As Mother’s Day approaches, most of us are planning visits and meals or hunting for a last-minute gift to celebrate Mom. Whether you’re a mom, a dad, or just a grateful child, Mother’s Day is a great time to think about health. After all, we want Mom to be around forever! At American Family Care, we’re urging moms to use the day as a way to make health a priority.
In honor of Mother’s Day, we’re going to nag — just a little! You should all know by now that a balanced diet and regular exercise are key to a healthy life. But sleep and stress managementare two other important factors that have an impact on your health. Here are a few additional ways for new moms and seasoned moms to focus on their health.
For the new mom:
Sleep: While new moms may think sleep is a luxury, it’s important for your health and your baby’s health. According to Parents magazine, pregnancy suppresses your body’s immune response, which can continue after birth. A lack of sleep continues to weaken the immune system and may lead to chronic conditions like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity and depression, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We know how difficult it is, but do your best to maximize your sleep.
Depression: The “baby blues” is one thing, but postpartum depression is a more serious problem. Most women experience mood swings and feelings of depression after giving birth, but if those feelings last longer than a few weeks and become more intense in nature, it’s in your best interest to speak with a doctor about your feelings.
Virtual help: If you’re expecting a baby or have a newborn, there’s a helpful text service that sends health alerts and tips straight to your cell phone. The service coordinates with your baby’s birth date or due date and sends you pertinent health information based on the age of your infant. Text BABY (or BEBE in Spanish) to 511411.
For the seasoned pro:
Family history: A cancer diagnosis or heart disease in your family’s past may seem like no big deal, but knowing your family’s history can help keep you healthy down the road. Families share genes and environments that may affect health, and it’s important for your health and your children’s health to know what conditions may run in your family.
Stress and depression: Even Super Mom gets stressed and depressed sometimes. The key is to learn how to manage and control these feelings so they don’t overwhelm you. According to the CDC, staying active physically and mentally can help keep stress at bay. And while you might think a nice, stiff drink is the way to keep you sane, alcohol and drugs can make stress and depression worse in the long run. If you feel overwhelmed, tell a medical professional or find a support group.
How do you stay healthy as a mom? Share your tips with us!