Whether you are new to motherhood or this isn’t your first time on the baby train, congratulations. You are a mother to a new baby. While it can be easy to focus solely on your newborn and their needs, creating a balance is essential to your personal well being. Check out these postpartum self-care tips and make a commitment to regularly take time for you and your needs.
Be Kind to Yourself and Your Body
Nobody said motherhood was easy. It’s normal to feel upset and overwhelmed at times. Do not shame yourself for natural feelings that arise. Recognize where the feelings came from and move forward, taking each day one step at a time. There are many aspects that go into taking care of a newborn, so be kind to yourself while you learn. Do not compare yourself to other mothers. You and your baby are unique, which is what makes motherhood so beautiful.
Your body probably doesn’t look like it did last year, and that is normal. Your body has gone through natural changes that allowed you to bring a child into the world. Love your body for how it looks and feels now. It’s important to set attainable goals for your body. Fitting into your old jeans should not be a driving stress factor in your life. Make time for exercise that makes you feel good and is doable during your recovery. Your pregnancy experience is just that: yours.
Recognize That “You Time” Isn’t a Waste of Time
After your baby falls asleep and you have some time to yourself, you may be tempted to finish all the chores that need doing. While it’s good to do the laundry and wash the dishes, it’s also important to invest in “you time.” Whether you prefer meditating, reading or painting, take time to do something that is just for you. Think about adding a natural skin care routine to your newfound “you time” and focus on relaxation. Taking time for yourself is not a crime, so moisturize your skin with pride. Whatever amount of free time you have in a day, make sure you leave some for you and your needs.
While your baby naps, consider taking a power nap yourself. This is a great use of “you time.” Since you’ll likely be waking up at all hours of the night to feed, change and comfort your child, do what you can to get a good amount of sleep whenever possible. Learning how to fall asleep quickly is a great skill to have while your child is young. Consider downloading an app that plays relaxing sounds or purchasing a white noise machine, which helps you fall asleep faster.
Reach Out for Help When You Need It
Being alone with your new baby can feel stressful at times. When you’re feeling this way, call a parent, relative or friend. Sometimes all you need is a moment to yourself. Don’t be afraid to reach out to someone for help. These people care about you and want to help you in this new stage of your life. Whether you have them babysit for a short time or simply sit with you while you take care of your baby, it can make a huge difference in your mental state. Having someone with you can help relieve feelings of anxiety.
Remember that you should not suffer with postpartum depression in silence. You are not alone. Some studies show that one in every nine mothers experience postpartum depression. Your doctor is there to help you and will not judge you for the thoughts and feelings you are having. Get the care you need by being honest about what you’re going through.
Spend Time with Your Partner
When you both are busy taking care of the baby, it can be hard to make the necessary time for your relationship. Set goals for spending time together during the week. When you spend time together, remember to make room for romance. Yes, you’ll probably discuss things like your budget, groceries, chores and your baby, but remember that you and your partner’s relationship is an important aspect in your family’s well-being. Your partner can help you get through hard times and negative emotions. Talk about what you are feeling and listen when your partner talks about their emotions. Create an open line of communication so that you’re never alone during your parenting experience.
What you’ve achieved since you became pregnant is nothing short of amazing, and it’s okay to take time to appreciate all of your hard work. Yes, there is more hard work to come, but you can do it. You’ve come this far and the love you have for your child will continue to grow. The love you have for yourself should also grow as you recognize what you and your incredible body have accomplished. Remember that making time for self care after the birth of your child is incredibly important.