Thinking about your relationship with the people around you

Our goal for this session is to think positively about the people around you.

img Reviewing Your Chat With Zuri Zuri taught you how to develop healthy relationships with the people close to you. We learned to think of the people you trust as a source of support.

Identifying Unhealthy Thoughts

When you are a new mother, it is so helpful to have people to help support you and your baby. Having close relationships with your family and friends, and spending time with others, can make you feel better. When others are close to you, they can also help you or your baby when you need it. However, it is sometimes difficult to spend time with others or to meet new people, especially when you are overwhelmed and tired as a new mother. Sometimes you may may have unhealthy thoughts that make you want to stay alone and avoid other people. Here are a couple examples of these unhealthy thoughts:

Unhealthy Thought Makes Us Feel/Do Which May Result In
I can’t trust anyone. I will not have any contact with anyone outside the home. No motivation to meet anyone, even health workers.
I don’t feel like meeting other people. Not making an effort to meet or talk to people. Gradually distancing from people and losing their support.
img Writing Prompt How have you felt lately about spending time with family and friends? Are there any unhealthy thoughts that make you want to just stay alone?

Replacing Unhealthy Thoughts with Healthy Thinking

You can learn to think healthy thoughts about other people that can help you to find the confident, energy, and motivation to spend time with family and friends, and even to meet some new people. You can find thoughts that remind you that it is worth the risk to reach out to others because relationships help us enjoy life and they help to build a strong group of people to support you and your baby.

Healthy Thought Makes Us Feel/Do Which May Result In
I should not make up my mind about people until I have had an opportunity to judge them. I will meet people but will be cautious about trusting them blindly. Talking to somebody about what he/she does and making up your mind afterward.
There is some good in almost everybody. I should talk to people I like without having too many expectations. Maintain social support.
img Writing Prompt Trusting others and spending time with friends and family can be hard sometimes. How could spending time with others be good for you and your baby?
img Let's Practice Practice is a big part of the Healthy Moms program. We must learn how to Think Healthy, and practice is an essential part of learning.

1. Spending Time with Your Baby

Try the following exercises when you have time and are in a comfortable space.

img Gentle Massage:
  • Give your baby a gentle massage while making soothing sounds or saying loving words.
  • Try to do this once a day.
img Talking or Singing to Baby:
  • Talk or sing to your baby every day after feeding.
  • Listen to the sounds and watch the gesture your baby makes and try to mimic them.
  • Aim to do this 3 - 4 times per day.
img Playing with your Baby:
  • Play with your baby 3 - 4 times a day during different times of the day.
  • Show him/her different multi-colored objects or things that make a sound.
  • Hold the object out so your baby can grasp it but make sure they keep it clear from their mouth.

Create this chart in your notebook and track how often you try these activities.

Did you give your baby a gentle massage? Did you sing or talk to your baby? Did you play with your baby?
Day 1 Yes / No Yes / No Yes / No
Day 2 Yes / No Yes / No Yes / No

2. Eating a Healthy Diet

img Writing Prompt Review your previous diet chart. Take one meal and try to eat "mindfully". If you have someone to watch the baby, let yourself focus fully on what you are eating and drinking. Examine your food and concentrate on how it looks, feels, and smells. Take a bite and chew slowly, noticing how you feel as you eat or drink. Describe your experience.

Create a chart like this in your notebook and use it to monitor your diet.

Breakfast Lunch Snack Dinner
Ex. Tea, porridge, banana Chips and sausage Mandazi Ugali, beef stew, sukuma wiki
Day 1

Day 2

3. Making Time for Rest and Relaxation

img Slow Breathing:
  • Relax your body. Inhale for 3 seconds and exhale for 3 seconds.
  • Do this 2 to 3 times per day for 10 to 15 minutes each time.
img Walking:
  • Follow a gentle walking pace.
  • Do this 1 time per day for 15 to 20 minutes.
img Sleep:
  • Let your mind relax.
  • Try to sleep at least 8 hours a night and take a daily afternoon nap.

Create this chart in your notebook and track how often you try the rest and relaxation activities.

Did you practice slow breathing today? Did you go for a walk today? Did you get a full night’s sleep?
Day 1 Yes / No Yes / No Yes / No
Day 2 Yes / No Yes / No Yes / No

4. Keeping Track of Your Mood

Remember, keeping track of your thoughts and feelings is a great way to see how you change and grow over time. So at least once a day, imagine the 10-step emotion ladder from Session 1 and rate how you are feeling. On the bottom step (1) are women who feel very sad and blue. On the top step (10) are women who feel great with no sadness. Which step best shows how you are feeling?

Create the following chart in your journal. If you are feeling very happy—as happy as you have ever been—you might tick the box for a 9 or 10. If you are having a really tough day, you might tick the box for step 1 or 2. Tick whatever box is right for you. Just remember that low numbers mean more sadness, and high numbers mean more happiness.


img Writing Prompt Try something new. It could be something as simple as walking home a new way from the market. What do you notice? Who do you meet? How do you feel?
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