3 Steps of Self Care for Mums
As a mother, I think we have all been here;
One day I was breastfeeding my second-born baby and suddenly I burst into tears. I asked myself, how on earth did my body change so fast? My tummy pouch was sagging. My face had so many breakouts. My nails were unkempt. My forehead hair had fallen off. I had stretch marks on my thighs and arms. To top it off, my energy levels were so low.
As a mother, figuring out a healthy lifestyle was a journey. More importantly, I had to learn how to love myself through it all. Back then I hated these changes but now I LOVE IT! These marks remind me of the accomplishments my body has undergone in being a mother, and to top it up, a mother of 5 boys!
Having gone through the pre and post-natal journey so many times, I had to figure out how to take care of myself amongst taking care of the family. With much doubt and lots of (maybe mis) information from social media, friends, cultural background, etc. I took the time and effort to figure it out for myself.
The following are tips that I can recommend. They can help serve as a guideline for some fundamentals of ‘self-care’. However, remember one size doesn’t fit all – find what works for you!
1. Find help
Community is so essential, especially during the early days of conceiving. I had my pediatrician walk with me and help advise the journey to recovery. I recommend that you find a qualified source of advice during this process.
Being a mother is no easy toll on the body. Pre, during and post-natal, it is essential to make sure that your basic nutritional needs are covered in addition to your diet. Research shows that supplementation is important to keep a healthy life, because even if you eat extremely healthy foods there may be some gaps or deficiencies that may be missed. Keep this in mind for both you and your family.
Listen to bodily cues such as brittle nails or weak joints and seek qualified nutritional advice (available for free in Healthy U stores and online shop https://www.healthyu.co.ke/product-category/supplements/). To be safe, keep you and your family’s overall health and wellness in check with a general multivitamin appropriate for your respective age and genders.
Some additional supplements to look out for include;
a. B Vitamins – A great aid in helping produce the energy everyday life demands.
b. Calcium – Did you know that women are four times more susceptible to osteoporosis than men? Yes, therefore you must get enough calcium for lifelong bone health.
c. Collagen – This protein forms the main building blocks of our skin, bones, tendons and ligaments. Protect them for life longevity and health.
d. Vitamin D – Great for immunity, bone health, energy, mental health and mood. A supplement must-have!
e. Omega 3’s – Good for heart health, immunity, brain health and mental health. Usually found in fish, this nutrient can sometimes be scarce to come by. Find vegetarian and non-vegetarian options in Healthy U stores.
It is important to fill your own cup first before others – and sometimes often as mothers we forget! Self-love is the first step in investing basic care back into ourselves. I like to use practical and efficient routines, such as skin care and hair care as the first steps of looking and feeling good.
a. Skin Care
Figure out your skin type. Much like knowing your shoe size and what shoes best support the arches on your feet for effective posture and balance. The same is required for the largest organ in your body; the skin.
I have oily skin. Some of the major reasons for oily skin are climate changes, hormonal changes, genetics and large pore size. Breakouts and acne are common in oily skin.
Find appropriate products that work for your skin type and take small amounts of time daily for quick daily routines. When you can, slightly larger amounts of time every few weeks for some dedicated ‘self-lovings’.
b. Hair Care
We all want hair that gives the ‘woke up like this’ vibe, all hours of the day, all seasons of the year. Unfortunately, not only is that not an option, but we also may deal with limp, droopy and thin hair that breaks.
My hair journey has been treated by increasing the protein in my diet. Hair follicles consist mostly of protein. Some of the foods you should consider adding to your diet include eggs, fish like mackerel and salmon, nuts and seeds, lean meats, spinach and kale, beans and legumes.
I also swapped to natural hair care products that are free of harsh chemicals (found at Healthy U https://www.healthyu.co.ke/product-category/natural-beauty/hair-care/), with a hair treatment every 1 to 2 weeks.
Always remember that the only closure we need is knowing that we love too, and taking care of our health is Self Care!
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