5 Energy-Boosting Tips For New Moms
- September 7, 2021
To say the first few months after giving birth are exhausting would be an understatement. Of course, there are so many moments filled with love and joy, but caring for a tiny human while healing and recovering from a nine-plus month marathon is no joke.
Although well-meaning family and friends will advise you to sleep when the baby sleeps, it’s not always that easy – or enough! But there is hope. Moms can find ways to get back on their feet and regain some energy by prioritizing a few simple energy-boosting strategies.
1. Reach for foods that balance your blood sugar. While grabbing a muffin or pastry may seem like an easy way to start the day, eating empty calories will only make you feel more tired and sluggish.
When you are exhausted, your body will often crave high-carb, sugary foods because these provide a quick zap of energy. They are accessible for the body to digest and break down into sugar that temporarily increases your energy — but they also cause a big crash a few hours later. Instead, choosing foods that are digested slowly helps balance your blood sugar, minimizing the spikes that lead to these sugar crashes that only worsen fatigue.
So what should you eat? Your best choices are foods high in protein and fiber. Both are digested slowly, blunting the spikes that zap your energy. Aside from healthy meals, the easiest way for a new mama to get both of these nutrients is in a delicious smoothie. Fruits and veggies add fiber, healthy carbs, and phytonutrients. Add a nutrient-dense protein powder, and your smoothie becomes a simple way to give your body what it needs.
2. Get enough rest. The number one way to boost your energy after having a baby is to actually sleep. Sleep allows your body time to recuperate from the day’s activities and hormone fluctuations.
It may feel impossible during the first few months after giving birth, but creating a soothing bedtime routine (just like you do for your baby) can help teach your brain that it’s time to unwind. This could include dimming the lights, listening to soft music or guided meditations, or even taking a warm shower. And don’t underestimate the power of a nap. Even ten to twenty minutes can help.
You can also consider taking a supplement that supports a state of calm and rest, such as an adaptogen like Ashwagandha or holy basil. These herbs help soothe the nervous system so that even when you wake up for nighttime feedings, you can easily fall back asleep.
3. Enjoy movement. When cleared by your doctor, try some light exercise to help you feel more energized. Gentle activity like walking or yoga has been shown to support energy levels throughout the day.
Start slowly at first and listen to what your body can handle. Walking is excellent for new moms because it’s gentle on the body and positively affects your mood. Adding strength training, even bodyweight, as you feel stronger, can help boost metabolism and build lean muscle to support energy and a healthy weight.
4. Ignore your to-do list. For first-time mamas-to-be, thoughts of maternity leave may be accompanied by images of long days of baby blissfully snoozing in the bassinette while you relax and get things done around the house. In reality, once you have a newborn, it becomes clear that parenting is a round-the-clock job – and that includes making time to care for your own needs (like eating and moving).
Though it might be challenging, try not to initiate new projects or take on too many responsibilities for a few months. Maternity leave does not equal home renovation time. Give yourself time to get used to caring for your newborn, or you will burn out. The dishes can wait, and no one will judge you if the laundry stays on the couch for a few extra days.
5. Accept help. Asking for help when you have a baby is not a sign of weakness; it’s smart. Many cultures spend the first few months after birth surrounding the new mother with love and support, so all she needs to focus on is herself and her new baby. All the extra support translates to more time for mom to rest, encouraging less fatigue and feelings of overwhelm.
Whether it’s from family, friends, or even that friendly neighbor around the corner, let them support you. They can hold the baby while you shower or take a nap. Or, if you aren’t comfortable with other people holding your little one, let them fold your laundry, do your dishes, or even pick up groceries.
You might not be able to control how much your baby sleeps or how much time you have to yourself, but you can make this list part of your postpartum plan. Taking steps to protect your energy with these simple habits can make all the difference in how you feel.
Our Nisus Life Postpartum & Lactation Protein Powder can contribute nicely towards meeting your body’s protein and nutrient needs to help you balance your blood sugar. See our product page for more information.