Maintain Proper Nutrition: When we're pregnant we eat super healthy so we can grow a super healthy baby. Maintaining that level of nutrition and nourishment is just as important after baby is born. Not only is your body healing from the birth of your baby, but it is also working very hard to produce milk for your baby along with running all of your normal body functions (on less sleep, too!). Sometimes the transition to caring for baby on the outside AND yourself can be challenging to manage. There are lots of great ways to ensure you are keeping up on proper nutrition during your postpartum...
- Many moms find it helpful to do some of the prep work prenatally to take the stress off of managing meals in the postpartum. Preparing and freezing meals during your pregancy when you're already focused on a balanced diet is a great way to stock up on ready-made nutrition after baby is born.
- Some friends and loved ones will set up meal trains for new families, where each person bring the family a new meal each day for a certain number of days after baby's arrival.
- If you have friends family members in town who are able to come over and cook for you from time to time, that can really take some of the stress away from managaing your meals and baby's.
- Keeping quick, healthy snacks on hand is a great way to maintain access to healthy food without having to worry about preparing a meal while also caring for baby. Storing your snacks in a little "breastfeeding basket" or caddy with other handy breastfeeding supplies (including water!) keeps your food within arms reach and portable. Smoothies are another kind of easy snack to make that are packed with lots of nutrients. Check out some of our delicious smoothie recipes here.
One more thing that's super important is to keep taking your prenatal vitamins. Most care providers will recommend you continue to take your prenatal vitamins as long as you are breastfeeding to ensure you are supplementing your regular diet with the proper balance of nutrients for both you and your baby.
Encapsulate Your Placenta: Of the clients we have served in the past, 67% have reported experiencing an energy boost from consuming their encapsulated placenta. That's quite a benefit and one of the top reasons women express interest in encapsulation, along with a desire to balance their mood postpartum. Your placenta is packed with lots of great nutrients, hormones and iron - all of which contribute to bringing more nourishment and balance to your body, which translates directly into more energy for you! 29% of our clients have also reported that they've experienced better sleep when taking their placenta, which gives your system another extra boost. Your body really knows how to provide you with the perfect postpartum medicine, made especially for you. If you're in San Diego and interested in encapsulation, hop on over to My San Diego Doula & Placenta Encapsulation to get in touch with us. We love talking placentas!
Nap When You Can: That old adage "sleep when the baby sleeps" sounds really nice and all, but actually doing it is easier said than done... Especially when the only thing you find yourself capable of doing while your baby is sleeping is staring at their cute little face, wondering how in the world you have such a squishy, delicious, adorable, little baby. By the end of the day, you realize that you've stared at your baby through every single nap and it's suddenly night time and the reality of waking up every 2 hours to feed your baby throughout the night finally hits you. Oops! We've all been there. But for real... Naps can be a total life saver and game changer. Maybe an eight hour stretch of sleep at night isn't possible for the time being, but compensating for those missed hours by napping here and there throughout the week will help your body heal more efficiently, keep that foggy mom-brain at bay and help you regain some much needed energy so you can better care for your newborn. Here's the breakdown on the benefits of napping...
- Micro-Nap: Even napping for 2-5 min is shown to be effective in shedding sleepiness
- Mini-Nap: Napping for 5-20 minutes can increase alertness, stamina and motor performance
- Power Nap: A 20 minute nap has all the benefits of the Micro and the Mini, but with the added benefits of improved muscle memory and improved long-term memory.
- Long Nap: Napping for 50-90 minutes induces REM sleep, which is good for improving perceptual processing and repairing your body. You may wake up a bit groggy before you begin to experience the benefits of this nap.
Tap into Your Support Resources: Support from friends, family, loved ones and care providers can make a huge difference in your ability to care for yourself and your baby during your postpartum. Everyone loves a new baby and most people are more than happy to help out. Invite family and friends to support you in ways that are most helpful to you. This looks different for every family. Maybe you need someone to come over and keep an eye on the baby for a while so you can shower or take a nap. Or maybe it would be more helpful for someone to spend time with your other child(ren) so you can nap with the newborn. Most loved ones are also more than happy to take care of household tasks for you, so you are able to focus on baby. Inviting them to throw in a load of laundry, prepare a meal, or wash a few dishes is a great way to involve others in supporting your growing family.
Some families also find it helpful to hire outside support, like postpartum doulas - women who are trained specifically in caring for women and babies during the immediate postpartum. They are well-versed in baby care skills, as well as maternal concerns, like breastfeeding support and knowing the signs of postpartum depresssion. They can be a great complimentary support system for families who need that extra bit of support.