by guest blogger, Amanda Bifulco, health coach, yogi and mom (also a client of The Happiest Doulas)
I’ve found that clients struggle the most with staying on top with health goals when they aren’t prepared. Start preparing now for the healthiest postpartum you can create. Your body, and your baby, will thank you. Whether it’s your first or fifth baby, here are four things you can do NOW to prepare for a healthy postpartum jumpstart.
1. Cook & Store
Before the birth of my son, I stocked my freezer with meals that would be easy to heat up and eat. I recommend, clients make sure there are plenty of healthy options that don’t require a lot of work to prepare. I knew my husband and I would both be tired and could quickly take the easy way out (pizza or other delivered fast food) if not prepared. My two favorite recipes I prepared and froze were Balsamic Tomato Chicken and Salsa Chicken. I exclusively breast feed, and these didn’t seem to impact little man’s tummy, but it’s easy to scale back on the flavor (less salsa, less tomato, less Balsamic vinegar) if you think they’re contributing to an upset tummy for your baby.
2. Have a Fitness Plan
You don’t know how your labor and recovery is going to go. Every woman is different and every labor is different though everybody needs some time to recover. Physical movement can be part of that recovery and ultimately help you feel better faster. Have a fitness plan and have a goal in mind.
My plan was to get back to walking the dog as quickly as possible. Within days of getting home, even though I was exhausted, I put on some sneakers and took the dog for a walk up and down the block, while family stayed home with baby. I didn’t go far or fast, but I can’t tell you how AMAZING the fresh air and sunshine felt. It was February and it was cold out, but it felt glorious to be outside. When I came back I felt like a new person. True story. After that, my goals were to start gentle yoga and, once cleared by my doctor, get back to the gym.
3. Grocery Shopping
As many do, I make a grocery list when I go to the store. As we got closer to our due date, I made a list of essentials and non-essentials that my husband could pick up when he was on his way home or out and about. For example, we can never have too much almond milk or eggs. Seriously. We go through that stuff like water. Plus, if we DO end up with some extra, I make almond milk ice cubes, a quiche for dinner, or egg muffins and freeze them. Anyways, I digress…have a list of essentials that ANYONE can pick up for you. If a friend is stopping by to visit you and the baby and asks if you need anything: essentials.
Family member willing to run to the store, what do you need: essentials. Going to the doctor and significant other will run into the store: essentials. You THINK you’ll remember what these essentials are but you probably won’t. And someone will offer and you won’t be able to come up with anything. WRITE THINGS DOWN.
High five for taking pre-natal vitamins throughout your pregnancy, but don’t stop now! Let’s review: you just birthed a BABY. Your body is recovering from delivery. You’re going to lose sleep. You’re body still needs essential vitamins and nutrients supplemental to your diet. And I didn’t even mention breastfeeding, if you plan to. Have a multivitamin ready to start taking immediately. I kept on taking my prenatal vitamins until I ran out and then switched to a high quality multi-vitamin.
Even if your labor and delivery go as perfectly as planned, these four suggestions can help you have a healthier postpartum and settle in at home a little bit easier.
About the author:
Amanda Bifulco currently lives in Virginia with her husband, dog and son. While not busy being a mom, coaching or pursuing her own fitness goals, she’s blogging tips and tricks to help others reach their weight loss or fitness goals. Find out more about Amanda here or connect with her on Facebook or via Twitter and IG @AmandaJoyFit.