The birth of a baby challenges a mother in many ways. You are likely to feel exhausted, excited and worried all the same time, about the baby, and that is why you tend to be stressed. Thus, it is essential to take care of yourself, especially during the early months after delivery. A mom’s job can be highly stressful, at it 24 x 7 therefore here are 10 significant yet simple stress-busters for new mothers from Dr Sushma Tomar, Consultant, Obstetrician and Gynaecologist & Dr Fabian Almeida, Consultant Psychiatrist at Fortis Hospital, Kalyan.
- Rest and sleep well- Sleep enough and as often as you can, because sleep deprivation will make everything seem worse. If your baby is keeping you waking at night, rest when the baby is napping. Even if you’re not able to sleep, it's helpful to close your eyes and take deep breaths; this will help you relax. It gives you time to recuperate and keep your system working in a proper shape.
- Have a healthy and balanced diet- Eat healthily and on time to keep up your energy levels. Eat the right amount of Carbohydrates, such as Whole Wheat bread, Pasta and Brown Rice; this will help to keep you going throughout the day. Avoid Saturated Fats such as Butter, ready-to-eat-meals and Cheese, instead, choose Unsaturated Fats such as Olive Oil and Avocados. Also, eat foods which are rich in Protein such as lean meat and Chicken, Fish, Eggs, Lentils and Beans. Have plenty of fruits and vegetables; this will boost your immune system, will make you feel better and help in preventing Postnatal Constipation. Mothers-to-Be, Here’s Are Few Winter Pregnancy Care Tips From an Expert.
- Make time for yourself- Giving time to yourself is vital for your emotional well-being. Take a hot bath in the evening, take an hour or so to read a good book, watch a movie in the middle of the day, or get your nails done. Whatever you choose to do, make yourself a priority. Create a list of things you miss to do, or things that make you feel good, and pursue the agenda
- Be prepared for the unpredictable- Realize that there will be days when you feel overwhelmed, and other days when it feels like you're not doing anything else besides taking care of your baby, but that is fine. Some new parents find that it helps to try and set a daily schedule or "to-do" list, but must know that it's okay if you have to let it all go
- Get some help yourself- New parents can count on their extended family members to help in taking care of the baby. That’s not always a possibility, so you might have to find help in other places. Do not hesitate to call your friends or hire a babysitter if you can afford, to look after the baby. A Postpartum Doula is a great option. If you have helpful relatives who stay nearby, ask them to come over and watch the baby while you can complete your work or just rest
- Tame your mind- It is true, that the mind can be mastered to render magic! The age-old wisdom of meditation, coupled with insightful introspection, helps us to sort out the pieces within our puzzled mind. Add to that, the art of Autosuggestion – reassuring the self with positive affirmations like “I can, I will, I must”- serves to be a perfect stress-buster.
- Play-therapy- Playing with your kids is the best form of exercise for the child and the parent. Besides helping with better bonding, it also re-enforces the importance of activity, energy and stamina. And the cherry on the top- add a few tips on sportsmanship spirit, no matter what the sport, and that surely will go a long way
- Zumba- The zest and the Zen of Zumba, is the most famous flavour of the day. Sign up for a Zumba class, or copy the steps and style from the internet, and experience the flexibility and freshness that comes from music, dance and exercise. Don’t miss out on this one, and you don’t even need to know how to dance
- Creative chaos- Exploring your creative side is a ‘right brain exercise’, so there cannot be anything wrong about it! Jokes apart, it is healthy to involve yourself in creative activities like art, craft, cooking etc. so that this forms a part of a stress-busting experience for the brain. Creative exercises have therapeutic value.
- Notching up novelty- Trying out something new, has its charm and heightens the adrenaline rush, helping us to counter mood swings and mental blocks neurochemically. Break the routine, stop the stereotype and let the novelty bring back a little sunshine into your life.
These few points can help a mother to indulge in positive stress-busting activities, as a preventive measure and understanding the body’s stress signals, which is an essential aspect of our lifestyle today.