Saturday, December 7, 2013

Postnatal: Don't worry, Be Happy

“Welcome to Motherhood” They said only a few days, sometimes hours before they push you out the door of the hospital. No manual, no 24 hour support, yet somehow you wake up after 6 months from the first ‘through the night sleep since baby’s birth’ and realise that you did it! You took on motherhood and won (even though you certainly don’t feel particularly victorious). Sure you worried about them constantly through the first months of their life but you were far too tired to let it form into any ideas.

If you find yourself starting to get more and more anxious everyday they grow, have a quick look at your diet before heading for any medication from the doctor. Of course if it is serious, by all means, don’t hesitate in seeking help but if you just feel generally worried and anxious about your baby’s wellbeing or motherhood in general, spend a few days working out the kinks in your diet by taking some of these tips into account.

Tip #1- The “No No Foods”: fried foods, unrefined sugars, and alcoholic beverages. I know it’s all the fun stuff and I am not saying to drop them all together but when some worry in the pit of your stomach starts to appear don’t overload on the KFC or McDonalds that sounds crazily appetizing.

Tip #2- I could simply tell you to eat more wholegrain foods but the first thing you might do is pop to the store and pick the most highly commercialised ‘Wholegrain’ bread. Instead of chucking it in because the label says it “wholegrain”, ignore the screaming child in the trolley, and quickly turn over for the ingredients- scan for more than 20% Wholegrain content guaranteeing that not all of the health benefits have been taken from the bread in the production process. Wholegrain food is scientifically proven to provide chemicals that become a calming neurotransmitter aka “your anxiety levels will decrease.”

Tip #3- Sushi!!! That’s right when you are feeling taken over by worry, head out to your favourite sushi bar and get some seaweed into you. If your magnesium levels are low, this can cause increased anxiety levels, seaweed will get that magnesium content right back to the level it needs to be. Who doesn’t love treating themselves to some Teriyaki chicken. Yum!!!

Tip #4- Drink!!! No this isn’t where alcohol makes a reappearance, however Water is the key. In fact dehydration is the main cause of stress or worry in 25% of cases so carry a bottle with you on those days that you just can’t handle that worry or those busy days where your diet habits may be lacking.

Tip #5- Reward yourself- I didn’t want to mention this any earlier but chocolate without the added sugars and milk reduces the stress hormone in the body. Just remember the darker the better.

Being a mother is the most terrifying job in the world but just remember that even though your baby might cause you so much worry, exclude the anxiety and you will realise how rewarding each day is with them. You are doing a fantastic job!

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