Being a new parent is a 24-hour job. Your life suddenly revolves around your baby. The self-care routine you used to swear by is now a distant memory.
But self-care is essential and should always be a priority. If you don’t prioritise your self-care, it can have a detrimental impact on your health, relationships and mental wellbeing.
Here are our top self-care tips for new mums:
There is nothing worse than lack of sleep. When you’re overtired, your wellbeing suffers. Your mood will be affected, and you’ll seriously lack energy. Plus, you’ve just given birth! Your body needs to rest.
When you have a baby (or a toddler) undisturbed sleep is quite frankly unheard of. Where possible, try to sleep when the baby is sleeping. Put your little one in the crib, draw the blinds and go to bed. Even a short nap will help.
If you struggle to nap during the day, perhaps try to schedule your sleep. Start by going to bed earlier (even as early as 7pm) and sleep well into the morning if needs be. You will likely be up every couple of hours to feed, but at least you’re getting sleep.
Reach Out And Accept Help
Newborn babies are demanding. And once you welcome your bundle of joy into the world, you’ll find you don’t have time for anything else. Washing your hair and doing the laundry has ended up at the very bottom of your to-do list.
Don’t be afraid to ask family, friends and neighbors for help. Perhaps someone can watch the baby for a little while so you can have a nice, relaxing bath. Or perhaps they can cook a meal or stack the dishwasher. Even the little things will make a big difference and your loved ones will be happy to help.
Getting plenty of rest is essential in the first few weeks. But gentle exercise can also do you the world of good. Especially if it gets you out of the house.
Once you feel up to it, put your baby in the stroller and head outside for a short walk. Being outdoors is great for your mental health and the fresh air can help when you’re feeling exhausted. Aim to go out for a short walk every day.
Alternatively, join a local mummy and me class, or practice yoga at home. As long as you get your body moving, you’ll feel much better for it.
Make Time For Yourself Every Morning
Most new babies sleep a lot. Never for very long. But still, they love to sleep. So, every morning when your little one has just dropped off after a feed, give yourself time to get ready for the day.
Put the baby in the bouncer or carrycot and bring him/her into the bathroom with you. This should give you enough time to shower and put on clean clothes – if you’re lucky, you might even have time to wash your hair or moisturize!
Once you’re clean and in fresh clothes (that aren’t stained with baby sick), you’ll feel much more positive about the day ahead.
Eat Well And Stay Hydrated
When you’re so busy with your baby, it’s easy to forget about yourself. You might not even remember to eat, let alone eat well! But your body needs nourishing with healthy foods and lots of water.
Fill the fridge with healthy foods that are quick and simple to throw together, such as sandwiches, salads and pasta dishes.
Ensure you’re stocked up on fruit and veg and perhaps add a few ‘superfoods’ to your shopping list. These might include leafy greens, berries, olive oil and whole grains (an oat-based breakfast, for example).
You could also try ‘batch cooking’. Casserole, lasagne, chili, soup…. There are so many simple yet healthy dishes you can cook and freeze to enjoy later. You could even start cooking these batch meals before the baby comes along!
Be Kind To Yourself – You’re Doing Great
Having a baby is a life-changing event. The first few weeks way feel like a whirlwind, but they will settle down before long. You may also be dealing with post-partum hormones, which can make you feel overly emotional.
It’s essential to be kind to yourself during these first few months! Motherhood isn’t easy, and you’re doing a great job.