It is difficult to describe the feeling of ecstasy that a woman experiences when she learns that she is about to become a mother. While most new mothers would be happy, there are a few new moms who wouldn’t be so sure about this “Happy” feeling. No, they aren’t necessarily anti-motherhood or anti-babies. They are going through lot of emotions which includes stress and a lot of changes in their body and their lives. Some of them say it out loud and some don’t, but the challenge remains the same for each of them.
While taking care of the new member of the family, a mother often forgets to take care of herself. Challenges that a new mother usually faces are:
- Weak Back & Core
I am sharing some basic ways to cope with the most common challenges a new mom faces post delivery.
1. For a Weak Back & Core, start with the easiest and safest exercise –
a. Pelvic Tilt: Lie on the floor or on your bed. Place a pillow under your head. Bend your knees by sliding your feet up towards your bottom.
Tighten your pelvic floor and pull in your lower tummy muscles. Hold this for a count of 1-3 and then relax your tummy. Repeat this 10 times. Make sure you are breathing normally, as breathing is the most essential part of any exercise.
b. Pelvic Bridging: Lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat. Pull in your lower tummy muscles and inhale, then exhale as you tighten your buttocks and lift your hips until your body forms a straight line. Do this 5 times and repeat in 3 sets of 5 reps
Not only does this exercise strengthen your major back muscles but also focuses on your small yet very important core muscles.
c. Maintain the correct posture to avoid straining your back and core muscles
Posture is an important factor for a new mom and maintaining it is extremely necessary. More often than not, new moms tend to stand, sit or even nurse their babies in an incorrect posture. The right posture is to maintain the arch of the back with the chest and bottom out. Even while nursing the baby, the mother must maintain the correct posture. Back should be supported properly and the baby must be held close to the breast so that the mother doesn’t have to slouch. The mother can keep a pillow under the baby to support her arms while feeding.
2. For Incontinence,
a. Perform the Kegel’s Exercise
Wondering how to do it? Well, worry no more. Here is the answer:
To do the Kegel’s exercise you need to first find your pelvic muscles.
How do you find the pelvic muscles?
These are the muscles that form the base of your pelvic floor. The most common way to find them is to try to stop the flow of your urine mid-steam. This tightening is the basic move of a Kegel. Let those muscles go and resume the flow of urine and you’ll have a better sense of where those Kegels are.
Now, let us start the Kegel’s exercise to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles.
You can do this exercise either sitting in a chair or lying on the floor. Make sure your buttock and tummy muscles are relaxed. If you are lying down, then you should be flat on your back with your arms on your sides and your knees up and together. Keep your head down, too, to avoid straining your neck.
Squeeze your pelvic floor muscles for 5 seconds. You don’t want to strain those muscles too much by squeezing them for too long. If 5 seconds is too long for you, you can begin by squeezing those muscles for just 2-3 seconds. Repeat it 5 times. You can increase the number of repetitions as per your convenience.
Note: Bladder should be empty while doing the Kegel’s exercise.
b. Stopping the flow of Urine while urinating for 3-5 secs.
This exercise should be done once or twice in a day.
3. For Stress,
Stress during and after pregnancy is inevitable. So, what do you do about it? How do you relieve stress? The best way to tackle stress is to be aware of what causes it. In most common cases, it is because of the sudden change in lifestyle and irregular sleep patterns. Waking up every now & then to feed the baby can be very tiresome. You may also experience stress based on the changes you see in your appearance. There are many factors that may stress you out. Here are some easy ways to copy with it:
a. Deep Breathing Exercises
When stressed, we tend to do Shallow Over-breathing (taking shorter breaths), this prolongs anxiety and stress by raising the stress hormones in our sysstem. Deep abdominal breathing helps reduce the level of stress hormones in your blood and thus, relaxes the body and mind.
Breathe in through nose and let the abdomen rise, hold your breath for 3-4 seconds and slowly exhale through the mouth. Repeat it at least 5-10 times in a quiet environment for maximum relaxation.
b. Talk to your spouse about the challenges you are facing. Talking to your partner not only involves him in this transition phase of yours but, also strengthens the relationship between you two by many folds.
c. Take a Nap every time your baby is asleep. Not only your baby but even you need ample of rest. Your little one is going to keep you awake the whole night. So might as well take a nap whenever possible to catch up on the sleep you have missed. Your body needs rest to repair all the cells and tissues that were worn and torn during the day.
d. Give yourself some time and attention by doing what you love the most. Listen to music, read a book, catch up with old friends or just about anything that keeps you happy because only a happy mind can nurture a healthy body.