6 Best Tips to Help New Moms Recover from Childbirth

Pregnancy can be both an overwhelming and exciting experience for a first time mom. Carrying a new life inside her belly and looking forward to the day when she finally holds her baby in her arms fills her with excitement and hope. Bringing home her newborn is one of the most celebrated days of her life.

This doesn’t mean that childbirth doesn’t leave her exhausted, pained, and overwhelmed. All the books, prenatal advice and seminars could not have adequately prepared her the real thing. After childbirth, she may feel both tired and confused.

Mother and little baby in the bed

As a woman’s body readjusts to hormonal and physical changes, she will need lots of rest and the proper nutrition to help her recover from the ordeal of labor and delivery. Here are some of the best tips to help a new mom recover from childbirth:

1. Get adequate rest

Going through hours of labor and the rigors of childbirth can leave a woman drained. She needs to physically recover from the experience. Within the first few days from delivery, she must devote as much time as she can to getting much-needed sleep and rest. She should avoid housework or strenuous physical activities and even limit her social interactions to a few hours a day. It is important that she allows her body to regain the energy lost during delivery.

As a new mom will soon realize, taking care of her baby can also be exhausting. The newborn will often awaken during the night and will have to be constantly fed, changed, and cared for. This may make sleep difficult for the mother. What she can do, is to try to take naps whenever the baby is asleep even if these periods may only be for a few hours or minutes. She needs to remember that in order to recover, she must squeeze in whatever rest she can get.

It wouldn’t hurt her to get some help with taking care of the child. She can ask someone in the home to assist with the childcare for a few hours a day or night so she can get more rest.

family, food, healthy eating, cooking and people concept - happy mother adding chopped vegetables to blender cup and holding little baby girl at home kitchen2. Observe the right nutrition

Other than getting sufficient rest, a new mom must also make sure to eat the right food types to strengthen her body and speed up her recovery. She must choose meals that incorporate the nutrients and vitamins she needs to supply a healthy flow of breastmilk for her baby. Here are some suggestions regarding the food groups that she must include in her meals:

Whole grains. Whole grains or fiber-rich carbohydrates will help to supply the new mom with the energy she needs for the day as she attends to her child. Some of the healthy choices include wheat bread, sourdough bread, quinoa, brown rice, oatmeal, white corn, and wheat cereals.

Lean proteins. It is recommended that a new mom increases her protein intake after childbirth. She must choose the low-fat variety and opt for lean proteins. The best sources include white chicken, lamb, beef, fish, and whole eggs. Some beans, peas, and nuts are also good additions.

She must take soups every few hours. This will help to keep her hydrated and energized. Taking several cups of warm bone broth, chicken broth, or miso soup a day will greatly benefit a new mom who is trying to regain her strength.

Including vegetables in the diet is a very important and basic tip. These will provide vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants for the body’s needs. It is best to choose vegetables that are dark in color because these generally haver higher contents of antioxidants. Prepare some vegetable salads or green smoothies to get the most from leafy greens.

Some fresh fruit slices make healthy snacks or desserts. Of course, there is no harm in selecting some canned, frozen, or dried fruit every once in a while.

Dairy products. Low-fat or fat-free milk and dairy products including yogurt should be taken regularly. This will provide calcium and vital nutrients for the recovering mom.

Drinking herbal teas is a good way to stay hydrated and benefit from their medicinal properties. Fennel tea is particularly good as it supports milk production. Other good choices are licorice, chamomile, calendula, nettle, dandelion, and ginger tea.

Dandelion tea is very helpful for those who may be suffering from urinary disorders including fluid retention. In one published study, it was found that dandelion tea has a diuretic effect which makes it appropriate for those who need to draw out excess fluids from the body.

Clear, unadulterated water should be taken as much as possible. This will help to flush out toxins and to maintain good hydration.

3. Take vitamins and supplements

Breastfeeding moms are advised to take some vitamins and supplements to make up for vitamin deficits that could not filled up by real food. Some of the most recommended supplements for new moms include the following:

Iron is essential for the optimum function of red blood cells. Iron supplementation is especially necessary for women after childbirth in order to replace the blood that was lost during delivery. Iron deficiency can make them feel sleepy and lethargic which will make it challenging to care for the newborn.

Other than supporting strong bones and teeth, calcium is also important for several functions of the body including hormone secretion and contraction of blood vessels. Taking calcium supplements is beneficial in boosting milk production.

DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). Healthy omega-3 fatty acids such as DHA have shown to support “healthy hormones.” Taking these supplements can be very helpful for women who experience postpartum blues or anxiety.

Breastfeeding women should take about 20 percent more magnesium per day. This will help to combat fatigue and to provide the baby with the mineral directly from the mother’s milk.

Vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 naturally occurs in animal products including meat, fish, poultry, milk, and cheese. B12 is considered an energy vitamin and can also prevent or manage fatigue. Further, it is important for the baby’s brain health and development.

family mother and child daughter are engaged in fitness yoga exercise at home4. Start exercising

Trying to recover their pre-pregnancy shape and body weight is one of the most common concerns among young mothers. The way to recover this is to simply to begin an exercise program as soon as the body is ready. Moderate exercises such as brisk walking or swimming are good options, to begin with, unless the woman has had a cesarean delivery, in which case, she must consult her physician prior to attempting an exercise regimen.

Postpartum fitness programs that can help a new mom recover her lost muscle tone are offered by several fitness centers or gyms. It is important to get the approval of her attending doctor before she begins performing any physical activity.

5. Ask for help

A new mom needs the help and support of her partner, her family, and her close friends. She may need some guidance and advice on how to take care of herself and how to attend to the needs of her baby. She should not hesitate to reach out and ask those whom she trusts for pieces of advice on these matters.

She may also join support groups in the community or on social media pages to talk about her experiences and seek opinions whenever she wants to. Going through motherhood for the first time can be intimidating and even frightening. Having a support group where she can openly share her thoughts or fears and knowing that the group members understand where she’s coming from will help to lighten her load.

In the home, she may also need help with doing chores like washing the nursing bottles, preparing meals, doing the laundry, and others. Having someone on hand to assist her with these tasks can be a big help. It will allow her to focus more on the care of her child without being unduly stressed by other responsibilities. It could be a big relief to her if the family could hire some household help to attend to these chores.

6. Take breaks for “Me” time

Adjusting to the new role and responsibilities is no doubt, exhausting. A new mom needs to feel she is still a woman and has a valuable existence apart from being just a mother to her child. She will need to spend time with herself a few hours each week to reflect, reconnect with her inner self, and to celebrate her small accomplishments. She may have a nanny, sitter, or a family member take care of the child on a weekend or Friday afternoon so she can go off on her own.

She should take some time to have a good meal at her favorite restaurant, enjoy a cup of tea, or stroll through the park. Having time alone will keep her refreshed and will help her organize her thoughts or feelings as she journeys through motherhood.

Practicing some of these tips will greatly help a new mom through a speedy recovery after delivery. As she begins to take on the tasks or chores of motherhood, she will need to have her body and emotions in top shape. Observing good nutrition, proper rest, adequate exercise, and getting the right support from appropriate sources will go a long way in making her the best mom she could possibly be.

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family, food, healthy eating, cooking and people concept - happy mother adding chopped vegetables to blender cup and holding little baby girl at home kitchen