneself for the first 6 to 8 weeks after birth, especially when one is still expelling Lochia, there are gentle exercises that can be done to assist the body in bouncing back. One should of course listen to the doctors, but I listened to my doctors and midwife a bit too closely, which is why even though i have lost most of the baby weight, my pooch is still a problem area for me.
These exercises can be done in about 10 minutes and it's all basically a variation of "cycling in the air"( image courtesy of Maemo.org)
Cycling in the air:

A good way to vary this with time is to cycle to the left and to the right, or while lying on the right side of your belly or to the left. Now get those legs cycling ladies!
I also learned to pull my belly in, to my core, while lying flat on my back, during my Chinese post natal exercise classes. I will update this post with those exercises as I recollect them.
What types of exercises have helped you get your figure back? Please share ladies!
Sleep: Sleep when baby sleeps, everyone says this, but its really true and important. I do realize that when you are on the second, third or...child, that's easier said than done, but for the ladies who have just had their first child, or who have help in the first few weeks in taking care of the older kids, sleep, sleep, sleep. Don't worry about the house being upside down, just sleep. You can thank me later.
Finally, accept all the help that is offered. The first week after my daughter was born, my aunt was here cooking and taking care of me. Afterwards, my MIL brought me lunch everyday and my DH cooked dinner, and took care of the household ( okay, I had to verbally spur him on on that last bit, lol). It helped my adjustment to motherhood go much more smoothly.

I will be updating this post periodically with other tips that occur to me.
What tips do you have for new mothers?

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