Thinking about your health as your baby approaches one year old

Our goal for this session is to apply the “Thinking Healthy” approach to cope with the stress of motherhood as your baby gets older.

img Reviewing Your Chat With Zuri Zuri taught you to think about caring for yourself as your baby gets closer to one year old. Everyone can take small steps to stay healthy. You can focus on the good things in your life and care for your diet, rest, and exercise.

Identifying Unhealthy Thoughts

Your baby is almost one year old. This time is very important for your child's development, but adjusting to their new demands can make it a stressful time for you. Sometimes the stress of being a mother, and the stresses of everyday life, can be overwhelming. Some mothers begin to have unhealthy thoughts about their stress, such as thinking that the problems they have are their own fault. The stress, and these unhealthy thoughts, can actually make someone feel sick. When this happens, sometimes people begin to feel hopeless and stop trying to solve their problems or to stay healthy. This can make the feelings of being sick even worse. This can be called the “illness-hopelessness” cycle. Here are a couple examples of unhealthy thoughts:

Unhealthy Thought Makes Us Feel/Do Which May Result In
Being ill is in my fate. I will not see the doctor, it’s a waste of time. Greater risk of illness becoming serious.
There are too many things wrong in my life. Nobody can do anything about it, so there is no point in trying. Increased stress and anxiety.
img Writing Prompt Have you ever felt so much stress that you felt sick and hopeless? What are your thoughts when you feel that way?

Replacing Unhealthy Thoughts with Healthy Thinking

You can learn to have thoughts that will help you have more hope and give you more energy to start solving some of the problems that you face. Through these thoughts, you can remind yourself that you do have some control over your health and your problems - and that you can find some solutions, sometimes by reaching out to others for help.

Healthy Thought Makes Us Feel/Do Which May Result In
I can focus on what is good in my life and what I CAN do. I can try to make positive changes in my life. Reduced depression and stress.
Even a poor person can make an effort to stay healthy. Making an effort to make the best use of available resources. Better health for mother and baby.
img Writing Prompt What are some steps you can take to solve one of the problems you are facing?
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. Imagine what it will be like to teach your child to cook one day. What stories will you tell him or her about your family's traditions?

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 Describe some ways you try to relax after a stressful day.
Back to Top