The 5 things Every New Mom needs After Childbirth
WHAT IS SLEEP?
One of the biggest surprises for a new mom is how little sleep she’ll get. Sleep deprivation is the biggest hurdle for the first 2 weeks. According to research we need REM sleep in order to function. REM also known as Rapid Eye Movement starts 10 minutes after sleeping and last for 90 minutes. “But everyone says sleep when the baby sleeps”, yes that only sounds good when its being said. You know the saying ‘it’s easier said than done – this is what they meant. When the baby sleeps, you’ll want to do chores. So, you will need someone who can guarantee you 2 to 3 cycles of REM sleep in the first days/weeks. If you’re not getting REM, you’ll be a Zombie!
If there’s one challenge most moms don’t see coming especially nursing moms – its loneliness. With a newborn at your side you can feel extremely lonely and disconnected from everyone. Break up the loneliness, schedule and stagger visits from friends and family. Of course, nothing beats a mom group – so join one. There’s nothing like surrounding yourself with a group of women who have been through it and survived. 😉
MOVE YOUR BODY
Exercise after pregnancy is a great way to self-care. But before you start exercising you should aim to strengthen your pelvic floor. Most OB are not skilled in this area so you’ll have to see a physiotherapist or a pelvic floor therapist. They’ll be able to evaluate your pelvic floor along with checking for abdominal separation. If you’re cleared for exercise you should aim for 2 to 3 times a week. Pilates is one of the best workouts you can do, it’s an extremely safe way to exercise after childbirth. Almost all of the exercises strengthen your pelvic floor muscle.
In many cultures the first forty days is a time of bonding, deep nourishment and rest for a new mom. Well, not in America we don’t get forty days, its 6 – 12 weeks depending on your employer policy and your birth experience. According to the 2013 published in the Asian Journal of Psychiatry there’s a strong correlation between inflammation, serotonin levels, and postpartum depression. Low levels of folate, vitamin D, iron selenium, zinc, fats, and fatty acid affects our serotonin levels which is associated with a higher risk of PPD. In other words, to get proper nutrients in a face-paced world like ours, new moms need to eat warm, digestible foods. Along with this eat collagen-rich foods to support tissue repair along with a nutrient-dense, anti- inflammatory diet.
DON’T FORGET YOU
The first day’s home is not only for baby but for you as well. If you can make sure you schedule help for the first 2 weeks home. Help for you and help if there’s siblings. Hire a doula, doulas cost anywhere from $500 - $1,200. If this number is out of your ball park, still talk to one. Most doulas operate on a sliding scale. Still can’t afford it, call in all your favors, the house and laundry can wait.