By Melissa Portunato MPH, IBCLC, RLC
Finding time for self care as a new mom can be hard enough. Throw in a global pandemic and life can get pretty intense. While the majority of the country continues to remain with stay at home orders, stress levels are at an all time high for everyone. Maybe the end of your maternity leave now means transitioning to working virtually or maybe you have found yourself home with older siblings and your new baby since most daycares have closed their doors. Self care doesn’t need to be fancy or always involve a spa or nail salon but we know those things can definitely be a sweet treat! Stress from the pandemic and everything else that comes along with being a new mom can start to get taxing mentally, physically and spiritually. If you’re not feeling well, truth is no one at home will. Let’s start with being mindful and kind to our perfectly created bodies. You just birthed a baby and with that a new mother was born too. Let’s nurture her and treat her right.
Read on for 3 tips to practice Self Care while Social Distancing:
Get More Zzzzzzz
Sleep? Yes please! The lack of sleep that comes along with having a newborn can be the biggest life transition. No matter if you’re a first time mom or if it’s your 5th baby, you’re never really prepared for the lack of sleep you’re going to experience. Frankly, you will never sleep the same again. Good news is eventually it will get better, but how can you get more sleep during the newborn phase? Here’s how! Research shows moms who bring baby to their beds to nurse get more sleep. Co sleeping can be safe when proper guidelines are followed. And if you are exclusively pumping it’s still important to keep your baby close! The AAP recommends keeping your baby in the same room with you at least until 1 year. You’re able to respond faster to your baby, allowing you both to peacefully nod back into dreamland.
With most public parks remaining closed, more moms are finding a neighborhood walk soothing and relaxing. A breath of fresh air can do wonders for your mood and boost your immune system. Vitamin D, which we mainly get from the sun, is critical in keeping your immune system up and running to help fight off viruses. How much Vitamin D should you be intaking? For nursing moms, the recommendation is to intake 6400 IUs per day in order to have adequate supplementation for both mommy and baby. Is it impossible to get outside? Try a quick 7 minute workout like these with the 7 minute workouts (app). Quick easy to follow workouts and even some yoga poses you can incorporate. Namaste!
Kick The Sugar
We’ve piled our pandemic emergency stash with all the essential items cookies, cakes, and chips! But why does everything non perishable seem to always have to be unhealthy? Not true! Some easy non perishables to add to your daily diet that help with sugar cravings are nut butters like almond and cashew, dried fruit or trail mix, coconut flakes or cocoa bits can curb hunger and keep you fuller longer. Add in healthy fats like olive oil and avocados too! Breastfeeding moms gotta eat! You’re burning between 300-500 calories just by making milk. Limit sugar to have more energy to keep up with all the new normals going on. Make sure that you are compensating for those extra calories with real food.
The life of a new mom revolves around breastfeeding, diaper changes, rinsing and repeating. It’s pretty easy to forget about yourself. But it’s especially important now, more than ever to practice healthy self care habits. Social distancing doesn’t mean social isolation mamas. Be sure to connect with your family and friends during this time. Schedule a virtual happy hour with friends, have family drive by to see the baby through the window, or even host a celebration parade to welcome your new bundle of joy. Always remember your doctor is only a call away. Don’t isolate yourself and confide in a trusted professional. Schedule a virtual consultation with one of our IBCLCs and we can help talk it over. We’re for you mamas and we support you!