One thing all new moms have in common, other than complete love for their newborns, is being constantly tired and devoid of energy. It is of course natural with all those late nights and getting used to the new routine. But we all need that extra oomph during that period. How do we get it without a ridiculous intake of multivitamins that haven’t been proven to work? These are three ways to improve energy levels that have worked for me.
1. Eating high iron foods
The tried and true green and leafy vegetables. All foods that are rich in iron should become your best friend. We all know them. Kale, broccoli, celery and legumes all go a long way to increasing oxygen intake. An increase in oxygen improves breathing rate and allows your muscles to have extra oxygen during normal activities. But the new mom has no time to make sophisticated smoothies. I suggest getting some natural vegetable juices. There are plenty on the market. Having a couple of glasses per day will help energy levels. And guess what? There are some delicious products available.
2. Increasing exercise
This is an age-old adage. Exercise is good for your body and will increase endorphins. Between breastfeeding and diaper changes, who has time for the gym? There is also the irony of being too tired to go to the gym so that you can increase your energy levels. I personally recommend my “45 grouping”. Using no more than 10 minutes, I do 15 jumping jacks, 15 sit ups and 15 squats. Three sets of this will get the blood pumping, increase your heart rate and release endorphins.
3. Getting more sleep
A tired body needs rest. The only real cure for that is sleep. New motherhood and sleep are not great bed fellows. A colicky baby, teething and just general crankiness, all contribute to many sleepless nights. The best advice I got from my mom after childbirth was to sleep when baby sleeps. A baby that doesn’t sleep at night will usually sleep during the day. Our natural inclinations as moms is to use that time to get stuff done. Don’t, you need to sleep. The dirty dishes and laundry are not as important as being rested enough to care for the baby.
Every one of us can use an energy boost from time to time. Motherhood sees us craving it more. There’s no shame in feeling consistently tired. It’s a hard job. Having some strategies to increase our energy levels can come in handy and make us even better parents.
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