New mom, new you

Westside Eagle-Observer - - OPINION - Siloam Springs Re­gional Hospi­tal

Preg­nancy and moth­er­hood can be among the hap­pi­est times in a woman’s life. But learn­ing how to bal­ance phys­i­cal and emo­tional changes while try­ing to get back in shape and main­tain a healthy post-baby weight can be chal­leng­ing.

The weeks and months fol­low­ing child­birth can si­mul­ta­ne­ously be over­whelm­ingly joy­ous and stress­ful. Fight­ing fa­tigue and keep­ing up with a new baby’s needs, along with stresses of run­ning the house­hold, can seem like a never-end­ing bat­tle. Get­ting in shape or find­ing time to go for a walk can seem like just an­other drain of your al­ready de­pleted en­ergy re­serves, but re­search shows low-im­pact exercise can help new moms re­lax and re­fo­cus.

Seek work­outs that al­low you to take your baby along, like walk­ing or run­ning with a stroller or bik­ing with an in­fant car­rier. You might also con­sider join­ing a lo­cal gym with a nurs­ery where your child will be cared for while you work out.

Ex­er­cis­ing to lose baby weight can help moms shed pounds, man­age men­tal stress and im­prove self­con­fi­dence, but one im­por­tant thing to re­al­ize is get­ting in shape is as much of a process as nur­tur­ing a de­vel­op­ing baby. Set­ting re­al­is­tic weight-loss goals and tak­ing time to fo­cus on your health should be seen as a ne­ces­sity. And, even if you’re not ready to go full­force with a new work­out rou­tine, eas­ing into exercise through yoga or swim­ming can be ther­a­peu­tic and men­tally re­fresh­ing.

A lit­tle ‘Mom’ time

Here are a few tips to help new moms achieve a more bal­anced life:

■ Give your­self the same at­ten­tion and care as you would a loved one.

■ Learn to ac­cept help with the baby with­out feel­ing guilty or inadequate. ■ En­list the help of a per­sonal trainer with a cer­ti­fi­ca­tion in pre­na­tal and post­na­tal fit­ness for a few ses­sions to get you on the right track. ■ Main­tain a bal­anced diet filled with cal­ci­u­mand vi­ta­min-rich foods, and rou­tinely count calo­ries and fat grams to help man­age your weight.

At Siloam Springs Re­gional Hospi­tal Women and Chil­dren’s Unit, we rec­og­nize that hav­ing a baby is a mo­men­tous time in your life. Our goal is to pro­vide safe, qual­ity health care for new­borns and their moth­ers. We of­fer la­bor and de­liv­ery ser­vices that bal­ance tech­nol­ogy with a fam­ily-ori­ented en­vi­ron­ment. For more in­for­ma­tion, visit North­west­Health.com or call 479-215-3300.

Siloam Springs Re­gional Hospi­tal is a 73 li­censed bed fa­cil­ity with 42 pri­vate pa­tient rooms. It is ac­cred­ited by the State of Arkansas De­part­ment of Health Ser­vices and The Joint Com­mis­sion. The fa­cil­ity is at 603 N. Progress Ave. in Siloam Springs. For more in­for­ma­tion, visit North­west­Health.com.

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