Energy Boosters for New Moms

June 29, 2022

You may have heard the first 12 weeks after birth referred to as the fourth trimester. During this period your newborn baby learns to adjust to the world outside of the womb, and your body begins to return to its pre-pregnant self. There is no doubt you want to be the best parent you can be, but you may be sleepy, sore, or emotional. Making a few changes to your habits can make a big difference to how you feel.

Eat Smart

Good nutrition helps your body get the energy it needs. Eating healthy, balanced meals can be a challenge when you spend most of the day nursing or holding your baby. While you may not have the time or desire to eat a full plate of food, try to remember to snack on no-fuss nutritious foods like:

Fruits - Great source of vitamins and minerals, and can give you a quick zap of energy. Try a tasty combination like banana and peanut butter. Or just slice open a ripe avocado and “chow down.”

Bite-sized pieces of veggies - Cut up some of your favorite veggies and store them in sandwich bags so you can easily grab and munch when your little one is resting.

Nuts and Seeds - Fill up with healthy fats that can be added to your favorite salad, mixed in a bag with cereal or eaten plain a small handful at a time.

Nut/seed butters - For a quick and filling snack, spread on whole grain toast or crackers, celery sticks or apple slices.

Yogurt/cottage cheese/kefir/string cheese - Good sources of protein, which helps you feel full longer.

COOK SMART

Want to avoid spending hours in the kitchen? Buy frozen vegetables to reduce meal prep time. Try cooking a large batch of food once or twice a week. Some quick-cook dishes or casseroles include: lasagna, quiche and whole-wheat pasta salad with tuna. Using the microwave or crockpot can also save time.

PLAY SMART

Many moms opt to stay indoors the first few weeks after their baby is born. However, you may find your baby really enjoys going out — and you feel better too! Physical activity is a great stress reliever and energy booster because it causes our bodies to release hormones that make us feel good. Next time you think about binge-watching your favorite show, try going out for a brisk walk with your baby instead. You’ll help burn off some “baby fat” and it will help you sleep better too.

DRINK SMART

Don’t let caffeinated, sugary or energy drinks fool you. They only give you a short boost of energy and are loaded with extra calories. Instead, try adding fruits, cucumber or mint to your water.

SLEEP SMART

Sleep is sacred when you have a newborn. Without sleep, it may seem impossible to get anything done, much less eat a healthy diet or exercise. Be smart about your sleep:

Side-Lying Hold

  1. For the right breast, lie on your right side with your baby facing you.
  2. Pull your baby close. Your baby’s mouth should be level with your nipple.
  3. In this position, you can cradle your baby’s back with your left arm and support yourself with your right arm and/or pillows.
  4. Keep loose clothing and bedding away from your baby.
  5. Reverse for the left breast.

This hold is useful when:

Cross-Cradle Hold

  1. For the right breast, use your left arm to hold your baby’s head at your right breast and baby’s body toward your left side. A pillow across your lap can help support your left arm.
  2. Gently place your left hand behind your baby’s ears and neck, with your thumb and index finger behind each ear and your palm between baby’s shoulder blades. Turn your baby’s body toward yours so your tummies are touching.
  3. Hold your breast as if you are squeezing a sandwich. To protect your back, avoid leaning down to your baby. Instead, bring your baby to you.
  4. As your baby’s mouth opens, push gently with your left palm on baby’s head to help them latch on. Make sure you keep your fingers out of the way.
  5. Reverse for the left breast.

This hold is useful when:

Clutch or “Football” Hold

  1. For the right breast, hold your baby level, facing up, at your right side.
  2. Put your baby’s head near your right nipple and support their back and legs under your right arm.
  3. Hold the base of your baby’s head with your right palm. A pillow underneath your right arm can help support your baby’s weight.
  4. To protect your back, avoid leaning down to your baby. Bring baby to you instead.
  5. Reverse for the left breast.

This hold is useful when:

Cradle Hold

  1. For the right breast, cradle your baby with your right arm. Your baby will be on their left side across your lap, facing you at nipple level.
  2. Your baby’s head will rest on your right forearm with your baby’s back along your inner arm and palm.
  3. Turn your baby’s tummy toward your tummy. Your left hand is free to support your breast, if needed. Pillows can help support your arm and elbow.
  4. To protect your back, avoid leaning down to your baby. Instead, bring your baby to you.
  5. Reverse for the left breast.

This hold is useful when:

Laid-Back Hold

  1. Lean back on a pillow with your baby’s tummy touching yours and their head at breast level. Some moms find that sitting up nearly straight works well. Others prefer to lean back and lie almost flat.
  2. You can place your baby’s cheek near your breast, or you may want to use one hand to hold your breast near your baby. It’s up to you and what you think feels best.
  3. Your baby will naturally find your nipple, latch, and begin to suckle.

This hold is useful when: