Speak to any new parent and the answer is the same; it’s one of the most rewarding experiences in life.
Unfortunately, that spark of happiness tends to be followed by a giant ‘but’. It also tends to be one of the most exhausting periods.
Suddenly, tiredness has a new definition, and the thought of cooking nutritious meals, or heading to the gym, is out of the window.
The good news is that this is a very short-lived period. Most babies have decent sleep schedules after a few months, but in the meantime, we have put together a few tips to ensure that you can stay as healthy as possible in the early stages.
Before the birth: cook in advance
This is one of the best tips that we can recommend. In the weeks and months leading up to the birth of your little one, it’s time to bulk cook. There are more pressing matters in those first few weeks after the birth, and cooking healthy meals with umpteen ingredients won’t be one of them.
Instead, cook your meals in bulk, and store them in the freezer for later. Trust us, home-cooked meals heated in the microwave are a blessing during this period – and a far cry from the alternative of ready meals!
Set exercise expectations realistically
One of the biggest enemies of new parents is unrealistic expectations. Many are expecting to pick off right where they left off; in other words, if they were training five times per week before children, the same should occur immediately after the birth.
Suffice to say, it’s just not going to happen. Even if you have all the help in the world from eager family and friends, you are unlikely to be in the right frame of mind to resume your ‘normal’ exercise regime. Instead, accept that you will be training less, and just go with it. If you don’t, there’s every chance you’ll get frustrated and lose complete motivation with exercising altogether.
Aside from dealing with the frustration, there’s a physical reason to set expectations realistically. If you haven’t trained for several weeks or are severely sleep-deprived, attempting to exercise at the same levels as before is a recipe for injury and a call to the insurance company. After a short break, you’re unlikely to be able to run as far, lift as much, or do anything as well as you were. You might get back to those levels, but it shouldn’t be an expectation in those first few months of your baby’s life.
Look into more accessible workouts
You may have been a gym enthusiast for most of your life, but times are changing. Now is when you have to turn to the easy workouts – even if they aren’t ideal. This will probably mean training at home to avoid that gym commute time, which is time needed for more important matters!
Again, expectations are crucial. Understand that this is a temporary period, and things will get easier over time.
4 Ways to Make Your Life as a New Mom Easier