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If you don’t have postpartum anxiety, you’re not a new mom. The fear of something happening to your newborn is completely natural. But don’t let it escalate into something more. That’s why it’s important not to skip the simple things or recommended vitamins when it comes to your health.
Just a month after I had my second child my husband had to leave for military training. On top of caring for a newborn and being alone, my eldest daughter Audrey (2-yrs) and I caught the flu!
As I sat waiting in the doctors office, I felt a sharp pain and tightening in my chest. Although my infant was sleeping well at night, I wasn’t. I was trying to sleep on the couch for fear of someone coming in and robbing us (one of the neighbors had just been robbed) . The fact that Audrey was waking up in the middle of the night because of fever, didn’t help. Being alone with a newborn and sickness to deal with was taking it’s toll.
As the doctor walked through the door I broke down. He put his hand on my shoulder like he knew exactly what I was going through and asked what was wrong. All I could muster was to say, “I don’t want the baby to get sick.”
He must have seen this plenty of times, being in a military town after all, and he asked if my husband was away. He gave me strict orders to contact family and friends for support and of course, take better care of myself.
That’s why I’m sharing some of his suggestions for staying healthy plus the recommended vitamins that I should have been taking to help prevent my heightened anxiety. Because you don’t want to let the stress of sickness get in the way of enjoying the precious time you have with your newborn.
5 Ways New Moms Can Stay Healthy
1. Chug, Chug, Chug.
If you think you’re drinking enough water, think again.. If you’re nursing, you need to drink about 13 cups of water a day depending on you activity level and metabolism. Make sure you keep a water bottle close by and as long as your urine is light yellow and you’re not constipated, you’re getting enough.
2. Snack attack
It’s not how much you eat necessarily, it’s what you eat. As a new mom, you’ll be hungry frequently and instead of reaching for those chips or a candy bar, try to keep healthy snacks on hand like homemade granola, nuts, or fruits and veggies. I like to keep a secret stash next to my bed, in the car, and in the diaper bag.
3. Wash, Wash, Wash.
I used to think, “Does washing your hands really prevent sickness?” If there are really nasty germs going around that can make you really sick, how can JUST washing your hands do anything?
But after having my first child, I was a hand washing Nazi. If you wanted to step in my door, you’d have to wash your hands before doing anything else. Since then, I’ve practiced the same hand washing rituals with every newborn and I’ve never had a sick infant yet! It really does make a huge difference.
You’ll also want to make sure you are washing yours and your new baby’s bedding frequently. Lots of germs that cause disease like conjunctivitis can be spread through dirty bedding.
I don’t like to admit it, but I am a drooler. Most people and babies are too. It’s like sleeping in dead skin, slobber, and dirt! Who wants to do that?
4. You Snooze, You Win!
Getting quality zzz’s is hard with a newborn, but it is essential to a new mom’s health and sanity. A lack of sleep can effect everything from your immune system to your milk supply. So, make a routine or flexible schedule and carve out time to take a couple of naps during the day. You can also ask for help with night-time feedings so you can get at least 5 solid hours of sleep.
Don’t think you can sneak by with just a couple of hours like you did in your college days. Sometimes my husband notices I’m extra sensitive, and short-tempered. In the moment, I don’t realize it’s probably because I am in need of an extra nap.
5. Nutrition Insurance
If you’re growing all your own produce and cooking every meal at home with quality ingredients, you still might not be getting all of the vitamins and minerals your body needs. But what’s worse is that some of the food we eat is harmful to our bodies. The toxins from our food and other environmental factors can do damage especially to our digestive system. Those toxins can even be passed along to our newborns.
That’s why everyone in our family takes a daily multivitamin and other supplements.
Thanks to EHealthBody, I’ve learned that the #WellatWalgreens brand has a great variety like the gummy vitamins that work really well for the kids! We also take vitamin D in the winter time because we get stuck indoors and vitamin B. Both of which help maintain mood-lifting chemicals in the brain. I also recommend an extra antioxidant supplement like cranberry or vitamin C,E, and beta-carotene to deal with toxins and the damage they cause.
Walgreens brand has all the vitamins and supplements you need and right now for the month of March, Well at Walgreens products are buy one get one 50% off. What’s more is that beginning February 1, 2011 through December 31, 2014, 1¢ from the purchase of every Walgreens Brand Health & Wellness product, up to $3 million annually, will support bringing preventative wellness services to local communities through the Walgreens Way to Well Commitment®.
So if you’re a new mom, make a commitment to your health by doing these 5 things to keep you in optimal physical health, but also prevent the emotional roller coaster from derailing. Because being a new mom is hard and fun, but being a sick new mom is dreadful.
Please consult with your doctor before taking any vitamins or supplements.
What do you do to stay healthy as a new mom? Please share your wisdom!