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Eating Right Can Help You Get Through Postpartum

By the time you’ve given birth, you’ve heard just about all there is to hear about eating right. Still, nutrition continues to be important after you’ve given birth. It’s especially important that you eat a balanced, nutritious diet if you are dealing with postpartum depression.

Taking care of a newborn baby is a tough job for anyone. Even those who are in great physical and mental/emotional shape can find it tough keeping up with the constant feedings, changings, crying, and everything else that goes with being a new mom. The last thing any new mom needs is to try doing it all without adequate energy. Unhealthy eating habits (or going without eating) can leave you even more tired-and more depressed- than you were before.

When you have postpartum depression, it can feel like everything is hopeless and you are helpless. Choosing to eat a balanced, healthy diet is one thing you can control. It’s one thing that you can choose to do for yourself and your baby regardless of how you’re feeling. Making the choice to take proper care of yourself, in and of itself, can help you feel a little better.

While this is not intended as a complete nutritional guide (see your doctor or nutritionist for that), here are some tips for healthy eating while you are going through postpartum depression:

  • Drink lots of fluids. You’d be amazed at how many physical and emotional problems are linked to dehydration. Drink water, milk, and juice. Lay off coffee and soda as much as you can.
  • Eat plenty of fresh fruit and veggies. This isn’t exactly new advice, but it’s good advice. Mix things up with a variety of fresh vegetables and fruit.
  • Protein. Don’t skimp on protein postpartum, especially if you’re dealing with postpartum depression. Eat plenty of lean protein. Oily fish (salmon, tuna, etc.) is an excellent choice. If you’re vegetarian, eat plenty of soy, whey, tofu, or nuts.
  • Don’t focus on losing weight. You’re going to lose some weight naturally, but don’t get down on yourself if you don’t fit into those pre-pregnancy jeans after your baby is born. Most women take several months to get back to pre-pregnancy size. 
Posted in After Pregnancy |
When Mom Can’t Sleep Through the Night

Sometime between four and nine months old, our babies reach that point where they are able to sleep for five to six hours at a time, giving us the opportunity for some much deserved rest of our own. But, for many moms, sleeping through the night just isn’t that easy after spending several months waking up two or three times every night.

Many mothers report waking up in a near panic when they realize their baby has been asleep for more than four hours. It’s perfectly natural to wonder if something is wrong, especially if your baby has been in the habit of waking up several times during the night before now. If it makes you feel better, sit beside the crib and watch baby sleep for a while. Then, take a deep breath and go back to bed. He’ll wake up soon enough.

If you find yourself worrying too much about baby when he starts sleeping through the night, it can actually be worse for your rest than when he was waking up regularly. Consider moving his crib so that you can watch him while he sleeps. That way, when you wake up, you won’t need to get out of bed to check on your baby.

Placing baby’s crib where you can see each other often helps baby soothe himself back to sleep, too. Babies and adults both go through light and deep sleep cycles, and actually wake up briefly many times during a typical sleep session. If baby is able to see you, he will be able to soothe himself to sleep more often, leading to a better night’s sleep for both of you.

Take advantage of the extra sleep while you’re able to get it. Even if you find yourself unable to actually go back to sleep, lie down and keep resting. In most cases, when baby starts sleeping through the night, you only have a short time until he starts teething. And once that starts, he will most likely be waking up in the middle of the night again, at least temporarily.

Most of all, don’t worry about baby sleeping for longer stretches of time. By the time he is four or five months old, his stomach and digestive system have developed enough that he is able to eat larger amounts at a setting (you’ve probably already noticed this), which means that he doesn’t get hungry as often. Since hunger and the need to feed is what wakes babies more than anything else, he is now old enough to sleep for longer periods of time because he doesn’t feel hungry as quickly.

Posted in After Pregnancy |
Taking Baby for a Walk

Most women should begin getting at least some exercise within six to eight weeks after bringing baby into the world. Of course, you should consult your doctor if you have any conditions which might hinder you from getting exercise, but for most of us, we are ready to start getting into shape by the time baby is two months old.

One of the best ways to give yourself some exercise while also providing a great experience for your baby is taking your baby for a walk. The exercise is great for you, and the fresh air is good for both of you.

One of the first things you should do, preferably before you actually have the baby, is choose a good stroller that is comfortable for you. There are many different kinds of strollers, and They’re not exactly one size fits all. Things you should consider when choosing a stroller include where you will be using it (on a sidewalk? In the mall?) and how well it fits your height.

Small umbrella style strollers are great because they store away easily and don’t take up much space. But unless you’re on the shorter side, you don’t want to bend over and push them for any significant amount of time.

Your best bet is to find a stroller with adjustable handles so that you can set them at a comfortable angle. Ideally, you should be able to stand up straight while you are pushing baby’s stroller, rather than having to stoop down or hunch your shoulders.

If you are planning on using your stroller on the sidewalk, it’s best to use a walking or jogging stroller. These strollers are typically larger and have three wheels which resemble bicycle tires. The larger tires allows you to push the stroller over uneven surfaces better without jostling yourself or the baby.

Of course, even with a jogging stroller, you should try to keep to relatively level surfaces. Too much bouncing around isn’t good for you or the baby, especially when you are first starting out and baby is only two or three months old. Try to find a smooth sidewalk. If the sidewalks in your neighborhood aren’t well kept, consider driving to a park and walking there.

One of the nicest things about taking baby for a walk is that it is an activity which can be enjoyed by the whole family. Mom and dad can take turns pushing the stroller. Older kids might even enjoy taking a turn at taking baby for a walk. If you have another toddler, you can always put him in a double stroller with your baby. Or, if you prefer, your older child can walk along with you.

Posted in About Your Baby, After Pregnancy |
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