So you are a new mom. You are thrilled to finally hold your bundle of joy. You cannot get enough of your baby. Then suddenly exhaustion hits you, you feel stressed and you wish for some peace and quiet when you could just close your eyes and sleep.
But your new baby’s routine – what with all the breast-feeding, burping, diaper changing and managing colic pain – you hardly get time to sit down or take a long breathe. Added to this is the external stress that comes in the form of well-meaning but often unwanted advice.
You simply want to relax and go to bed. In fact, you want to get back your routine, where could get up to exercise, go out for a walk with friends, but new baby means a totally new life for you. While it is easy to lose your head over this, and you might find yourself crying or feeling depressed all of a sudden.
It is normal to behave like this when you are tired, and obviously over strained. This does not do you or your baby any good. It can derail your healthy eating plans and attempts to lose post pregnancy weight as well. Research shows that depression or stress can lead to overeating and subsequent weight gain.
So you have to take control of your life and ensure that you relax and de-stress every day a little bit.
And here’s how you can do it:
#1: Nap when your baby naps
While you might not be sleepy when your baby sleeps, but it is a good idea to snuggle up with your baby every time she is taking a shut eye. Even if it for 20 minutes, but that power nap will do you lots of good. It improves productivity, and you feel less grumpy.
#2: Breast feed lying down
Breastfeeding in bed while lying down is not only good for your back but also relaxes you and your baby. You can in fact catch up on lost sleep while your baby feeds
#3 Set up a bedtime routine
Forget those late night TV shows for 6 months. In fact, by the time your baby is a month old, you can start having a bedtime routine with a relaxing bath for yourself and your baby and hitting the bed a little early, so that you both can wind down before sleeping.
#4 Share bed with your new baby
If your little one fails to fall asleep on his own, take your baby to bed with you, advise doctors. Medical studies explain that babies sleep better when they sleep in the same bed with their mother. There are less instances of night waking. And it is also easier to feed the baby at night.
#5 Let daddy do some baby duties
One of the best ways to wind down and relax is to hand over the baby to the daddy. He gets time to bond while you can catch up on your sleep, or simply go out for a walk by yourself or some coffee with friends.
#6 Visit the grandparents
Every weekend, try to pack the diaper bag and head to your mom’s or your husband’s parent’s house. It not only gives your parents a chance to bond with the baby but takes a load off you. Also, your hubby gets a chance to catch up on some much-needed rest.
#7 Do not turn to junk food to beat stress
When you are tired and stressed out, it is easy to reach for that bag of chips or have an extra cup of coffee or tea. But this is bad for both you and your baby, especially if you are breastfeeding. You are bound to feel a little more hungry than usual, but the good idea is to eat healthy, and be mindful about snacking. Look for healthy snack options that will help you keep extra weight off, and add nutrition to you and your baby.