You feel like it was only yesterday you delivered your first baby. Andjust like that, now you’re planning your second one. Once again, it’s time to prepare and plan, especially more so now because your work is doubled – for yourself as well as your family. So, first things first, let’s look at how you can prepare your body and bring it back on track for the second time, especially when the first born still needs your attention.
After the first delivery, your body and your life are not what it used to be. And that’s perfectly normal. However, before you try for a second baby, get regular exercise into your routine. Yes, we know there’s hardly any time and you feel tired all day! But, if you exercised enough the first time around, you already know the immense benefits it can yield!
Sign up for a gym that also has on-site day-care, in case your first kid is too young to be left alone or with anyone else.
You can sign up both, yourself as well as your kid for swimming classes. It’s a great way for you to get fit and for your child to have some fun in the water!
Hit the park with your child for at least an hour. Play catch with him or brisk walk while he plays.
One of the greatest killers of a healthy diet for a mom is having to eat the leftover foods or snacks off their kid’s plate, even if you’re already full! You may think these small portions don’t make much of a difference, but do it multiple times a day, every day, and you’ll be shocked at the extra calories you’re piling on. Another no-no, a lot of moms of toddlers tend to do is eat what their child is eating. It may seem like an acceptable idea, but if you’re trying to get your health up to speed for your second baby, picking food from your firstborn’s plate isn’t going to cut it.
Remember to eat a proper wholesome meal three times a day, and a healthy snack throughout the day to keep your metabolism up. If you’re exercising, which you totally should be, then you need the fuel to back it up. And that fuel isn’t coming from your toddler’s leftovers.
Smoothies are your best friends. They’re quick to make and quicker to consume. And you can carry it everywhere! Stock up on healthy snacks for the whole week, and you won’t go hungry or reach out for that unhealthy snack again.
Have a BIG breakfast. You can prep for it the previous night. Make sure your breakfast is loaded with nutrition. It will keep your energy levels high and give you the required nourishment.
If you have a smoking or drinking habit, it’s time to say goodbye to cigarettes and alcohol, as you did around your . Caffeine, processed foods and irregular sleep are also a strict no-no! Instead, hydrate yourself regularly; include a lot of greens, reds and yellows such as bell peppers, squash, carrots, leafy vegetables, broccoli, apricots etc., along with some antioxidant rich foods such as legumes, sweet potatoes, dry fruits, salmon, tomatoes, bananas etc. in your diet.
Once you’ve slipped back into a regular routine, you completely forget about having your health vitals checked. But if a second baby is on the way, then it is time to pay your physician as well as gynaecologist a visit again.
Check for the likelihood of diabetes, blood pressure and thyroid problems. High blood sugar during pregnancy can cause birth defects and increase the risk of complications during delivery. Diabetes-related complications can also interfere with the delivery. Uncontrolled thyroid levels during pregnancy can affect the unborn baby’s growth and brain development.
Run blood tests to look out for any nutritional deficiencies, especially for iron and calcium deficiencies. Studies suggest that an untreated iron deficiency becomes severe during pregnancy and may cause low birth weight in the baby. Calcium deficiency can affect cardiovascular development in the foetus and cause high blood pressure in the newborn.
Keep an eye out for tooth decay or gum problems. Inflammation and infection from the gums can enter the blood stream and spread to other parts of the body including the reproductive system. This can put you and your baby’s health at risk.
Your body needs at least 18 months to fully recover from your first childbirth. And it perhaps takes even longer to bring your life to normal, with a new schedule, lifestyle and all that. Recover fully and bring your body, mind and overall health back on track. If you’ve had a C-section the first time around, you need to wait at least two years before you can try again. Your pelvic floor and uterus need time to recover too.
The same goes for your hormone levels. Carrying and delivering a baby does all sorts of crazy things to your hormones. Let the oestrogen and progesterone settle down fully first. If these are not back to normal again, it will affect your fertility. In the same vein, let your menstrual cycle return to normal too.
Whether you planned well the first time around or not, it’s important to give your health due consideration when you’re trying for your second child. Be patient and give your body and mind the time to recover fully first!