This post is sponsored by Nature’s Way. I’m excited to be partnering with the brand to celebrate its 50irthday! Since 1969, Nature’s Way has been helping people live their best lives through the gifts of nature.
You had a baby, or you're having one! What a miraculous, love-filled rollercoaster ride! I'm seven months postpartum and these post-natal care essentials and tips I'm sharing still apply to me. Although Ollie is eating solids now, I am still nursing six times a day, so taking care of myself is essential if I want to keep providing for my son.I created this list to put together quick bullets of self-care essentials and tips that have worked for me along my prenatal and postnatal journey. I realize we all have different needs, so I encourage you to consult with your healthcare provider before you jump on the bandwagon.
That being said, information is power and arming yourself with these care tips is a solid first step, especially if you're looking for support (aren't we all though?)....Also, if you plan on visiting my house, take notes! ;)
1. Be kind to yourself. As a new mama myself, let me tell you...sister, be kind to yourself. Whew! Hard is not the right word to describe the whole "situation." Hard seems scary to me, and postpartum is not a scary time. But it is challenging. There, I think that's a better word. Your sleep is challenged. Your personal relationships are challenged. Your conflict resolution skills are challenged. Things that we think are so important, we're forced to reevaluate and make others more of a priority. For example, I am an organization f-r-e-a-k but if my house looks clean but lived-in, I'm at peace with that, though I won't lie and say walking by books or toys that aren't put away doesn't niggle me! I don't need a Martha Stewart home when I'm trying to do everything else (though, I do dream of it!). Also, one thing I did right after coming home from the hospital was set a goal of getting one or two (max) personal things done during the day. Over the first few months, I'd make personal goals in the morning so when I'd accomplish them, I'd feel great about it. I'd say to Matt, "I'm going to wash and blow dry my hair today," and as tired as I was, I'd still get it done because it's self-care and I accomplished something for myself. It sounds silly and small, but it's really huge to be kind to yourself and set attainable and realistic goals.
2. Ask them to bring something or do something. You are not going to entertain anyone but your baby for two to three months after birth. If a visitor asks if they can bring something to you (a meal!), accept it. You can return the favor later. If they don't bring anything but ask if they can help you with laundry or dishes, OMG even better. Accept help. I know that's hard to do for those of us who believe we can do it all, but accept the help!
3. Connect with your community. New moms can feel so isolated. I remember crying in my rocking chair, nursing Ollie in the dark as my husband kissed me good-bye and left me for a college basketball game. I whispered in his ear, "I feel so lonely." It's true. The weeks after birth were such a sad and extremely happy moment in my life. My bedtime was 7:30 PM and I was still exhausted. Ollie not having his shots yet and his back-to-back nap schedule also prevented me from really getting out and connecting all the time. Fortunately, my street has four new moms on it, so we all bopped around to each other's houses and brought leftovers to each others’ houses. That small bit of interaction was life for me! I also walk a lot, so I'd run into new moms with newborns in their strollers and we'd strike up a conversation on the walk. If you can find anything small that allows you to connect with your community, I encourage you to give it a shot.
4. Prenatal vitamins. Prenatal vitamins are appropriate for all pregnant and nursing women--it's a good insurance policy to have a good multivitamin. A prenatal vitamin is not only good for mama, but it's also good for your baby, because you're passing all the good stuff on to your fetus or through your breast milk, if you choose to nurse. A great complete prenatal is Nature's Way Prenatal Complete.
5. Vitamin D. You can get checked for your Vitamin D levels with lab tests ordered by your primary care physician. Most people think Vitamin D is for good bone health, but it's also linked to immune support and other health functions in the body.*
6. Vitamin C. Essential for immune function.* Check with your physician to make sure you're getting enough Vitamin C in your diet and in your multivitamin.
7. Omega 3s. In a typical Western diet, we eat too many Omega 6s and not enough Omega 3s. Omega 3s can help promote brain health during pregnancy and early life.* I throw a pinch of ground organic chia seeds and flax seed into Ollie's morning oatmeal for his brain health.* I also supplement with Nature's Way Ultra Pure Omega 3 Prenatal Ginger. I love this supplement for its pure ingredients and excellent formula. A big plus? It includes a fish oil that tastes like ginger so you don't have that potent after-supplement fish oil burp.
*This statement has not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.**Every situation is different and if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, always check with your health care provider before supplementing.