Establishing Good Habits
If you have to think carefully about your health habits, they’re going to be harder to maintain. This is true for mothers, and those who aren’t mothers. Any change in what is habitual for you on a daily basis will represent a challenge.
The thing is, for something to become a new habit, you have to do it with exceptional regularity. To get there, you want to establish goals and direction, then start pursuing what you’ve determined to do.
As a mother, you’re looking at three main disciplines for you and your children. There are many, many other things that are important to both new and experienced mothers; most of them will be of a quality that can be categorized among these primary considerations.
1. Mental Health
Postpartum depression is real, and it can be dangerous for you or your child. You’re also going to have mood swings. It’s not anything you can stop. You can, however, be aware that discomfort, hormones, rest issues, and more will produce emotional responses. While you can’t stop them utterly, you can manage them.
Also, you want to give yourself a firm, solid, emotionally secure “foundation” in a mental sense. Think about good things, not bad. Look at the bigger picture for a moment. There’s always something to worry about. But that doesn’t mean your worry will do anything to stop it. At any given moment, you could take a step the wrong way, trip, and die.
Does this mean you should walk around carefully watching every step you take? Absolutely not! That will lead to more worry, and you can paralyze yourself in unnecessary fear. There’s a great illustration of this in the Steve Martin movie Roxanne, which is a comedic remake of Cyrano de Bergerac. A cat gets stuck in a tree, and the whole fire department can’t get it out.
Steve Martin’s long-nosed character simply gets out the can opener and puts out a can of tuna. The cat forgets its fear of heights and goes for the tuna. See, the fear was an illusion. But when something more important came, the cat forgot its fear. As a mother, you need to forget fear and worry, and focus on the “tuna”.
2. Physical and Nutritional Health
Speaking of tuna, you need to eat the right foods and exercise regularly—but in a way that doesn’t stress your pregnant body, or keep you from being a mother if you’re past pregnancy. For pregnant mothers, here’s a link to some information regarding exercise and nutrition.
3. External Affiliation to Maternity Health Practitioners
When you’re pregnant, it’s wise to check in with OB/GYNs at regular intervals. After you’ve given birth, you’ll want to bring your child to the pediatrician at intervals. It’s a good idea to get in a regular habit of going to varying healthcare professionals. Figure out which ones you need. For example, right after birth, you’ll want experts to help with breastfeeding.
It’s definitely worthwhile to consider working with an IBCLC-certified lactation consultant if you’re a new mom, and you expect to have issues when you nurse. Even if you don’t expect to have any issues, it’s good to have a resource available that you can rely on.
Being Prepared Every Way You Can as a New Mom
Get your mind in the right place, take proper care of your physical health through exercise as well as nutrition, and assure you have access to the right healthcare professionals before, during, and after pregnancy. Altogether, this approach should help you be a healthier mother.
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