4 Quick Energy Boosters
If new-baby care was an Olympic event, only the most elite athletes would qualify. These pick-me-ups for tired moms can help you feel better -- fast!
Kick back. "Try not to stand for more than ten minutes at a time in the two weeks after delivery," says Cheryl Lovelady, Ph.D., associate professor of nutrition at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. That means no dishes, laundry, or meal prep. If your home resembles a barn or you're eating take-out, so be it.
Eat well. Breastfeeding women need an extra 300 calories a day -- getting less can sap your strength. Even if you're not nursing, it's easy to undereat. "Women get so busy with their baby's care, they don't key into their own sense of hunger," says Lovelady, who recommends easy frozen dinners, such as Lean Cuisine.
Get moving. Once you're past the recovery stage (about six weeks postpartum), try gentle workouts, like walking or yoga. While aerobic exercise, which ups your heart rate, is best for fighting fatigue, any activity can help.
Make sleep a priority. Excessive fatigue is not due to just a lack of sleep but also a lack of uninterrupted sleep, Lovelady notes. Aim for longer stretches by drafting your partner to help -- let him take over one night feeding, using formula or pumped breast milk.