It is not uncommon for new moms to grieve about how absolutely exhausted they are at the end of the day. New moms definitely have their work cut out for them. Though their bodies are still recovering from the trauma of childbirth, they don’t get any real reprieve as they have to care for their babies. And almost every day, they face new challenges leaving them with hardly any energy.
But there are a number of things, which worked for their fellow moms, that they can do to boost their energy.
#1 Practice healthy habits. Because you’ll be stretching yourself in the next few months, you need to be at your top form. Eating healthy is a necessity, says Isabel Endozo Leal, a mom of one who is expecting her second child. If you’re breastfeeding, you’ll need some 500 extra calories a day. Some moms get so into their babies that they forget to eat properly. Don’t! Remember to keep yourself well hydrated, too.
Kabbie Rodriguez Alipio, mom of one, adds, “Take quality vitamins and remember to get the good kind. I’ve learned that not all vitamin brands are created equal, some are not even absorbed by the body that you end up just peeing them and not getting anything at all. So best to do your research because vitamins can really help nourish and strengthen your body especially that it just went through a lot of changes.”
#2 Incorporate exercise into your daily routine. About six weeks postpartum, get your body moving. Start by putting in at least half an hour of aerobic exercise every day, moving on to resistance training twice a week to work up your muscles.
Angela Coralejo Parma, mom of one, says “I enrolled in a gym and exercised. It was to get my confidence back (you know how your body gets flabbier after giving birth), and at same time, to give me a breather.”
If you can’t commit to a workout routine, then incorporate exercise into your everyday schedule. For instance, take a walk around your neighborhood whenever you can. Or do some stretches while you go about your day. Regular exercise beats taking a nap when it comes to boosting energy.
#3 Sleep whenever you can. “For new moms, taking care of the baby can be overwhelming. One of the helpful tips that I was given was for mom to rest and sleep when the baby is sleeping,” says Isabel. Kabbie agrees. “That’s the only way you can reboot sans the interruptions.”
#4 Ask for help. Angela says, “I shamelessly asked for help. If my mom or mom-in-law were available, I’d allow them to ‘borrow’ my baby.”
Cecile Jusi Baltasar, mom of two, adds, “One thing that helped me a lot was to accept help from my my mom, in-laws, husband. I didn’t try to do it all by myself.”
#5 Have a good cry. Kabbie says, “Don’t be ashamed to cry it all out! There was one time when I was so frustrated with my then one-month-old baby. She was crying nonstop and I didn’t know what to do anymore. I was also in pain from my C-section wound, hungry and exhausted from breastfeeding. So helpless me gave the baby to my husband, grabbed a box of Kleenex, lied down on the corner of the bed with my back turned against them, and wept for an hour. It felt so good after! Sometimes you just need to acknowledge that you’re just human and you’re allowed to break down, too. After that episode, I felt invincible.”
#6 Don’t forget about you. Cecile says, “What helped me most when I was a new mom was to put up a blog (supertamad.wordpress.com) where I challenged myself to do something new every day for a year. It was my way of remembering who I was beyond motherhood and wifehood. It was supposed to last just for a year but, owing to its name and lack of time because of work, it remains unfinished.”
Photograph by Stanley Ong