Being a new mom brings lots of happiness to the family, but also creates dramatic changes in life. More effort is put to prepare for pregnancy and labor through medical consultations, reading books and articles, or asking friends and families. But how to be a new mom also needs a thorough preparation in order to avoid physical and mental problems that might occur.
After delivery, the mother’s body still adjusting and healing (whether it is from normal or cesarian delivery), post-partum bleeding, uterus contractions, and breastfeeding process. These changes need more energy which can be consumed from high calorie meals and supported by sufficient rest.
A breastfeeding mother needs 500 calories more than her usual calorie need at 1,800-2,200 calories. Protein, calcium (1,000 mg per day), and iron (9 mg per day) are some major nutrients to support the body during recovery and provide nutrition for the baby. Staying hydrated by drinking 6-10 glasses of water (including fruit juice and milk) is also important for breastfeeding.
To ensure food intake, the whole family must work together. Most times, the mother is physically tired and find it difficult to manage time to take care of the house while breastfeeding on demand and tending the baby. Perhaps the father or other family members can help look after the baby while the mother get some free time to eat or sleep.
Mental health of a new mother is not to be overlooked. Sometimes there is post-partum depression or more commonly known as baby blues syndrome although both terms are not exactly similar. Baby blues syndrome often occurs in 2 weeks after birth and more like an unhappy mood while if it continues more than 2 weeks than it might be a more serious case. In post-partum depression the mother can feel sad, anxious, depressed, and cannot/would not take care of the baby. It can be caused by hormonal disturbances after birth, fatigue, lack of family support, previous mental problems, unwanted pregnancy, or younger pregnancy (<20 years old).
Therefore, preparing how to be a new mom is no less important compared to the pregnancy and birth itself. The purpose is to be able to take care of the newborn in a good physical and mental state. Consult the medical team and read many articles to prepare yourself during pregnancy. If you feel overwhelmed, talk to your spouse or family members and get help.