Eating right gives you more energy, boosts your brain for full functioning capability and kick-starts your postbaby weight loss plan. Although it can take months to lose the pregnancy pounds, sticking to or adopting healthy habits post- delivery is key to getting you on the right track. Keep in mind that skipping meals— whether you mean to or not—will have a negative impact. So, eat at least three times a day, even if you have to set your phone alarm to remind you to grab a sandwich.
5. Get some rest.
It might be some months yet before you begin sleeping through the night, but it’s important to get as many Zs as you can, when you can. That means catnapping during the day (you’ve heard it before: Sleep when the baby sleeps!) and crawling into bed early more nights than not. “The sleep deprivation that comes with having a newborn can make getting through the day hard,” attests Lincoln.
If you absolutely can’t get any shuteye during the day, do your best to rest as much as possible. If you’re a working mom, you might need to stretch out on the couch and do nothing for a little bit when you get home. That’s OK! Every body and soul needs time to relax, and a break will recharge you and make it easier for you to conquer the evening routine: dinner, bath, snuggles and preparing for the next day. Don’t feel bad about napping or resting during the day when you need to. You’ll be a better parent for it when you get up.
6. Breathe in the fresh air.
Step outside on a nice day, and you’ll feel uplifted almost instantly. Soaking up the sun is the easiest way to get your daily dose of vitamin D, which helps boost your immune system, balance your hormones and improve your sleep quality. Although catching your rays while moving (for example, taking a walk to your local park) is the best option, studies have shown that simply gazing at a natural scene activates parts of the brain associated with balance and happiness, making even a short sit on the stoop beneficial.
Need more motivation to get outdoors? A 2011 study published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise found that people who walked outdoors rather than on an indoor treadmill moved at a faster pace, perceived less exertion and experienced more positive emotions. So, if you’re just reintroducing exercise, stroll the neighborhood with your babe a few days a week rather than hitting the gym.
7. Keep it all in perspective.
In the world of parenting, some days are better than others. On the days that you’re desperate for a shower, your teething baby is miserable, and you just don’t think you can survive another sleepless night, try to remember that this too shall pass. Bad days don’t last forever.
Unfortunately, good days don’t last forever either, so take the time to truly enjoy your baby, soaking up her sweet coos and gummy smiles as they come. It’s normal to have ups and downs, so don’t be too hard on yourself when you’re not feeling on your game. If you expect full-time perfection, you’re going to be disappointed. The best way to stay grounded is to keep your expectations realistic. You don’t have to be a supermom. Your baby loves you just because you’re you—and it’s best for both you and babe if you can be your happiest, best self every day.