Becoming yourself again
After childbirth, it is natural for you, like most mothers, to go through changes, both emotionally and physically. At the same time there will be so many things needing your attention. Your baby will get up at odd times, has to be fed, changed and comforted. There will be eager visitors. If you have other children, they too need your time. In the midst of all these, how do you keep your sanity and find some space for yourself?
A Good Rest
Try to sleep when the baby is sleeping. Excuse yourself for a nap even if there are visitors, they’ll understand. Get your husband or a friend to mind your baby while you get outside in the fresh air for a few minutes everyday. Or indulge in something that relaxes you like a warm soak in the bath, reading, walking or gardening.
A Healthy Diet
Include food that is made up of grains- wheat, rice, oats, barley - like whole meal wheat bread, brown rice and oatmeal. Vary your vegetables from different shades of green, red and orange, and don’t forget legumes. Fruits or 100% fruit juice is good. Choose dairy products that are fat-free or low in fat and rich in calcium. Go for low fat meat and poultry. Choose alternative sources of protein like fish, nuts, peas and beans. This balanced diet will ensure you stay in top form and fit for your baby and yourself.
"Travel. That’s the one activity that helps me deal with my parental burnout. Dropping the babies at the grandparents to be spoilt for the weekend while I take off some time to be just ME…. I come home to the twins refreshed".
Don’t forget your pelvic floor exercises
Remember to contract (squeeze) your pelvic muscles (muscles that support your bladder, uterus and bowel) every time you put strain on them like when you lift your baby, cough or get up from a sitting position. You can also do this as a conscious exercise regime. Tighten your back passage muscles like you would when trying to stop yourself from passing wind. At the same time, tighten the muscles around the front passage like you would when trying to stop passing water. Breathe normally. You should aim for 10 to 20 contractions holding each contraction for up to 10 seconds. Relax in between for about 10 seconds. If you do the exercise 4 to 5 times a day your pelvic muscle should be in good shape before your baby is 6 months old.