The first weeks with your baby can be incredibly overwhelming. These tips for self care for new moms will help you to take care of yourself and be the best mom you can be.
Take Care Of You So You Can Take Care Of Baby
Motherhood is the most amazing thing I’ve ever experienced. It can be magical, rewarding, satisfying and about a million other adjectives that I can’t think of right now. I didn’t think my heart had the capacity to hold so much love. But it can also be frustrating, exhausting, overwhelming, and just plain confusing.
No more so than when you first bring your tiny bundle of joy home. Your life has been turned upside down overnight and it’s perfectly normal for this happy time to be a bit scary too.
I remember sitting my 2 day old son, wondering how on earth I was going look after this tiny human. How was I going to nurture him all the way into adulthood when I sometimes felt that I wasn’t in control of my own life. I didn’t always feel like a grown up but now I had to be one, for him. It wasn’t always plain sailing but I did it. I wasn’t perfect, but who is?
It turns out that my terror in those early days was perfectly normal. Almost every new mom goes through something like this. The key is to not let the exhaustion and overwhelm get on top of you. Your baby will always be your priority but you need to take care of yourself.
It’s not easy, there is so much to do for your baby and you feel like you have no time left for yourself. But how can you take care of another person if you don’t take care of yourself.
If you are so exhausted and overwhelmed that you can’t think straight you aren’t going to be in a fit state to look after your baby. Taking time each day for self care will be beneficial to both of you.
Check out these top tips for self care for new moms to help overcome your overwhelm and enjoy motherhood.
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10 Ideas For Self Care For New Moms
This is easier said than done, believe me I know but it is incredibly important. The first few weeks with a baby is a tiring time and as difficult as it is you need to get as much rest as possible.
The best way you can do this is to sleep when your baby sleeps. Grab every hour you can do you can be alert and ready for when baby wakes up.
When awake, still try to rest up as much as possible. Use the time you are feeding your baby to relax. It is also a good idea to keep your legs elevated as much as possible to avoid water retention.
Use Your Support Network
Don’t be fooled into thinking you can do this all by yourself. You will have friends and family who are only too willing to to offer practical help, advice, or even just a friendly ear.
Never be afraid to ask for help. It’s not a sign of weakness to reach out to someone when things get overwhelming.
It’s also important to stay in contact with the outside world. Even if it’s just for five minutes a day, pick up the phone and call a friend or family member. Even if it’s just for a chat or to listen to their troubles to take your mind off yours.
A regular reminder that there is life outside of new motherhood is good for you and will leave you refreshed.
Get Plenty Of Fresh Air
Getting out of the house in the first few weeks with a newborn even if it’s just for a short time will do you good.
Don’t overdo it at first, try getting out in the garden for 10 minutes or so. As you get stronger progress to short walks with your baby who will also benefit from the fresh air.
Try to exercise gently a small amount each day. Keep it simple at first, try some stretches, walking, or yoga poses. Regular exercise will help keep your energy levels up and with a newborn you will need all the energy you can get.
Eat And Drink Well
You need to stay fit and strong for your baby, so you need make sure that you are eating and drinking regularly.
Eat a healthy balanced diet
, have regular meals and it’s important not to skip any because you think you have no time to eat.
Try to include plenty of dairy products, oily fish, wholegrains, and fruit and vegetables for a vitamin rich diet. You need to keep your energy levels up.
It’s also important not to dehydrate. Drink plenty of water throughout the day, always keep a bottle nearby. This is especially important if you are breastfeeding.
Wear What’s Comfortable
There will be plenty of time to get back to your usual glamorous self. In the first few weeks after you have had a baby it is more important that you are comfortable.
Wear loose fitting clothing that is easy to move around in. Remember, you are going to be sore for a few weeks and tight clothing that makes it difficult to move and bend over is not going to help. It may also rub and irritate your delicate bits.
There’s no need to stick with maternity clothes, but you will find that loose dresses and tops are much more comfortable than your pre pregnancy clothing.
Connect With Other New Moms
One of the best ways to ease your troubles is to talk with people who are going through the same thing. Join your local mom and baby group. It can be isolating when you are at home with a newborn so socialising can be extremely beneficial.
You get someone to talk to, swap stories with, and pick up tips from. It is a relief to know you aren’t alone, that other new moms are feeling just as tired and overwhelmed as you are.
An added bonus is that baby will get used to being round other people.
Take A Relaxing Bath
Its important to take the time to bathe every day. Obviously it is important to keep on top of your hygiene, especially if you have a wound or stitches but a bath can also be used as a much needed time out.
It is vital to have time to yourself at some point during the day even if it just 20 minutes while you bathe.
Use this time to relax and regroup. Soak in some fancy bubbles
and gather your thoughts. You will feel clean, refreshed and have a much clearer head.
If you are breastfeeding there are things you need to take good care of your breasts to avoid complications. Your breasts will become swollen so wear a nursing bra that gives you good support.
To help with soreness try having a warm shower or applying a warm cloth to your breasts. It is fine to take mild painkillers for the discomfort.
Make sure your baby latches on correctly to prevent sore nipples. Try letting milk dry on your nipples to protect the skin. Don’t use soap or anything scented on your breasts.
If you are bottle feeding your breasts will still probably become swollen. Wear a tight fitting bra at all times and avoid any stimulation or handling of the breasts.
Applying a cold compress will help with the discomfort. But try to avoid pumping or hand expressing milk as this will cause you to produce more milk and cause further swelling and pain.
Take The Time To Do Something You Love
When you have a newborn, it can be easy to lose yourself. You are somebody’s mom now and the person you were before can easily be lost.
It’s important that you don’t completely lose touch with who you were before you became a mom. One way to do this is to make the time to do something you always loved to do. Even if it’s just once or twice a week.
Whatever it may be, walking, swimming, going to the gym, watching a movie, or just simply sitting quietly with a good book doing something loved and familiar will remind you of the person you are.
Don’t Be Too Hard On Yourself
You need to remember that you are not superhuman. Nobody expects you to be perfect and you won’t be. But neither will anyone else either. Being a new mom is a steep learning curve but we are learning together. We all mistakes but we learn from them.
Any struggles you are having are not a reflection of your failure as a mom. Babies do not come with an instruction manual and you are doing your best.
Putting unnecessary pressure on yourself just adds extra stress to an already stressful time.
Take it day by day, know that you are being the best mom you can be and above all enjoy the time you have with your baby.
I hope these tips for self care for new moms can help make a difference to your day and to your time with baby.
10 Tips For Self Care For New Moms