I’m going to become a mum and I’ve heard that new mothers often neglect their health. What is your advice to new mums on staying healthy?

You heard right. New mums neglect their health in every way. They are so busy attending to the baby’s needs that they absolutely forget about taking care of themselves.

The first piece of advice I can give is that if you have help in your house, use it. This is one of the ways Dubai can be a great place to raise kids because unlike in the US or Europe, household help is relatively affordable here.

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If you are an expat and your family is not here, get a close family member over for a few weeks to pitch in with cooking and cleaning. This can free up time for a new mother to take a nap or a relaxing shower. If you start taking care of yourself from the time your baby is born, you will continue the habit as your children grow up. And a healthy happy mother means a healthy, happy family.

To answer your second question on advice to new mums on staying healthy, I’d say you need to change your sleeping habits a bit. Sleep when the baby sleeps.

When my daughter wouldn’t sleep at night my husband always used to say that he didn’t know any teenagers who didn’t like to sleep so at least when my daughter was 16 we would be getting a good night’s sleep!

You also need to go for walks or get some kind of exercise as soon as possible. Studies show that women who exercise in the first six weeks after birth are less likely to suffer post-partum depression. Consult your gynaecologist before signing up for an exercise regimen, though.

Don’t take on too much in terms of guests everyone wants to see the new baby but this can be overwhelming for a new mum to host so many guests.

Dr Jennifer Kasirsky is consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist at Mediclinic Parkview Hospital. Got a problem? Our fantastic panel of renowned experts is available to answer all your questions related to fashion, well-being, nutrition, finance and hypnotherapy. Email your queries to friday@gulfnews.com.