Breastfeeding - taking care of mum
Breastfeeding your baby is wonderful way to spend time together building a close bond that lasts long after your child is weaned. Many mothers who breastfeed have a bumpy time to begin with but, once breastfeeding is established, find that there is real joy to be had in those quiet times when they are feeding. There's a lot of help available and almost all problems can be overcome, so don't give up on breastfeeding unless you really want to. You are the most important person in your baby's life so it's really important that you take good care of yourself:
- There's no rush to get the housework done - it's not going anywhere.
- Encourage your partner to take care of your baby.
- If you're offered help, take it! Or if you need help, ask for it.
- Rest up while you recover from the birth; as you regain your strength, you can become more active.
- Try to take a walk in the fresh air. A change of scenery can make you feel like a new person, and your baby will enjoy it too.
- Take some time out. An occasional short break from your baby will re-energise you and give you a bit of perspective.
- Try joining a new mother's group - there's nothing better than sharing the joy and the pain with others who are in the same boat.
Eat and drink well:
- The months following childbirth are not the time to go on a diet - it's normal to gain weight during pregnancy and to lose it slowly while breastfeeding; it takes a lot of energy to feed and care for your baby.
- You should eat at least three meals a day.
- You don't have to adhere to a special diet while breastfeeding, though you'll have more energy if you eat and drink well. It's important to listen to your body's needs.
- If you are concerned about your weight, try to do regular exercise rather than restrict your diet.
- During pregnancy, because of hormonal changes, less hair than normal falls out, resulting in hair (and nails) that is thicker than usual.
- About 3 months after child birth, just as your hormones are starting to settle back to normal, you will notice that a lot of your hair is falling out.
- The hair that's falling out is actually all the hair that should have fallen out during the nine months of pregnancy-and that adds up to a lot of hair!
- Don't panic-you will not end up bald! You may, however, have thin patches followed by a crop of short, spiky new growth coming through.
- This hair loss is not due to breastfeeding - if you stop breastfeeding, your hair will still fall out.
- Hair loss will gradually slow and stop, and over time your hair will return to normal.
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