Juggling everyday life with caring for your new baby is a task worthy of heroic status in itself. It is a selfless job for sure, and while you’re busy organising and caring for your new baby, not to mention others, your own needs can take second place and you can forget to look after yourself. After long days and longer nights your energy levels get zapped, leaving you feeling exhausted. As all consuming as caring for a newborn is, it’s important to look after yourself too.
We have comprised a list of tips to follow when you feel your energy has reached a low point post-pregnancy, to help boost those energy levels and to help make your life a little bit easier.
1. Breakfast is best: Breakfast is your most important meal, and it defintitely plays a role in sustaining your energy levels, metabolism and feelings of well being througout the day. Simple carbohydrates such as white bread, sugary cereals and bagels cause your blood sugar levels to rise too quickly. Switching to a fruit smoothie, scrambled eggs, a bowl of porridge or wholegrain cereal will see for a slower release of energy throughout the day, keeping you feeling energetic for longer.
2. Eat frequently throughout the day: If you are finding that sitting down to three main meals is too time consuming, try eating five smaller meals per day. Keeping your fridge stocked with tasty, healthy snacks will make eating little and often simple and convenient. Complex carbohydrates such as wholewheat or pitta bread along with peanut butter, hummus or lean meats are tasty and easy meals to make. Keeping sliced carrots and fruit in the house will allow you to keep your energy levels balanced, so that you don’t go from full to hungry too quickly.
3. Moderate caffeine and sugar: Caffeine and sugar can be the easiest go-to solutions for a drop in energy levels when you need to get back on the go fast. However, like the sugary cereals, they will only provide you with a fleeting visit from energy, which is not what you need. There’s no harm in having a morning coffee or occasional biscuit, but remember that these might be working against you rather than helping your energy levels.
4. When the sweet urge arises, stick to dark chocolate: Everyone gets an urge for something sweet now and again. Allowing yourself to indulge is important, however, too much of the sweet stuff can leave you feeling worse. When the urge strikes, try some dark chocolate. Known as an antioxident, dark chocolate can improve mood by increasing the levels of serotonin in your brain. Eating it has also been linked to increased levels of endorphins being released in the body, chemicals in the brain responsible for happy and elevated feelings.
5. Water, water, water: Drinking water and keeping yourself hydrated post-pregnancy is vital for mothers of newborns. Dehydration will accelerate any tiredness or fatigue and leave you feeling low. Keeping a bottle of water handy, in your bag or on your bedside locker, will remind you to keep on drinking and help develop a good habit of keeping yourself hydrated.
Eating healthily is important for your energy levels, but if you don’t have time to stock up or you’re running late and resort to a takeaway, don’t sweat it. These hectic days won’t last forever, and if you try to stick to the five steps above most of the time, you’ll do great.