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Finding Time to Relax After Your Pregnancy

Before your baby was born, you had time to sit with your feet propped up and relax. But now that you have a newborn, you may be busier than ever before! However, you still need to find time to relax. Spending regular time relaxing will help keep you healthy and make it easier to meet your baby's demands. The following are some suggestions that will help you carve out the time you need to relax.

First, are you relaxing at work or at home? Different places mean different approaches. But in either environment, don’t make the mistake of doing too much too fast. Know your limitations and let others – like your health care professional – help you define those limitations. Moving too fast is a common mistake and it can be a dangerous one.

But as for specifics, let’s start at home. You’ll find that your baby will be a great timer as to when you can rest and relax. Remember that the baby will need rest and sleep almost as much as you – maybe more. After all, being born is almost as tiring as giving birth.

At first, plan for you and the baby to rest almost an equal amount of time. If you’re the principle care giver, scheduling your relaxation time will help to tie the two of you together. Simply put, when the baby is sleeping or resting, you should be sleeping or resting. And when the baby is eating, you should be having a snack, meal or at the very least a hydrating beverage. Getting the two of you on the same schedule will help to deepen the bond you’re already forming.

And remember all those offers for help? Call those promises in. You’ve likely lost a fair bit off shyness having the baby – keep that up for a while. Be brazen about asking for help. You’re in a very select group now – you are a Mother with a capital “M”. Let them all know that – they’ll be glad to help, especially the new dad. He can change diapers and carry the baby just as easily as you can. In fact, many companies offer maternity leave for new dads – tell him to check it out.

Next, about work – plan to resume only after you’ve been medically cleared by your physician. You may feel fine, but your health care professional will be able to tell you what’s best. But even without a “yes” from the doctor, there are several things that you can do to ease back into work gradually. First, plan to take the full maternity leave allotted, whether or not you feel ready to go back sooner. Start to get into a schedule that will allow you to leave for work earlier than you used to. Not only will this allow you to get the baby to a day care, it will lessen your overall stress.

When you’re back on the job, take lunches and breaks away from your desk. Arrange them in a place that you can physically relax, or at least be able to put your feet up. Another possibility is to split your last week of maternity leave in half, taking two weeks of half days instead of one complete week. Many new moms find this to be a great way to ease back into the swing of things, so see if your workplace is amenable to that.

Work or home, getting sufficient rest is vital for the new mother. You can’t forget that you’re no longer just acting for your benefit – you have a bright, shining new light that depends on you to keep burning just as brightly as ever.

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