Did you know that National Women’s Health Week is from May 9-15— just in time for Mother’s Day! Being a new mom comes with new changes to adapt to but having a baby during the pandemic adds another layer of stress and complication. Between social distancing measures, restrictions on visitors, and overall health concerns with a new baby, you inevitably have a lot on your plate. This is why it can be helpful to take time to reflect on all of your accomplishments as a new mom and a few ways to focus on yourself during Women’s Health Week to make sure you are the best Mom you can be:1. Prioritize your mental health
Between physically recovering from childbirth, adapting to a new schedule with your baby, and changes in your day-to-day brought on by the pandemic, it’s easy to forget about the importance of your mental well-being. As a new mom, it’s only natural to want to put your new baby’s needs (and your family’s needs) first. However, remember that maintaining optimal well-being for yourself is fundamental in promoting well-being for your baby as well.
Consider the times you feel your best and determine if that has changed after welcoming your baby. For example, while you may have previously enjoyed going to the gym to relieve stress, that becomes more difficult with a baby in tow or if you have to find someone to care for them. Remember though that becoming a new mom doesn’t necessarily mean you have to change all aspects of yourself, so try to find ways to incorporate your new lifestyle into the ways you used to promote mental well-being. Perhaps this means finding a gym that offers childcare, or changing your gym routine to a more at-home regimen for now.
Furthermore, staying connected to others and having a support system to lean on can promote mental wellness as a new mom. You have most likely heard the phrase, “It takes a village to raise a child” and this couldn’t be more true as a new parent in 2021. Even though the way you communicate and stay connected with others may have changed, keep in mind the importance of asking for help as a new parent. Remember, your feelings are valid and even though they may shift day-to-day, this is completely normal as a new mom.2. Find ways to incorporate healthy living into your new lifestyle
When you are a new mom, finding ways to maximize efficiency becomes a priority. Sometimes, however, maintaining a healthy lifestyle can be difficult when you’re being pulled in many different directions. Because Women’s Health Week is a time to recognize the importance of maintaining your health, determine if there are any ways to make changes towards healthier living while also being a new parent. For example, are there ways to stay active while you’re with your baby such as taking a walk, doing yoga while they’re doing tummy time, or babywearing while you’re out and about? Making small but intentional changes can often lead to better results and overall health. Because women have a unique set of health considerations, it’s important to prioritize living a healthy lifestyle both for yourself and your family.
Here are a few other ways that you can maximize your wellness efforts as a new mom:
- Set a meal prepping day each week
- Continue taking prenatal vitamins as advised by your doctor
- Spend more time outdoors
- Find ways to drink more water
- Join a stroller club to meet other moms while staying active
3. Promote financial peace of mind
When finding ways to improve your overall well-being, it’s important to understand the link between your physical and financial health. Even though money can’t buy happiness, per se, there is a direct correlation between financial stability and improved wellness. When you have financial stress and concern, you may feel anxious and uncertain, leading to mental and even physical ailments. While working on your finances takes time and requires patience, there are a few small changes you can make to lay a more solid foundation as a new parent.
Now that you have added a new family member, it’s time to revisit your budget to determine the areas that you are spending more or less in. For example, you may be adding the cost of diapers to your monthly budget but if you have an extended maternity leave, you may be spending less on gas or parking. Readjusting your budget accordingly can give you more insight into your expenditures and determine if there are areas you can save.
Furthermore, now that you are a new parent, it’s important to have financial protections set up as you enter into this new chapter of your life. One way to do this is look into existing life insurance policies or research the best life insurance companies for your given situation if you are interested in obtaining one. Being a new mom comes with a significant amount of responsibility but knowing that your family has adequate safeguards set in place can provide you with much needed peace of mind. Ensuring that your life insurance policy (and other types of applicable insurance policies) are updated to reflect your new family member is an important short-term goal to set in this new phase of your life.4. Consider baby’s health needs
While Women’s Health Week is an important time to find ways to promote your overall health and well-being as a new mom, it’s also a time to consider your baby’s health needs as well. Nutrition is arguably one of the most important ways to prioritize your baby’s well-being. As a new mom, you most likely are becoming a professional at multitasking. Between late night feedings, diaper changes, and attending frequent doctor checkups, the first year of your baby’s life can definitely be hectic. Finding ways to cut down on the time it takes for feeding tasks can give you those much needed moments to yourself. For example, instead of manually mixing a bottle and warming it up which can take several agonizing minutes, try the "Baby Keurig" or the Baby Brezza Formula Pro Advanced that automatically makes a warm formula bottle at the press of a button. Or the Baby Brezza One Step Sterilizer Dryer which automatically sterilizes and dries bottles and pump parts so you don't have to spend time boiling and then air drying. These products can give you valuable time back that you can use to spend more time with your baby or take a moment of pause in your busy schedule.5. Maintain preventative care appointments
Another key way to commemorate Women’s Health Week is to keep up-to-date on your preventative care appointments. When you are scheduling frequent doctor visits for your little one, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed and your calendar can fill up quickly. However, try to ensure that you are making time for your own well visits in addition to scheduling appointments for your baby. Childbirth is life-changing, both physically and mentally, so it is only natural that your body (and overall mindset) has changed during this time. This is why in addition to your regular OBGYN appointments, set up follow up appointments with your primary care doctor, dentist, or chiropractor. Prioritizing the many facets of your own health by attending routine care appointments allows you to address any concerns early on and maintain your overall well-being.
Being a new mom comes with a unique set of circumstances, which is why Women’s Health Week is a perfect time to reflect and celebrate your accomplishments. After a challenging year, making time for you and finding ways to prioritize your health and wellness allows you to have much needed peace of mind as you and your baby grow together in this new stage of life.