How to Take Care of Your Body & Stay Healthy After Pregnancy

3 ways to accelerate function and healing in a mother

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

Pregnancy is one of those joyous moments in life which starts you on the path towards motherhood and the husband or loved one on the path towards fatherhood.

Pregnancy is difficult and carrying a baby for 9 months in the womb certainly takes a toll on women.

Not only does a woman’s body have to support herself but also support a live growing baby in the womb and during these months, it’s imperative that a woman be given the proper nutrition, health, and care she needs and deserves.

As the baby grows, a pregnant woman’s entire body goes through changes to accommodate the growing baby and with this comes a host of symptoms that may make pregnancy uncomfortable and painful for some.

Even after pregnancy, a woman’s body just doesn’t return to normal in an instant. Everything takes time, usually around 6–8 weeks for women to feel fully recovered.

However, during this time, it’s also equally important to make sure your body gets the required nutrition and health it needs since the body needs to restore health and function.

Here are some ways to take care of yourself after pregnancy:

Get Tons of Rest

This is very obvious and should make sense. Carrying a baby in the womb for 9 months and delivering it to this world certainly takes a great toll on a woman’s body and so the #1 priority is to get a lot of rest especially after pregnancy.

A women’s body has literally taken a beating all these months and by prioritizing rest, you can ensure that you don’t stress your body too much while also supporting the body’s natural healing process.

Most women take around 6–8 weeks to feel mostly recovered and during this time,

  • Hormone levels that were elevated during pregnancy will start returning to normal
  • The uterus will start shrinking back to its original size
  • Aches and pains will slowly decrease

Eat Healthy Food and Exercise a Bit

Healthy food and exercise will be a woman’s very best friends during the weeks and months after a pregnancy.

The body of course needs food to support the many functions that it performs every day and healthy food is what will supply the body with the essential nutrients and vitamins it needs.

However, pregnancy and breastfeeding both reduce the nutrient stores in a mother’s body since some of those nutrients and vitamins have to go to the developing baby.

During pregnancy, a baby receives its share of nutrition from the mother and breast milk from the mother is also rich in nutrients and antioxidants.

So a mother’s primary concern after pregnancy should be to restore her body’s nutritional stores and to make sure that she eats healthy food to supplement her bodily processes.

Most women still continue to take their prenatal vitamins even after pregnancy and during the time they are breastfeeding while other mothers switch to postnatal vitamins that typically contain higher dosages of certain vitamins and nutrients to support a woman’s health.

Here are some nutrients and vitamins and their dosages that woman need after pregnancy (RDA):

  • Vitamin A: 1300 μg/day
  • Vitamin E: 19 mg/day
  • Vitamin K: 90 μg/day
  • Vitamin B6: 2 mg/day
  • Vitamin B12: 2.8 μg/day
  • Calcium: 1000 mg/day
  • Iron: 9 mg/day
  • Zinc: 12 mg/day

Some of these values are higher than normal because of the greater need for lactating women to support themselves and their babies.

Additionally, please don’t drink alcohol or smoke after pregnancy. Women need to keep themselves strong after pregnancy to support their bodies and this also goes toward diet.

A healthy diet that is high in fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains, and low-fat dairy goes a long way in restoring health and function.

In the beginning, I emphasized that a lot of rest is needed for a mother after a pregnancy but a bit of exercise can help a woman recover faster.

Regular exercise can assist your body’s healing process and can help in:

  • Strengthening and toning muscles
  • Raising energy levels
  • Recovering from labor
  • Promoting better sleep
  • Losing weight

Now, you shouldn’t run a full marathon after delivery, but what you should do is to take it easy.

You should start exercising a few days after your baby’s birth and the #1 priority is to take it easy by first walking.

Once your body can handle that, you can increase the intensity such as walking for longer or trying new exercises such as stretching.

However, please listen to your body. If you start feeling fatigued or experience pain during any exercise, it’s better to slow down or stop the exercise altogether.

As the weeks will progress, your health will improve, and exercise will start feeling natural.

Get Better at Time Management

The birth of a new baby brings so much joy and happiness but new mothers have to get used to their baby’s crying, diaper changes, feeding, and their sleeping times.

A mother has a hard time tending to the needs of her baby when she herself is in a fatigued state after pregnancy.

So the best way to handle both you and your baby’s needs is to simply get better at time management.

New mothers find it difficult to sleep uninterrupted for 8-hours at night so they have to get used to sleeping in different phases or times throughout the day.

As a new mother, you will have to:

  • Adjust your time schedules with that of your baby
  • Know when to feed and change his/her diaper
  • Know when to put your baby to sleep
  • Know when your baby needs help

All of this requires effective time management and mastering this takes time, but eventually you will learn how to handle your life like a pro if you can learn how to do effective time management.

Takeaways

Pregnancy is hard and especially after pregnancy, mothers have to restore their health while also tending to the needs of their children.

Getting back to normal health after pregnancy will take time and effort but there are ways where you can effectively support your body.

They include:

  • Getting a lot of rest
  • Eating nutritious food and exercising
  • Using effective time management skills

By doing so, you will be able to support both yourself and your baby.

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Samir S.

Samir S.

Writing to Inform, Educate, & Teach | Obsessed with Health & Wellness | https://samir-s.medium.com/subscribe