10 Tips for a Better Postpartum: Tip #7
This post is part of the series,10 Tips for a Better Postpartum. This is Tip #7 in a list of 10 things you can do in pregnancy to set yourself up for a more comfortable, peaceful, and enjoyable postpartum journey. Check back in the coming weeks as I share the next tips in the series!
Tip #7: Nourish Yourself
One of the pieces of advice my midwife shared with me related to postpartum is to focus on a diet rich in lean proteins, fruit, vegetables, and sunshine. With my first baby, I took her words literally, focusing on healthy and nutrient-dense foods and trying to get outside for a little bit each day to soak up some sunshine for me and for baby. And if the weather was absolutely too extreme (mama of two January babies right here!), I would at least make a point to try and sit with baby by a window as much as possible to soak up that sunshine. I definitely wasn't perfect on pulling off the healthy, nutrient-dense eating and sunshine every day, but I sure felt better when I did!
Now having been through three different postpartum journeys, the literal meaning of her words have proven to be great advice, and definitely worthy of implementing postpartum. But to me, her words have also taken on a deeper meaning: nourishing yourself during your postpartum journey by finding ways to take in a healthful "diet" of experiences that fill you up with sunshine.
Much like you are planning ahead for healthy meals and snacks to keep your body physically fueled, try to plan for ways to keep yourself mentally and emotionally fueled. What are some things pre-baby that make you feel good and add a little sunshine in your life? A chat with a
family member or friend? A relaxing bath?
Journaling? Using a facial scrub or mask? Curling up with a favorite book or magazine? Playing or listening to music? Sipping a favorite drink on the front porch? Going for a walk or doing yoga?
You may find it (understandably) very difficult to find time for these things, especially during the first couple of weeks. But once you are through the initial newborn feeding fog, see if you can find even just 15 minutes to do something that fuels you mentally and emotionally. Start talking now with your partner, postpartum doula, and any other support people about how they can support you in being able to do something that adds sunshine daily.
On the flip side, give a little thought to anything that steals your sunshine. The news? Junk food? Social media scrolling? Clashing personalities? Brainstorm with your support people some ways that you can minimize the number of these experiences during your postpartum days.
Your postpartum days won't be all sunshine, but giving some thought to how you will nourish yourself with a healthful "diet" of nutrient-dense food and feel-good moments will help you maximize the sunshine in your journey.