Self-Care Tips for New Moms
Try these self-care tips for new moms to reduce stress, take care of your body, and recover!
No, that doesn’t just mean finding time for a face mask once a week. You need to have a plan in place to take care of your body, your health, and your mental state. Here are the steps you can follow to practice self-care tips for new moms and take care of yourself while you’re taking care of your baby.
Get Adequate Rest
Getting enough sleep when you’re taking care of a newborn should be a top priority. You need to be well-rested to take care of this amazing new life. Newborns nap around the clock, which means getting 6 to 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep might be difficult for parents. Try adding these tips into your own routine so you can get some shut-eye as well.
Share In Baby Sleep Duties
You and your partner can trade off taking care of your baby during the night. If you are breastfeeding, you can pump and prep a bottle for the little one, so your spouse can assist in overnight feedings.
Place The Crib Close To Your Bed
When you place your baby’s crib or bassinet near your bed, you’ll have immediate access to your baby as the child cries out during the night. That may make it easier for you to fall back asleep than if you headed into another room to care for your very awake bundle of joy.
Keep Your Bedroom Uncluttered
Babies can sleep in 15 minute or four-hour increments, and everything in-between. If you’re trying to sleep when the baby sleeps, you want to be in a space that allows you to fall asleep immediately. For the time being move the TV, exercise equipment, piles of clothing, and anything else that could distract you from falling asleep out of your bedroom. Create an oasis that makes it easy for you to catch a few zzzs.
Add Sleep Aids
That’s for you and your baby. Darkening shades and sound machines can create relaxing environments for you and your baby to fall asleep quickly. Swaddling can help your baby feel safe and soothed to stay asleep. Make sure your own PJs are soft and snuggly to help you sleep more soundly when you can as well.
Accept Assistance From Others
It may seem like you need to do it all on your own when you are a new mom. But as the saying goes, it takes a village to raise a child. There are a ton of people out there who are ready and willing to give you a hand. Here are some ways to reach out.
Ask Friends and Family for Help
Don’t be shy about asking for help from friends or relatives – we’re pretty certain you probably won’t even need to ask proud grandmas and grandpas to pitch in! Your closest support system can assist in running errands, helping with house duties, changing your newborn’s clothing and diapers, and even watching your new little tyke while you sneak in a power nap.
Find Your Community
Every new mom needs support. It’s easy to feel isolated if you are the sole daytime caretaker of your new baby, as well as be confused by all these new responsibilities you have to take on. Seeking out parenting groups and other activities is great for your mental health. Finding a group you’re comfortable talking to about your new mom life becomes a lifeline to advise on choosing between a Posh Peanut Patoo or lovey, getting problem-solving techniques for latching, or sharing a little mom humor when it is most needed. Sometimes you need someone other than your partner or parent to talk to about the successes and struggles of motherhood. Find local meetups online, in community centers, local churches, or even in hospitals. Plus, you’re welcome in Posh Peanut’s VIP Mamas Facebook group anytime!
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Get More Movement In Your Life
Although very easy to ignore, this self-care tip carries plenty of weight. After having your baby, your body may feel foreign to you. It’s important to get moving again to build up your endurance (your baby will be running around sooner than you think!) and to help you feel like yourself again. Regular exercise has some incredible mental benefits as well. It boosts endorphins that make you feel happier which can help relieve stress, promote better sleep, and reduce symptoms of postpartum depression. This alone can help new moms feel more positive and energetic.
If you had an uncomplicated vaginal pregnancy and were active before you gave birth, you can return to some form of light exercise in a few days. If you had a C-section or a more complicated birthing process, consult with your doctor on how quickly you can return to exercise.
Don’t feel obligated to take up jogging or CrossFit on workout Day 1. You want to ease your body back into consistent movement. You should do whatever you can to get moving in a way that you have time and you will enjoy. Here are some ways to get started:
- Walking. Take a stroll with your baby down the block or through your local mall
- Dancing. Turn your kitchen into a dance floor and boogie to your favorite tunes
- Yoga. This ancient practice can be done standing or on the ground, to stretch and strengthen your body
- Swimming. You don’t have to do laps right away, walking in the pool or a water aerobics class are no-impact workouts that will get your heart rate pumping
With any exercise form you choose, make sure you have ample time to warm up and cool down, drink lots of water, and wear a supportive bra and nursing pads if you are breastfeeding to avoid any mishaps.
Choose A Healthier Diet
Preparing a meal may be the last thing on your mind with a new baby. That’s completely fair! Most women probably see this self-care tip as “wishful thinking” when you barely find time to scarf down a few bites of whatever you have in the house.
However, because what you eat has a huge impact on how you feel, choosing healthier snacks throughout the day can help you feel better. Manage your self-care by snacking on foods high in protein and nutrients. Save the pasta and chips for when you have the time to actually savor and enjoy them – we’d never suggest leaving them out altogether! Just balance them with healthier snacks.
SuperFoods For New Moms
These are 12 foods you can add to your diet to make sure you and your baby get all the nutrients you both need, according to WebMD. (https://www.webmd.com/parenting/baby/breast-feeding-diet)
- Low-Fat Dairy Products
- Lean Beef
- Brown Rice
- Whole-Wheat Bread
- Leafy Greens
- Whole-Grain Cereal
Take Your Vitamins
Just like you increased your intake while carrying your baby, it’s important to get the right vitamins post-pregnancy. According to Scientific American, the top five vitamins you need after giving birth are iron, Vitamin B12, DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid, Choline, which is folic acid, and Vitamin D. You should always consult your doctor before starting any type of supplement regimen to ensure they are safe for you and your baby’s consumption.
Seek Professional Help If Needed
If self-care tips don’t feel like they’re helping you manage postpartum life, seek professional help. Whether it's postpartum depression, the post-baby blues, or just regular ‘ol stress, don’t overlook it! Your personal health is important, so listen to your body.
Talk With Your Doctor
Start with your physicians. Explain your symptoms so they can make assessments on what the next course of action should be. They should be the ones who help you decide if you need any oral medication to deal with your condition.
Join A Supervised Online Support Group
You can find qualified perinatal mental health professionals and join online support groups to get more helpful tools and resources to deal with your postpartum issues.
Go To Therapy
It may seem selfish to take an hour of your schedule to talk with a professional, but these 60 minutes could be transformative as you make the transition to motherhood. You can see someone in person, or look for a therapist online. There is nothing wrong with discussing your problems while you’re dressed in comfortable loungewear.
Top Self-care Tips For New Moms
You won’t have a lot of “me time” when there’s a new baby on the scene. But it’s important not to lose all of yourself in being a new mom. Make sure your own personal care and joy are still a priority on your to-do list. Here are three ways to start today:
As you adjust to postpartum life, your hormones are all over the place. Take a breath and try getting all of those feelings out on paper with a journal. Journaling is a common form of self-care for new moms who often benefit from the emotional release. Start with just one sentence every day and see how you feel!
Pursue Your Pastimes
Keeping your passions and pastimes alive – even in small doses – is essential to keeping your mind happy and healthy. Start by marking off some time, even if it’s just for 15 minutes, to do something you love. You don’t even have to do anything – you could curl up on the couch and catch up on 15 minutes of your favorite home renovation show. This would be the perfect opportunity to ask your support system to keep an eye on your bundle of joy. Remember, taking out just a few minutes a day to focus on your own needs will help reduce stress so you can focus the rest of your energy on taking care of your baby.
Plan A Pamper Me Hour
While you may not have enough time to spend a whole day pampering yourself, why not take an hour out of your week to treat yourself to some self-care for 60 minutes? Here’s our 10-point guide on what you can do in your pampering power hour.
- Draw a bubble bath
- Make yourself a cup of soothing tea
- Cue up your favorite music or podcast.
- Light candles and soak for 20 minutes
- Soothe tired eyes with a cooling mask
- Dry off and indulge your skin with a calming lotion
- Slip into your favorite Posh Peanut pieces
- Put spa socks on your weary feet
- Grab a book and read for 15 minutes
- Meditate for five minutes
Self-care is a necessary priority for new moms. It may seem like an impossibility, but these tips can help you find a little "me time" to get more sleep, eat better, and allow yourself to just be you. By taking time to care for yourself, you'll be in a much better state to take care of that bundle of joy who always brings a smile to your face. Posh Mamas, what other self-care tips for new moms would you recommend?
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