Now that I'm 9 months postpartum I finally feel like I'm almost back to my pre-baby levels of health and fitness. The one area that I'm still struggling in is sleep. Oh, sweet sleep. Aside from needing to get a consistent 7-8 hours a night I've been able to really focus on a few areas of my life that are enabling me to optimize postpartum health. Nutrition
If it's not in the house you can't eat it. Don't bring junk food in the house. I repeat: DO NOT bring junk food in the house! Even if you tell yourself you'll 'only' have one serving of ice cream at a time.
When you've woken up every 90 minutes with your baby the night before and you're exhausted, hungry, and irritable you will eat the entire pint. I promise.
Keep lots of healthy snacks on hand, especially fruit. With the sleep deprivation I often crave simple carbs and sweets, and fruit is a great way to satisfy that craving.
I make time to workout 6 days a week, and often take an hour long walk with baby on top of that. I just went to my doctor yesterday to get my thyroid levels checked and I mentioned my ongoing anxiety issues. Her first question; "do you exercise?" Exercise is great for helping with mild anxiety and depression.
When my son was very small it was hard to workout for more than 15-20 minutes at a time before he started to fuss. I loved doing T25, even if I had to stop the workout halfway through to tend to him for a few minutes.
Now, I can set him in his pack n play in our office/gym and he will happily play with toys for almost an hour so I can do a strength workout. If I'm running I bring him in the stroller and he loves being outside. I also started attending, and occasionally teaching, a stroller bootcamp class. I would highly recommend looking to see if they offer something similar in your town. It's great to be able to bring baby with you, and meet a ton of new mama friends.
I'm pretty sure all women know to take prenatal vitamins while pregnant, but did you know you are supposed to keep taking them after you have the baby? I was taking generic prenatal vitamins until New Chapter sent me some postnatal vitamins to try (you can find them on Amazon, and read all the positive reviews!)
Perfect Postnatal is formulated with vitamins and minerals recommended specifically for breastfeeding women, including Vitamin B6, Iodine and Vitamin D3*. I typically take a separate iron pill but I don't have to when taking these since it contains whole-food fermented Iron.
I plan to take these for as long as I am nursing, which will hopefully be for many more months!
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!
Nursing or not virtually every client I work with is not drinking nearly as much water as they should be. I take my water bottle with me everywhere. It's especially important to have when I'm nursing. I love the little 'nursing station' I have set up next to the couch with my drink, a healthy snack, and my sons favorite nursing necklace.
While these concepts aren't revolutionary they are exactly what a new mom should be focused on. Sleep, nutrition, hydration and exercise are pillars of health for any stage of life. If I ignored one of these areas I wouldn't feel nearly as good as I do.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.