Taking care of your new baby is easiest when you’re feeling your best. It’s important to take care of your own health and well-being, as well as your baby’s. Here are some tips for rest, exercise, and healthy eating.

Rest and Exercise

All new parents soon learn that babies have different internal clocks than adults. Most newborns wake up about every three hours and need to be fed, changed, and comforted.

It is easy for you to become overtired. While a solid eight hours of sleep may not be possible for the next few months, here are some ways you can get more rest now.

Tips for Getting More Rest

  • In the first few weeks, focus on feeding and caring for the baby and taking care of yourself. Ask for support from your family and friends—and don’t be shy about telling them that you need help.
  • Sleep when the baby sleeps. This may be only a few minutes of rest at a time, but these minutes can add up during the day.
  • Save steps and time. Have your baby’s bed near yours for feedings at night.
  • Don’t feel that you must entertain guests. Many new parents enjoy visits from friends and family, but new mothers should not have to play hostess. Feel free to excuse yourself for a nap.
  • Most mothers find it easy to feed their baby and go back to sleep at night. The hormones that produce breastmilk also make mothers feel relaxed and sleepy. And once breastfeeding is established, it does not take long to feed the baby. You can also express some breastmilk during the day and ask your partner to feed your baby for one feeding during the night to let you get a longer stretch of sleep sometimes. It is okay to introduce a bottle after the first two to three weeks.

Continuing to Exercise

  • Sleepless nights and changes in your routine due to the baby will happen, and can make you feel tired and tearful. In addition to trying to get enough sleep, keeping active can help.
  • Try to make time for exercise. Even 10 minutes a day will help you feel more relaxed and able to cope.
  • At the same time, don’t do too much too soon.
  • Exercise outdoors if you can. For example, go for a walk with your baby. A breath of fresh air can make you feel great.
  • Begin postpartum exercises, as advised by your health care provider.