Whether you are a first-time mom, or you are expecting your 5th, it’s important to take the time to learn and understand how to take care of a new baby. We read books, we take classes, and we talk to everyone we know to gather advice and tips. Because having and taking care of a baby is a really big deal. But what about you? Carrying a child and giving birth is also a really big deal! Our bodies go through so much, both emotionally and physically, and all while we are supposed to be taking care of a brand-new baby! Why do we spend so much time learning to take care of a new baby but no time learning to care for ourselves during the important postpartum period? Never fear- The Stork Bag has you covered! Check out our list of tips to help make your selfcare during the postpartum period a priority. And please keep in mind, we aren’t suggesting these things for days after you have given birth. Give yourself a few weeks and then try working them in little by little.
- Establish a routine- Giving yourself a routine and setting somewhat of a schedule will help make you feel less overwhelmed. Start small and have breakfast around the same time every day and then try and build from there. Don’t forget to schedule time to sleep- this will make a huge difference in your mood!
- Let people help- It takes a village to raise a child, but it also takes a village to help a new mom adjust. Delegate to-do lists, hire a cleaner, and/or let people bring over meals. Don’t try and do it all. You don’t have to do it all.
- Get ready for the day- This is a great thing to add to the routine we spoke about above! It may seem silly to get dressed and run a brush through your hair just for the baby but making yourself look better will help make you feel better and less like a mom-zombie.
- Find support- There is nothing like talking with someone who understands what you are going through. Join a support group or find a group of new moms to talk with from time to time. At the very least, find a podcast and listen when you are feeling down and want to feel less alone.
- Get out – One routine you don’t want to get stuck in is one where you don’t leave the house. It doesn’t have to be every day but make a goal to take a walk around the neighborhood with baby or better yet, wait until someone can hang with the baby and take yourself out for a solo trip. The fresh air and change in scenery will do wonders for your mental health.
- Schedule an appointment- Speaking of solo trip, nothing adds a little pep to your step like a trip to the salon. Schedule time to get your hair cut, a pedicure or a postpartum massage. You don’t have to be away from the baby for hours, just long enough to take a minute to relax and pamper yourself.
- Exercise- Once it has been cleared by your doctor, try and incorporate exercise into your routine. This can be as simple as the previously mentioned walk with baby or can be something you do alone. And the goal of this isn’t to lose the baby weight or work on getting your pre-baby body back, the goal is to help with stress relief and mood enhancement.
- Treat yourself- You are doing an amazing job and should reward yourself! Whether it’s treating yourself to a little shopping or allowing yourself that specialty coffee drink more than once a week, you deserve it!
- Journaling- This can be a fantastic outlet for any emotions and stress you are feeling. Writing things down will not only help you to reflect and sort out all the feelings you are feeling but can act as a keepsake from an important time in your life. Check out The Stork Bag’s Postpartum Journal here!
- Unplug- How many times have we sat on the couch to scroll on our phones or tablets for just a few minutes, only to realize that we somehow managed to burn through 45 minutes? Free time is a very limited resource right now, try to not waste it (or not all of it) scrolling through things you are too tired to remember.
- Nutrition- This is a hard time and sometimes, especially when you are exhausted, you just want comfort food and/or whatever is easiest to eat. Try to be aware of the foods you are eating because this will have a great impact on how you are feeling as well. Keeping a balanced diet will help regulate mood and avoid food crashes/comas. Don’t forget to stay hydrated as well, especially if you are breastfeeding!
- Give yourself a break- Of all the tips we offered, this might be the most important. This is a joyful yet stressful time. Beautiful yet exhausting. Allow yourself to make mistakes, to get frustrated and basically feel all the emotions you are feeling. Try not to compare yourself to other new moms and most importantly, if things feel to overwhelming, ask for help. You are doing one of the hardest, most thankless jobs and asking for help is sometimes the smartest thing you can do.
What helped you during the postpartum period? We would love to hear what helped you in the comments below!
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