For many women, having a baby is great motivation to make better lifestyle choices – you want to be healthy during pregnancy and present for all those special moments for years to come. Sometimes it’s hard to prioritize your own health when caring for a family, but you can’t take care of others without also caring for yourself. Here are just a few things you can do to make sure you’re being proactive about your health and doing everything you can to maintain the highest level of well-being possible.
Schedule a well-woman visit. Annual check-ups are a great way to stay on top of preventative care, get key health screenings, discuss your health habits and family history, and establish a relationship with your healthcare provider. By making these visits a routine, you have a better chance of finding diseases early, identifying potential problems, and lowering your risk for many conditions. Being proactive about your health is an investment in your future – and it can pay off in big ways.
Make good choices when it comes to activity + food. It might seem daunting to completely overhaul your diet and commit to a new exercise routine, but making small adjustments is not only more realistic, but may pay off more in the long run because you’re more likely to stick with it. Start by simply making healthier choices at the grocery store and moving your body whenever you can. Just going for a quick 30-minute walk a few times a week can benefit your heart and boost your mood, too.
Don’t forget about mental health. Especially in the early days and weeks after having a baby, sleep is at a premium and stress can run high. But remember that you’ll function better during your waking hours if you get more rest. Try to nap when baby naps and remember to also take time to do the things that you like to do. Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of strength because it shows that you want to be the best mom you can be. See if your partner or a family member can watch baby for even just an hour so you can take a bath, go for a walk, read a book, or catch some sleep.
Spread the word! Urge your friends and family to take charge of their health, too. This could be as simple as asking when was the last time they went to the doctor or sharing your experience with health screenings. Just talking about your health and what you’re doing to manage it is powerful and can inspire action.
Did starting a family cause you to think about your health differently? Share with us in the comments below.