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Dear New Mom,

Congratulations on your new baby!

You’re probably completely overwhelmed with taking care of your little one, recovering from childbirth, following the postpartum care instructions you’ve been given, trying to keep up with the house, getting enough sleep, and all of the other things you have on your plate. The biggest piece of advice I can offer you is this:

Slow down.

Take a breath, relax your shoulders (they were tense weren’t they?), let go of all the things you think you should be doing, and just focus on yourself and your baby.

When you have a baby your world shrinks. Yes, your family has grown, and in that way your world has gotten bigger. But with a new baby, everything else outside of your sphere fades away. That’s as it should be. Let everything else be out of focus for a while so you can concentrate on you and your baby. It is so essential at this time to take care of yourself so that both you and your baby will thrive.

Top 3 ways to make sure your recovery will go well:

  • Get enough sleep. Sleep when your baby sleeps; you need it.
  • Eat right. Proper nutrition will help you recover quickly, optimize your milk supply, and help keep you healthy during this potentially stressful time.
  • Allow yourself the time to recover. Pregnancy and childbirth is a lot for your body to go through. Be sure to properly care for any complications, and reduce unnecessary stress in your life.

Making sure you eat right can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t need to be. Keep it simple and you’ll be okay.

Simple Meals

This isn’t the time for complicated meal plans. As a new mom, you don’t have time for that. Keep some fresh fruits and vegetables on hand, and make sure you have some quick meals on deck. Consider making some weekly menus when you have a minute, or even before you deliver the baby. A menu will help you keep your shopping trip short and give you one less thing to think about when you should be focusing on your baby.

Consider preparing some freezer meals ahead of time. Many dishes do well frozen. One way to do this is to cook a double meal and put half of it in the freezer. This works especially well for pasta dishes, enchiladas, pot pies, and soups.

As a breastfeeding mother you should eat a little more protein and calcium, and drink more fluids than you normally would. Here’s a quick idea of some things to eat to make sure you’re getting good nutrition.

*Tip: Make sure you get enough fiber to reduce the chance of constipation.

Drink Enough

Drink to your thirst. As your baby grows, so does the demand for your body to produce milk. Make sure you are drinking enough so that you don’t get thirsty.

No Dieting

Right after you’ve had a baby is not the proper time for dieting. The best way to lose those extra pregnancy pounds is very slowly over time. We’re talking only 1-2 pounds a week. It can take a year or more to lose the extra weight, and that’s okay. If you try to lose weight too quickly, your milk supply could be compromised.

If the pounds aren’t coming off as quickly as you would like, try cutting fatty foods, sugar-sweetened drinks, desserts, fried foods, and alcohol. If you’re breastfeeding you should avoid alcohol anyway. It’s okay to include exercise in your routine as long as you start slowly and follow your doctor’s advice.

Continue Your Prenatals

After you’ve had your baby, continue taking your prenatal vitamins — making sure to follow the advice of your doctor. If you haven't already been taking a prenatal vitamin, it's not too late to start. Our Prenatal Multi Gold is a popular choice.

Remember, the food you eat can have an effect on your baby. If your baby is fussy try cutting foods out of your diet one at a time to see if it makes a difference. Common culprits include milk, broccoli, caffeine, onions, spicy foods, and beans. Any medication you take can also be a concern, so check with your doctor before taking any prescription or over-the-counter drugs.

The most important part of your postpartum care is to take time to enjoy your baby. You can never get this time back. It’s important to eat well, but don’t worry about trying to get those extra pounds off too quickly. Give yourself time. Time to rest, time to heal, and time to enjoy your baby.

Sincerely,

A Mom-who-would-have-appreciated-this-letter-many-years-ago

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