By Pooja Duggal, Founder & CEO, Healthhunt.in
The biggest challenge in motherhood, especially for new mothers, is keeping it together 24*7. Diaper changes, hourly feeds, sleepless nights, long days, and a feeling of absolute horror at your own changing body.As a mother, you are always switched-on regardless of the hour or situation. I’ll tell you how I got through the first year with my little one, Aramnaya. The secret is learning to be in a meditative state. For that, I’m thankful to years of practice and dedication to yoga, mindfulness, and meditation. With the incorporation of meditation into daily life, a higher state of consciousness is born within us. Believe me, this isn’t just some voodoo advice. Yoga and dhyana (meditation) helped me:
- Maintain a good balance in life
- Stay composed when this balance de-stabilised from time to time (and it’s completely normal).
But yoga or treadmill or even Pilates won’t make a dent if what you put into your body isn’t right. Even if you’re not “eating for two”, what you eat still matters. It’s a well-known fact that at the time of lactation, a new mother needs just as much nutrition (if not more) as in pregnancy.
Food is not just calories; food talks to your DNA and enables (or disables) your body to do just about anything. So, all the new mommies out there, here’s everything you need to do (and not do) in order to beat stress, nurture your body, stay sharp, and be an absolutely badass mommy, all in all. Bonus: These tips will help you go back to your pre-baby body faster!
- At the risk of quoting cliché, there is really no other hack except to eat healthy and exercise when your body is ready. I had a C-section, so I didn’t exercise for 3 -4 months, except gentle yoga and leisurely walks which helped me tremendously in gaining back my stamina and pre-pregnancy body. Less is more at this time, so don’t you start running marathons just yet. Take it slow.
- The important element is what you eat. The golden hack of weight-loss is – 80% food and 20% exercise. You really are what you eat. I am a very ‘all for natural and organic’ kind of person. And even though I’m proud to say that I managed to practise a healthy lifestyle overall, like every tired, sleepless, new mother, I’ve also given in to some cravings, and enjoyed some rather exquisite treats. Still, I encourage you to read into what’s missing in your body, analyse your food habits, and incorporate these essentials into your diet: All types of lentils and beans, spinach, kale and other green leafy vegetables, almonds, walnuts, eggs, hemp seeds, chia seeds, avocados, ghee, and coconut.
- Don’t compare yourself to other pregnant ladies or to someone who just gave birth. While it’s great to get advice from other new moms, remember the concept of ‘bio individuality’. There’s no one-size-fits-all diet or regimen – each person is a unique individual with highly individualised nutritional and exercise requirements. Personal differences in anatomy, metabolism, body composition, and cell structure determine what really make you feel your best. Find your own routine with your little one and make sure to keep yourself engaged in activities otherwise that give you joy. Find time for yourself; there is no shame in that. Don’t be shy to ask for help. Lastly, switch off from mommy duty for a couple of hours every day.
This is the time to shower the little one with love and affection, and yourself with rest and recuperation. There is no point getting stressed about weight loss and breast feeding. Everything will fall into place with time, trust me. No matter how mentally prepared you are, like I said, there will still be days when you will be overwhelmed. Be sure to stay positive and happy, as a happy mommy makes a happy baby!