As a mother of two, I’m well versed in the process of “getting back into the swing of things” after having a baby. And I’ll be honest with you, it can definitely be exhausting at times. Trying to get back into your normal routine and restart everything with a newborn is a big process and can be very difficult, especially if your baby isn’t a good sleeper. It’s so important to make sure you’re looking after yourself, but it’s definitely hard to do this with an infant. Here are some health hacks for tired mums that I learnt while my little ones were still young.
Give yourself time
Although it’s important to look after your health, it’s not always best to jump straight back into an intense exercise or weight loss routine right after you’ve had a baby. Your body will probably need time to recover and it’s a good idea to give it that time. Instead of pushing yourself too hard, start with baby steps (pardon the pun). Every few days, try to get out of the house for a gentle walk or to meet a friend for coffee. If you have a good stroller, you can BYO baby. Just try to get yourself moving every once in awhile.
Don’t resort to fast food
Home-cooked meals definitely involve a lot more effort than ordering in, but you should be trying to eat as much good food as possible, especially if you’re breastfeeding. If you don’t have the energy to cook, you could ask a friend or family member to help out, or opt for healthy takeaway options.
Often, it’s your support network of people close to you that will step up when they know you need help, so it’s likely they’ll be happy to make you something.
You can also try to keep some carrots, celery and fruit on hand for you to snack on throughout the day.
Stress is a big cause of health problems. In fact, 25% of Australians stress about things like money, so try to keep yourself relaxed and stay as calm and happy as possible. Even though you’ll most likely be very tired, try to take some time out for yourself every day so that you can stay sane. Meditation (there are plenty of YouTube tutorials for this) or even yoga can help you to stay centred. Lavender oil is a natural relaxant, so rub it into your skin or light a scented candle. It will help.
Exercise throughout the day
If you don’t want to commit to something like going to the gym or heading out for a run, you don’t have to. Instead, try to fit in a few smaller workouts throughout the day. There are plenty of short workout routines available for you to check out online (some of these are even as short as seven minutes) and if you can squeeze in just a few each day, it can really improve your strength and fitness.
As mentioned earlier, your body needs time to rest, so make sure you’re sleeping as much as you can. Studies show that a lack of sleep can contribute to a decrease in productivity, low energy and a slower metabolism and as a result your body will naturally crave sugary or salty foods to try and wake itself up. Unfortunately, this can contribute to weight gain so getting as much rest as possible is important. Consider having a 20-40 minute nap at around 3pm every day. This won’t affect your sleep at night and it should help give you a quick reboot.
There’s no doubt that being a new mum is hard, but by doing your best to look after yourself, you’ll be able to be the best mum you can be for your new baby.
About the Author:
Bessie Hassan is a mother of two and the Money Expert at finder.com.au, Australia’s most visited comparison website.