A new baby can turn your world upside down – in the nicest way!
It’s normal to feel overwhelmed and exhausted for the first few weeks until you find a routine that works for you and your baby.
These 8 lifestyle tips for new mums are designed to help you manage the demands of motherhood so you can enjoy those precious early months with your newborn.
1. Stick to a well-balanced diet
Healthy eating will help you to keep up with the fast pace of motherhood and provide good quality breast milk for your baby. Find out more on our new mum nutrition page.
Take a nap whenever possible - particularly when your baby sleeps
2. Take a daily multivitamin and mineral supplement
Nutritional requirements increase by up to 88%3 during lactation to meet the needs of mum and baby. If you’re breastfeeding, you might not get enough nutrients for both of you from food alone. You can support your diet with a vitamin and mineral supplement designed for women who are breastfeeding, such as Elevit with Iodine.
3. Get some rest!
You knew it would be tiring, but nothing can quite prepare you for just how exhausting a newborn can be! Here are a few ways to conserve energy.
- Sit down when you can and take a nap while your baby sleeps.
- Keep housework to the basics. Dusting the skirting boards can wait.
- Try to relax and use the relaxation techniques you learnt during pregnancy to unwind.
- Keep meals simple and healthy so you don’t need to cook much.
- Get your other half to pitch in with baby care. It’ll give you a break and help them bond with the little one.
- Ask others to give you a hand. Friends and relatives will be happy to help with everyday tasks or lend a sympathetic ear.
4. Beat the baby blues
A combination of hormones and lack of sleep can make you feel sad and irritable 3 to 4 days after birth. To help lift your mood, ask someone you trust to mind baby for a couple of hours while you do something nice or catch up on sleep. Talking to someone about how you’re feeling can also help you feel better.
If you feel sad and overwhelmed more than 2 weeks after the birth, speak to your doctor or midwife.
5. Take some exercise
Gentle exercise can help lift your mood, boost your energy levels and get you back into shape more quickly. Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG) recommends you can start exercising four to six weeks after the birth. However, check with your doctor before you start exercising, especially if you had a caesarean section. Before this time though, try to get outside, take walks, or keep your blood moving with a gentle workout. Remember to give yourself a break if you are overtired, feeling unwell or experiencing pain.
Exercises to tone up your pelvic floor and tummy muscles after pregnancy will help your recovery after giving birth.
6. Get out of the house
Try to take regular walks with the baby in a sling or pram to stop you feeling housebound. It’s also good for your baby to be stimulated by the world outside. If you’d like company, look for a group in your local area where new mums get together to walk and talk.
Healthy eating will help you to keep up with the fast pace of motherhood and help provide good quality breast milk for your baby
7. Avoid alcohol
The safest advice is to stay away from alcohol if you’re breastfeeding. It passes into your breast milk and then onto your baby.
8. Check any medicines you take
If you’re breastfeeding, tell your doctor or pharmacist before you take any medication. They’ll help you to choose the best option.
Your ‘to do list’ for the first few months…
We’ve created a handy list of things to do now that baby has arrived. Read and print out our handy checklist for new mums and use it to help you organise yourself.