Things every new mum needs to know, as you embark on your motherhood journey… and a friendly reminder you’re doing an amazing job!
Becoming a new mum is a wonderful and rewarding experience, but you’d be forgiven for feeling a little overwhelmed, particularly with the rise of parenting influencers and Instagram gurus giving off a picture perfect image of motherhood. Things don’t always run as smoothly as seen on screen and we’re on a mission to crack down on unrealistic expectations when it comes to being a new mum. From banishing mum guilt to explaining what’s in store in those first weeks with a newborn, we’ve got the lowdown on things every new mum needs to know.
We caught up with Sarah Campus, founder of LDN MUMS FITNESS, to dispel some postpartum myths and share her thoughts on the top things new mums needs to hear as you embark on your parenting journey.
View this post on Instagram
10 Things Every New Mum Needs to Hear
“There’s absolutely no such thing as ‘bouncing back’.”
Being fit beforehand doesn’t mean you’ll be able to jump back into fitness any faster or slower – and nor should you have to. Everybody is unique and that includes their pregnancy and postpartum journeys – there is no one size fits all, you need to relax, enjoy being in the present, listen to your body and follow with what your body is saying. Don’t compare yourself with anyone else.
“Postpartum hair loss is completely normal.”
Postpartum hair loss is a thing. From about three months postpartum you may notice your hair falling out more than normal. This is due to your oestrogen levels falling. Try switching to a more volumizing shampoo to help give the appearance of thicker hair.
“Uterine contractions are surprisingly painful, but don’t panic!”
No one tells you about these menstrual-like cramps experienced for the first few hours after giving birth, your uterus is still contracting and this is especially experienced when breastfeeding, due to the hormone oxytocin being released, which causes your uterus to contract back to its pre-pregnancy shape and size.
“Remember to take care of yourself, too.”
It can feel as though the postpartum period is all about the baby, so be sure to look after yourself and perhaps see a health care professional or female physiotherapist for a check-up. Your body has been through so much change over the past nine months and the changes internally are sometimes overlooked so it’s never a bad thing to get a female MOT.
“Your hormones will be all over the place – embrace them!”
Your hormones will be everywhere and may cry a lot. Your body has just grown a human being, that in itself is emotional let alone the imbalance of hormones which may find you laughing and then for no reason crying. Just embrace your emotions and remember how amazing you are.
“Time flies, so remember to live in the moment.”
Relax and enjoy every single moment as it goes by fast. When you look back at photos you will see how quickly your baby changes. Before you know it, they won’t want to sleep on you, they will be crawling and walking, so be present and enjoy now.
“Stock up on snacks.”
Breastfeeding is hungry and thirsty work so make sure you have lots of water and healthy go-to snacks to hand. In the first three to 12 months of breastfeeding your body will burn approximately 300-500 calories a day simply by producing milk so be sure you refuel yourself with the right things.
“It’s never too early to start working on your pelvic floor.”
Start your pelvic floor exercises early, you will thank yourself later. Pelvic floor exercises help to strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor. These muscles come under great strain in pregnancy and childbirth so to prevent any incontinence get started with those kegels ASAP. The pelvic floor muscles can be difficult to isolate. When done correctly, they are very effective, so be sure you seek advice from a specialised personal trainer or female physiotherapist. More can be found in the Postpartum LDN MUMS FITNESS Guide.
“Take baby steps back to your old routine.”
Walk outside when you feel ready gradually increasing the time by 10 – 20 minute intervals. A change of scenery and fresh air is vital for your physical and mental wellbeing. Listen to your body and don’t walk to far or at an intense level, take it one step at a time.
“Focus on fuelling yourself with goodness.”
Fuel yourself with nutrient dense food; smoothies and juices are a great go-to. You are what you eat and you need all the energy you can get when looking after a newborn, so be sure you are consuming balanced, colourful foods – and a variety of foods – to fuel your body. When we get tired it is so easy to reach for the chocolate or biscuit tin but this will lead to energy spikes and slumps, you want a slow release of energy so be sure to fill up on protein, vegetables, fruits, fibre-rich carbohydrates and fats like avocados, nuts and seeds. More can be found in the LDN MUMS FITNESS Colourful Meal Plan.
- Maternal Mental Health: Who’s Looking After Mum?
- How to Reduce Stress During Pregnancy
- 10 Fail-Safe Tips for Successful Weaning