Remember these 5 tips for Momma Body Wellness during both Pregnancy & Postpartum. In my personal experience and from time spent with other Mommas, the 5 most important wellness tips are:
- Hydrate with H2O ~ Water is really important during pregnancy & postpartum. Yes, during pregnancy, the taste of water is not very appealing. Try adding Lemon, or a flavor of choice if needed. During postpartum, especially during breastfeeding, replenishing fluids is very important. Having a glass of water after each time you nurse is a good way to get the water you need. The goal is about 80 ounces of water per day.
- Do Transverse Abdominal Exercises Often ~ The area of the abdomen that is stretched to the max during pregnancy is the transverse abdominal muscle. It is responsible for keeping your core stable. It is the abdominal muscle closest to the uterus, and creates a protective layer that also wraps around your spine for stability. The transverse abdominal muscle is also known as the breathing muscle. It works really hard during contractions for labor and delivery to bear down and get baby out! Exercising this muscle frequently during pregnancy, helps prepare and creates memory for the muscle to respond well during labor. Exercising the transverse abdominal muscle also helps decrease the risk diastasis recti – a condition where the rectus abdominal muscles (the ‘six-pack’ abs) pull away from each other at the center midline; the area right under your dark line on your bump (the linea negra). It is this pull that can range from a 1-to-4 finger separation and causes the unwanted ‘pooch’ after baby is born, even after you have been active during postpartum. In some cases, diastatis recti is genetic, which is why it is even more important to do these exercises.
- Squats are Your new Bestie ~ That’s right, Momma! Squats are one of the most important exercises for pregnancy and postpartum, because they prepare your legs and support your extended center of gravity for the marathon of labor and delivery. They also work to keep gravity from making your toned glutes sag, due to the huge shift in hormones from labor to postpartum. Especially if you are having a c-birth (c-section), the lower body strength assists in keeping your balance and stability when your abdominal muscles have been compromised from the surgery.
- Take Whole Omega Vitamins ~ DHA is extremely important for brain development for your bundle. But, let’s focus on the importance of Omega fats for Momma. Omega fats are important in both well mental function and breastmilk production. Having the whole (all) omega fats consumed allows you to be cognitively sharp and feeling good about handling all of the new challenges that arise during pregnancy & postpartum. Momma’s mental health during this wonderful time can be fragile, and it is important to make sure you provide your brain with the best fuel it needs. For breastmilk, Whole Omegas can aid in production and sustain your baby between feedings. It’s a win-win for everyone!
- Naps are Necessary ~ As you enter your 3rd trimester, the quality of sleep decreases. You are not as comfortable as your budding bump grows at a quicker rate. The same is true for within your 4th trimester (the first 3 months with your bundle). You are figuring out your new rhythm of nursing, functioning on little sleep, and establishing your new identity as Momma. The best way to rejuvenate and allow your body to heal, is to take naps. Please do not stress yourself out with the rush of getting baby to ‘sleep through the night,’ rather view sleep as a series of naps that you have throughout a 24-hour period. The duration of the naps will improve as your bundle gets bigger, but do not put pressure on yourself to get that good night sleep. It will return, within time. Hang in there, Momma!
Momma Body Wellness is so important during pregnancy & postpartum. Be sure to take care of yourself while taking care of your bundle. Mommas are as important as newborns and need good health, good resources, and good support!