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Having a baby is extraordinarily special but it can also take a toll on new mothers physically and mentally. New moms often get caught up in the excitement and chaos of having a little one, accidentally neglecting their own needs. To help manage this new stage of life here are four mistakes to avoid:

1. Extreme Dieting
A common mistake new moms make is taking extreme measure to loose the baby weight as fast as possible. It is important for new moms to remember that it can take anywhere from 6 to 12 months to safely get your body back in shape. In fact, it is recommended that new mothers eat 1,800 calories a day or about 2,300 calories a day if breastfeeding. If you can include exercise into your new routine that’s even better. New mothers who combine healthy eating habits with exercise tend to loose 1 pound a week. On the other hand, though it might be tempting, choosing a quick fix like extreme dieting can backfire. While you might loose some weight fast, the pounds usually come back as soon as you return to eating normally. However, it’s important to focus on your personal journey, making healthy food choices to help reach your goals.

2. Skipping meals
After having a baby life can all of a sudden feel chaotic and rushed. Just leaving the house can be a relay race as you scramble to get baby changed, dressed, fed and packed to get out the door. It is understandable that it sometimes it is just easier to skip lunch or dinner, though skipping meals is a typical mistake that new moms often make. It can also become a habit. By skipping meals your body is erroneously pushed into starvation mode, causing to store fat instead of burning it. This can make it even harder to loose that baby weight. It is important to eat regularly, whether it is a quick sandwich or reheated leftovers, or even a bowl of soup. It’s important to remember that eating something is always better than skipping a meal. To help avoid this habit, keep healthy snacks in your purse or diaper bag so that you have something to munch instead of being hungry throughout the day.

3. Not Getting Enough Sleep
Of course sleep is scarce after having as baby. It is very difficult for new mothers to get shut-eye between feedings, diaper changes, more feedings and everything else little ones need. Yet, sleep is linked to weight and mental health, especially in new mothers. It is extremely tough to think calmly and clearly when sleep deprived. While more sleep seems impossible for new moms, it is important to take every chance you can get to snooze. This might entail asking family or friends for extra help so that you can catch up on some much deserved and much needed rest. It not only will make you feel better but it can also help you loose baby weight. If you are struggling with sleep ask your doctor or pediatrician for specific sleep advise for you and your baby.

4. Putting Yourself Last
Most new moms find it hard to put themselves first. However, making your post-partum recovery a priority can make all the difference in your confidence and overall wellbeing, especially since having a baby often has such great aesthetic affects on women’s bodies. For example, many new moms struggle with the way their bodies look post-baby. Even after loosing weight, countless women still don’t feel like they are back to their old self. Women often have unwanted extra fat or lax skin in the abdominal area after carrying a child, which despite a healthy diet and exercise remains difficult to get rid of. More and more new moms are putting themselves first by having a “mommy makeover”. Mommy makeovers consist of a variety of procedures designed to help new mother’s get their bodies back. Some procedures include a tummy tuck, of which there are several types, and liposuction. A tummy tuck helps reduce excess skin on the abdomen, while liposuction reduces the fat deposits that can accumulate after pregnancy in areas such as the thigh, hips and abdomen. These routine procedures can help you feel like your old self again, despite having experienced physical changes during pregnancy and childbirth.

Written by Dr. Morin
Wednesday, September 20th, 2017

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