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Mommy Stress

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-Being a new mom can be one of the most exciting times of your life, but it can also be the most stressful. It's pretty natural for new moms to be focused on their newborn, but it's also important for them to take care of themselves, too. So today, we're sharing the secrets of stopping mommy stress and learning some tips on how new moms can stay healthy. And this is all a part of our Pledge for Better Health series brought to you by GE Healthymagination. And today, we're joined by pediatrician and parenting expert, Dr. Jennifer Trachtenberg. Good to have you here, Dr. Jennifer. -Hi. Thanks for having me. -You know, what's wrong with a little mommy stress? Is it okay to have some here and there? -A little mommy stress actually is a good thing. It keeps you focused, it keeps you alert to your tasks. But too much stress can be detrimental to your health. In fact, it can actually contribute to depression, anxiety, even obesity, and hypertension. So, you really want to reduce that overall stress. And so, I do hope moms and new moms to be just like you. -Right. -Take that pledge to decrease their stress and live a healthier life. -I'm definitely listening to all of your advice here today. So, there's a couple of common stresses that new moms face. Love to go through a couple scenarios-- -Sure. -just to see what you have to say on these. A lot of moms feel like "I can't do it all." And they're trying to do it all, too. -Exactly. That's a really common stress. And if you think about it, nobody can do it all-- -Right. -all the time. So, stop comparing yourself to your friends and those celebrities. If you look behind their doors, they really aren't doing everything all the time. -Right. -But what you do need to do is take some moments for yourself, some mommy moments, to relax and rejuvenate. Give your self that opportunity. Take a bath, a bubble bath. Take a nice cup of tea and relax. You'll feel refreshed and then be able to do your next tasks at hand. -Just some moments alone. Quiet time, right? -Some moments alone. Okay. Feel okay with it. -New moms trying to do so much right about now. They're saying "I'm sleep-deprived." What do you say to that? -Exactly. Lack of sleep is so common when you have a new baby. But sleep is so important because sleep deprivation can give you a headache, it can make you irritable, and actually can make you more accident-prone, which could be dangerous when you have a baby. So, you need to sleep when the baby sleeps. So, nap even during the day for a few minutes when they are napping. -Uh-huh. -Forget about those dishes, and forget about those 'thank you' notes for now. Your health is more important. -Can't catch up on that sleep that you lost. It's gone. -Exactly. -The baby weight. Always, always a huge issue, especially nowadays, too. Everyone wants to shed the baby weights so fast. How do you get that out of your mind? -Well, first, I remind them that it took them nine months to put on the weight. So, it's gonna take at least that long to take it off. -Right. -If a mom does breastfeed, that actually can be really helpful. Your brain produces a chemical, called oxytocin, that helps your uterus to shrink back faster to its regular size. But for all women, exercise is really important. And you can do that with the baby. Take long, brisk walks or strolls with the baby. Even in cold weather, it's okay, as long as they are bundled up appropriately. And either other classes like Mommy and Me yoga classes that you can do with the baby, or home work-out DVDs are good also. -Right. Getting a little involvement going on there, too. -Exactly. -Now, you mentioned breastfeeding. But a lot of new moms say "I need a break from it. At some point in time, I just need a break." So, what do you do? Obviously, the baby has to eat. -Exactly. You're breastfeeding round the clock, and it can be very tiresome. And so again, you need to think of your health, too. You can actually pump during the day, after a feed, and give a supplemental bottle in the evening. In fact, maybe let your spouse or significant other give it as well, and they can have a bonding experience while you get a little bit of rest. -Okay. Bothering experiences seems like they go out the window. When it comes to having a new baby, a lot of people are worried about maintaining their relationships at this particular time. -Yes. -Anything that you can do to kinda keep things spicy? -That's a real-- it's a real big concern because you have to remember, when you have a baby, it's an addition to your family. It's not instead of your other relationships. So, you have to continue to nurture those relationships that you have. Remember to really make that time and have a date night. Even go out for just a cup of coffee if you only have a few moments, or even make a special evening, put candles on the table and eat in the dining room instead of your kitchen. But those bonds are so important because it's shown that you have close connections that those people have less stress and they actually live healthier, longer lives. -Thanks so much, doctor. And even though I'm still a few away from my due date, I am making the pledge to minimize my stress, take care of myself. And to take your own health pledge, visit Parents.com/healthpledge. Now, while you're there, you can also see the pledges that other women around the country are also making. And that's all courtesy of GE Healthymagination. Also, remember National Women's Health Week is gonna be in May 9th to the 15th. So, if there was a perfect time to make a health pledge, now is it.