In the first of a series, Lisa Barnwell, client of thebestof and founder of Me and My Baby Therapy Clinic offers some advice for new mums who are so busy looking after the new arrival they forget to look after themselves.
Looking after you AND your baby
I see so many new mum’s who are doing an amazing job of looking after their newborn and very often this is coupled with a toddler or other children. (I have now been in practice for over 10 years and my mums keep having babies!!) But what I also consistently see is how their most basic needs are often overlooked because they are so focused on their brood.
Now don’t get me wrong I am very, very aware that this is far easier to say than do, but simple things such as eating and drinking are VITAL to keeping you able to give and WHAT and how you ingest can make a big difference to you and your baby. A recent conversation with a new mum whose baby was struggling to settle in to a sleep pattern and colic and reflux identified that some very simple basics could be changed with the potential for big improvements to both.
Here are some of the tips I advised:-
1. Pre-prepare. Sunday evening and say Wednesday night cook up some simple grains such as barley, lentils or quinoa and then keep in the fridge to toss in some fresh vegetable additions (celery, cherry tomatoes, red or orange peppers, broccoli, watercress, spinach or rocket leaves are all great) and/or some cheese or chicken for a super quick, super healthy salads. Flash fry if you need something warmer. If you only have ten minutes for lunch, spend time chewing and eating not preparing.
2. Pre-soak your grains. To make cooking even quicker and to help your gut and potentially your baby’s if you are breastfeeding , soak whichever grains you are going to cook (over night or through out the day). Before cooking, drain, add fresh water and a little dried seaweed (to further help digestion and reduce gas).
3. Juice. It takes less than five minutes to juice and less than five minutes to drink (although longer is better), allowing you to get a super quick and nutritious boost in a fraction of the time it would take to chew a couple of carrots. Remember to make your juices mainly vegetable based as fruits contain a lot of sugars – albeit natural – which can spike your blood sugar levels and give you a slump when you least need it (and unfortunately sugars of any kind are stored by the body and turned to fat).
We also discussed herbal teas which will warm and soothe as well as gently uplift – chamomile & lemongrass is great for mornings, vanilla for evenings. Cinnamon, cardamom, and ginger will calm the digestion.