Caring For Yourself
We have compiled some important information about caring for yourself and your baby. Click on the links below to learn about the following topics.
Baby Blues & Postpartum (After Childbirth) Depression | Staying Smoke Free
Tips for New Moms | Planning for Your Next Baby
Baby Blues & Postpartum (After Childbirth) Depression
Many women suffer from Baby Blues and depression after childbirth. Find out more and learn how to get help.
Staying Smoke Free
Some mothers who quit smoking during pregnancy may start smoking again after delivery. To safeguard your health and the health of your family, it is important that you stay smoke-free.
Call 1-866-NY-QUITS (1-866-697-8487) to find resources in your area that can help you quit tobacco for good. Members with a hearing or speech impairment who use a TDD should call 711.
A crying baby can make you want to reach for that pack of cigarettes. Here are some things you can do instead:
- Put on some soothing music for you and your baby.
- Take a walk with your baby.
- Ask someone you trust to handle the baby while you walk away for a few minutes.
- Have a healthy snack instead of a cigarette.
Tips for New Moms
Being the mother of a new baby is a huge responsibility. No one is born with the skills necessary to care for a baby. Simply put, you learn mothering skills by taking care of your baby. If you are already a parent, the duties may be more familiar, but each new baby is amazing and unique. Following are a few tips that will help you build your confidence as a new mother and maintain your own health so you can care for your newborn:
- Believe in your ability to be a good mother. Trust your instincts. Take pride in the things that you do well and build on them.
- Get to know your baby. Talk to, massage and sing to your baby. Babies are born fully aware. Before very long, your baby will know you and will respond to your touch and the sound of your voice.
- Disregard advice that does not work for you. Babies are not all the same. There is no universal rule that applies. When in doubt, talk with your pediatrician.
- Relax when you can. When your baby is sleeping, take a little time for yourself. Late night care of your baby can drain new mothers of much needed energy; therefore, when the baby is resting, lie down for a nap or put your feet up and rest.
- Learn to say “no” to visitors. Limit visitors for the first week or two after bringing your baby home, even though everyone will be anxious to see your new baby. Too many people can be overwhelming and tiring for you and your baby.
- Ask for help. If you feel overwhelmed, ask your partner, family or friends to assist you with the housework, meals and laundry. Keep the care of your baby in your hands and those of your partner for the first few weeks.
- Eat for energy. Your body is still recovering so don’t limit your diet during the first month after giving birth. Good nutrition is important for a healthy energy level and a quick recovery. Continue taking your prenatal vitamins if your doctor recommends. Do not worry about losing weight right now. Your goal is to feel healthy!
- Do not participate in risky behaviors. You need to remain healthy to best care for yourself and your newborn. Stay away from smoking and drug and alcohol use.
- Keep your postpartum visit with your doctor. Have your post delivery checkup with your doctor within three to eight weeks after your delivery. Make a list of questions you have about how you’re feeling, family planning, contraception, exercise, HIV status and testing and follow-up care for conditions such as high blood pressure or diabetes. This is your time to make sure that your body is returning to its pre-pregnant condition.
Planning For Your Next Baby
If you are thinking about having another baby, there is a lot to consider. Preconception planning is an important first step. Keeping yourself healthy before you become pregnant will give your baby the best possible start. If you are thinking about using birth control, speak with your doctor or midwife before you leave the hospital. If you have questions about planning your next child, talk with your doctor or midwife at your postpartum visit.