Motherhood can sometimes become too overwhelming for mums and make them neglect themselves just to provide the proper care for their baby. While it is understandable that your newborn is your top priority, it is also important to take care of yourself and take time to adapt to your new life as a mother.
Taking care of your body after giving birth
No matter how you deliver your baby, your body will require a recovery period to heal and get back in shape. The postpartum period ranges from 6 to 8 weeks- while some may need more time to fully recover. This will vary for each mother depending on the surrounding circumstances. What’s important is to give yourself enough time for recovery not only on your physical body but also on your mental and emotional state.
For mums to rebuild their strength, they will need plenty of rest. However, getting regular sleep when you have a baby is impossible; a newborn typically wakes up every 3 hours and sometimes can even remain awake the whole night. Your baby’s sleeping pattern can make you exhausted and will not help with your recovery. Sleep when your baby sleeps – this is the easiest way for mums to have their much-needed rest. Also, do not hesitate to ask for help from your partner, family or friends on the household chores so you can focus on your baby and yourself.
Mothers need to eat a healthy and balanced diet during the postpartum period. Your meals should include grains, vegetables, fruits, lean meats, and low-fat dairy products. Along with a balanced meal, mothers should drink more fluids, especially if they are breastfeeding to ensure that they are hydrated.
While your body needs rest to recover, doing some exercises can also offer great help. However, it is always best practice to consult with your doctor before you commence any physical activity so that they can provide you with relevant advice. Performing a postpartum exercise helps to increase strength, lose weight, helps mums to sleep better, relieves stress, and could even help in potentially fighting off postpartum depression. Recommended postpartum exercises include walking, swimming, cycling, yoga, pilates, low-impact aerobic workouts, and lightweight training. Pelvic floor exercises are also suggested as they help to resolve urinary leakage, a typical postpartum discomfort experienced by mothers.
Aside from taking care of their physical body, mothers should also look after their emotional and mental health. Having a newborn, especially for first-time mothers, can be quite overwhelming and with all the changes that you are experiencing, you may fall into depression if you do not look after yourself properly. A mother can have the baby blues after giving birth, but it will soon pass. If negative emotions persist and get worse, it may possibly lead to dangerous postpartum depression.
It is natural for mothers to feel some anxieties and be conscious of how their body looks after having a baby. The good thing is that there are ways to help you feel comfortable and be happy with your new state as a mother. Getting enough rest, eating the right food, doing exercises and having a positive outlook can help in dealing with the pressures of motherhood.
Getting back on your professional career
Mothers may have to decide whether they should return to their professional career or be a devoted mother at home. The fact is, you can be both a mother and a successful, independent woman at the same time. Pursuing your goal does not mean you care less for your baby; on the contrary, you now have an inspiration to achieve your goals. It will be hard at first to balance your time at work and with your baby, but with proper time management, it is possible. Besides, when you feel fulfilled, you can be a better mother to your child.
With your new identity as a mother, there is also the chance of discovering new interests or rekindling an old passion. Several mothers pursued a new career after having children and became successful in it. It only proves that motherhood ought not to stop you from making a career and achieving your goals.
Finding your life purpose
Your purpose in life is never defined by any role. Sure being a mum is incomparable and truly noble, but your life does not end with being a mother. The world offers endless possibilities for everyone, including mothers who might think there’s nothing left for them to do. Pursue your passion; connect to your inner self and let it guide you in finding your life purpose. Establish a positive mindset and surround yourself with optimistic people. Seek the help of life coaches, business coaches and mentors if you’re having a hard time figuring out what’s your next step. These people can help you discover your full potential and accomplish your goals in life.
What most mothers don’t realize is that taking care of themselves and having self-actualization can benefit their child the most. A mother who knows herself, her abilities and her strength will be able to raise a confident and happy child. Remove unhealthy thoughts in your mind ― they will only stop you from discovering your full potential. Be an inspiration to your child, be the person he or she will look up to when they grow up.