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A Self-Care for Two – Staying Healthy During Breastfeeding

Raising a newborn is no joke, and your health remains the most important resource for your little one during breastfeeding

When a new baby arrives, the world changes forever. It brings unmeasurable happiness but it also changes our lives dramatically and we become fully absorbed in our parenting. Tackling the daily challenges of parenting is already a full-time job in itself, that it leaves little time for anything else.

During the nursing period, stress can impact the milk flow and volume, leaving moms searching for their solutions for breastfeeding problems.

Thus, it’s important for mothers to ‘steal’ a time-out now and again to relieve the accumulated stress, to prevent the detrimental effects it can have on their health.

Your health is your baby’s currency

Your little bundle of joy is completely helpless and dependent upon you for all of its needs. Oftentimes, the instinct to protect and nurture can be so completely overwhelming, that it may make you leave your own needs unmet.

Even though the idea of self-care during breastfeeding might sound counter-intuitive at first, it’s important to remember that your health and happiness directly impacts your baby’s wellbeing. Happy moms raise happy children, and there’s nothing more positive you can do for your little one than take some time to yourself and address your own needs. It may take different forms, none of which are less important than the others.

A healthy diet – better breastmilk

Healthy eating directly impacts the quality of your milk and your newborn’s development. Avoiding foods with artificial components (colors, sweeteners, preservatives) is important to minimize the risks of adverse effects on the quality of your milk and by extension, your baby. Eating foods rich in nutrients, cooked meat, as well as fruits and vegetables, not only gives you the energy you need to power through the day, but also improve your mood and your little one’s mood.

Sometimes, however, some moms may struggle with adequate milk supply for their newborn’s needs. Adding so-called galactagogic foods or breastfeeding supplements can help you address this issue while also improving your milk quality and overall health.

Furthermore, remember to treat yourself every once in a while, as enjoying the littlest of things, such as a bite of your favorite cookie, can tremendously improve your spirits and emotional wellbeing.

Balanced physical activity is the best stress relief

Keeping up with your little one’s needs isn’t easy – but taking even 10 minutes a day for a light physical activity can go a long way into replenishing that much-needed energy.

Walking, performing breathing exercises, even light stretches can improve your mood and prevent postpartum depression. Of course, before you engage in any kind of exercise regime, consult your doctor, since every pregnancy and birth is a world of its own. Balanced physical activity also helps you regain your pre-pregnancy figure and burn away the adipose tissue stored during pregnancy.

Getting a helping hand

Your significant other or a close family member can help immensely during these stressful times. Never shy away from asking for help in order to provide the environment for yourself and your little one.

Getting help with the daily chores such as cooking, cleaning or clothes washing, can free up quite some time for you to reflect upon yourself and your welfare. Of course, the emotional support and intimacy between parents or partners is a priceless resource in successfully tackling the challenges of parenthood. It’s a very important part of life that the whirlwind of parental obligations often leaves on the backburner.

To Summarize

Raising a baby will probably be the most important (and most satisfying) challenge in your life, and while its challenges can take even the strongest mom to the edge, it’s important to remember that you have needs that need taking care of.

Motherhood is a wonderful experience and it doesn’t mean that a mom should neglect herself in order to be good. On the contrary, staying in good health and spirits, enjoying the thousand little joys of being a mom to the fullest, can only lead to great things and very happy childhood for your baby!