Note for New Moms

Post partum depression can be severe. If you experience thoughts of hurting yourself or your child, or if your feel unable to care for your baby, immediately call your obstetrician or a mental health professional.

More Articles on A Healthy Pregnancy

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Congratulations on Your Pregnancy! (for those who are newly pregnant)
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Treating Nausea and Vomiting
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Breastmilk, the Healthiest Diet for Babies
What DOES that Broccoli Do for My Baby?
Vitamin D Supplements in Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
New Research Affirms Individualized Vitamin D Supplementation for Pregnant Women
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What to Do About The Flu
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Decreasing the Risk of Gestation Diabetes
Keeping and Storing Breastmilk
Pregnancy Weight Gain Guidelines – Do We Need New Ones?
Breastfeeding: A Woman's Health Issue
Eating During Labor
Probiotics and a Decreased Risk of Gestational Diabetes
Pregnancy - a Time to be Active!
Clearing the Air : Quit Smoking for You and Your Child
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One Fish, Two Fish... Full Term Birth?
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Honest Healthy Diets for Babies
Exercise for New Moms
A Healthy Pre-Pregnancy Diet and Gestational Diabetes
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Faith Bontrager, RN, BSN

Faith Bontrager, RN, BSNFaith's passion in nursing is to help people find the options they need to discover their personal path to optimum health. Ask her friends and they will tell you that their appreciation of nutritious food has grown through Faith. About Faith Bontrager, RN, BSN


A Healthy Pregnancy

Exercise for New Moms

Exercising during pregnancyNational Health statistics tell us that at least 40% of Americans don't get enough exercise. What about new mothers?

Resuming exercise as soon as appropriate after birth can benefit new moms. Exercise can help a woman recover from birth more quickly and make her more resilient in learning new parenting skills and dealing with night-time feedings. Exercise can help mothers return to a healthy weight in a timely manner. It may even play a role in helping defeat the "baby blues."

The type of and frequency of exercise recommended for new mothers varies with their pregnancy exercise baseline as well as the type of delivery they experienced. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommend gradual resumption of exercise as tolerated. If your doctor doesn't talk with you about exercise, ask what she or he recommends based on your birth and medical history.

If you had significant lower back pain in late pregnancy, had a cesarean section, or are experiencing problems with pelvic floor muscles, talk with your doctor about physical therapy.

Will exercise interfere with breastfeeding? While some women have expressed concern that their baby may not get enough nutrients from breastfeeding if they exercise, a new study published this month in Pediatrics (2012;130(1):108-14) indicates that a woman's moderate exercise does not hinder baby's weight gain.

Make sure to drink enough water, especially when you exercise outdoors. In addition to the water you need to keep yourself healthy, your breast milk includes more water for baby hot days. Your body makes this change automatically. No need to supplement baby with bottles of water!

Look for nutrient dense food and include enough calories for you and baby. Don't try to lose pregnancy weight too quickly. Severe calorie restrictions can interfere with your ability to breastfeed successfully. Most women should eat an additional 500 calories per day while exclusively breastfeeding, but check with your doctor. If your pre-pregnancy weight was above or below recommended levels, your doctor may recommend a different calorie intake for you.

Be a role model for your child by including exercise in your routine at least three times per week. Take baby along sometimes. Put baby in a sling and take a walk. Invest in a good jogging stroller. Enroll in a post partum parent/child exercise class. If those options don't work for you, alternate exercise and child-care times with Dad (he needs exercise too!) .

Exercise - for yourself and your child!