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Post Partum Tips: Taking Care Of Mom

By Esther Rastegari, RN/BSN, EdM

Many new-parent problems are the result of exhaustion. As you try hard to be a good parent, your own basic needs may get pushed to the side-lines. If you forget to nourish your own body, it can turn on you, leading to difficulty breast-feeding, increased pain levels, and impatience with your partner, the cat, and even the baby herself. While it is important to attend to little Kira's needs, you too need to get some rest, take in food and fluids, deal with any post-delivery pain, and allow time for your body to heal.

If there seems to be little time for taking a shower or even using the toilet, then something needs to give - better the laundry or the white-glove cleaning than your patience or your health. Now is the time to cash in on any offers of help from friends or relatives. While they may want to "ooh" and "aah" with baby Marcos, what you really need is vacuuming, dishwashing and cooking help. Resist the temptation to feel guilty about taking care of yourself. It's OK, as long as your baby's needs are met as well.

>b>24/7 gives tired a whole new meaning No one is truly prepared for new-parent fatigue. Being available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, is a grueling schedule. Newborns need around-the-clock care, and many infants seem to prefer to be especially active between 1 and 4 AM, a time when you may not be your perkiest. This is not the time to be shy about accepting help.

If this child is your first, rest whenever the baby sleeps. If you are formula feeding and have a partner, consider taking shifts. If both of you are up for every bottle and diaper, you will expire in stereo.

If you are breast-feeding, try to get help in between feedings, so you can take a nap. You won't see 8 hours a night for a long time, so you have to learn to catnap.

If you have another child who is home with you during the day, keep special toys or videos for times when you need the additional help and rest and can't give her your full attention. Consider an indoor picnic: spread an old tablecloth on the floor, and let the older child sit and watch a video while she eats. When it's done, just shake the tablecloth outside for easy clean up.
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Categories: Babies, Pregnancy,

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