How to look after your health after having a baby
Lily & Loaf Blog
Pregnancy & Preconception
25/03/2022 11:33am 6 minute read
When you’ve just given birth and are looking after a newborn baby, it can be easy to focus all your efforts on your little one and neglect to look after yourself.
Long-term, this can cause issues with your emotional and mental health and leave you feeling tired, exhausted and alone.
Having a baby – whether you’re a first-time parent or are welcoming another child – brings about big changes.
It can disrupt the dynamics of your family and take its toll physically, mentally and emotionally. So, looking after your health and wellbeing and making sure you eat well, take some time out to recharge and get plenty of rest is essential. Happy mum equals happy baby, after all.
Here, we share some top tips to help you look after your health after having a baby.
THE IMPORTANCE OF HEALTHY EATING AFTER GIVING BIRTH
Looking after a newborn baby is physically and mentally exhausting. So, getting all the right nutrients from your food will help keep your natural energy levels up, lift your mood when it feels too much and ensure you can get enough sleep and rest… when baby allows, that is. If you’re breastfeeding, eating well is essential not just for yourself but also for your baby. After all, whatever you put into your body may be passed to your little one when they feed, so making sure you eat as cleanly as possible is a must.
Cutting out unhealthy eating habits, staying hydrated and getting plenty of the right vitamins, minerals and nutrients will help keep both you and your baby well. Try to include lots of fresh fruit and veg, whole foods, lean proteins and unsaturated fats in your diet. Knock processed sugar, junk food, cigarettes and alcohol on the head, and watch your caffeine intake. Also, try to limit sweets, salty snacks and foods high in saturated fat.
Getting more Vitamin D, which regulates the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body, can help your baby start to develop healthy bones, teeth and muscles. Iron can help prevent tiredness and fatigue – get it from lean meat, green leafy vegetables, dried fruit and nuts.
You can never get enough Vitamin C. It helps protect your cells and keep them healthy. You’ll find it in many fresh fruits and vegetables, including oranges, red and green peppers, strawberries, blackcurrants, broccoli, brussels sprouts and potatoes. And calcium is vital for the normal development of your baby’s bones and teeth. Cheese and yoghurt are good natural sources, along with green leafy vegetables like rocket, watercress and kale.
TIPS TO STAY HEALTHY FOR YOU AND YOUR BABY
Eating better is not the only thing you can do to stay healthy after giving birth. Here are a few tips to help maintain your wellbeing – and sanity – so you can enjoy being a mother.
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