Thinking about your life as a mother

Our goal for this session is to learn to think positively about the people around you. Congratulations, this is your last session!

img Reviewing Your Chat With Zuri Zuri taught you the importance of maintaining positive relationships with your friends and family. When you continue on after completing this program, remind yourself of how far you have come and of everything you have learned. Your friends and family can be very supportive of you and your baby.

Identifying Unhealthy Thoughts

As you've learned throughout this program, surrounding yourself with supportive people can enhance your life and benefit your baby's health and development. But sometimes we have thoughts that get in the way of our finding, developing, and maintaining these relationships. For instance, do you ever tell yourself that no one understands you? Or do you worry that talking only leads to more problems, and shut down communication as a result? It's normal for relationships to have ups and downs, but bad relationships put a strain on you, and your baby can feel the effects. Here are a couple common examples of unhealthy thoughts about relationships and how they can affect you.

Unhealthy Thought Makes Us Feel/Do Which May Result In
Talking will not solve my problems. Keep to yourself. Increased stress that affects both the mother and baby’s health.
I don’t have any friends. Isolated. Don't try to make new friends. No support for mother and baby.
img Writing Prompt What makes you a good friend? And what qualities do you look for in other people?

Replacing Unhealthy Thoughts with Healthy Thinking

When you have strained relationships with people who are important in the life of your baby, it can sometimes make sense for you to take the first step to repair these relationships. But this first step can be hard. It may make it easier to tell your friend or family member that you are seeking to repair what is broken because you both care about the baby and his or her welfare. Replacing your unhealthy thoughts with healthy ones will help you approach a difficult situation.

Healthy Thought Makes Us Feel/Do Which May Result In
Safe and loving attention is good for the baby. Reach out to repair or establish meaningful relationships. Mother gains social support and baby benefits from social involvement.
I can share my problems with other people. Talk to a trusted confidante about issues. Reduced stress.
img Writing Prompt What is one relationship that has been damaged or put aside for too long? How could you think differently about what led to this situation and make a first step at repair?
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. If you could have dinner with anyone, who would it be, and what would you talk about?

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 How are you feeling about your progress and journey as a new mother?
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