Becoming a new mom is one of the most beautiful, challenging, and exciting experiences life has to offer. It’s also extremely demanding, which makes it easy for new mothers to neglect their own mental, physical, and emotional well-being. To help you navigate this adventure, here are five self-care tips every new mom can use.
Do One Thing Every Day That Makes You Happy
New moms usually don’t have a lot of time for themselves. Spending so much time focused on your baby’s health and happiness can make you lose sight of the things that make you happy. But it’s important to continue to nurture the positive things in your life.
It’s both for your own benefit and to allow you to be your best for your baby. Even if it’s just having a cup of tea or reading a few pages of your favorite book, doing something that makes you feel like “you” again can work wonders for your mind, body, and spirit.
Let Yourself Feel
Postpartum hormone withdrawals can leave you feeling like your emotions are all over the place. That’s normal. While it may be uncomfortable, it’s important to let yourself feel whatever emotions you experience during this time. You don’t have to pretend that everything is great if you feel like it’s not.
If you feel like crying, cry. If you feel overwhelmed, say so. Be honest with yourself about what’s going on internally. This is especially important after the first few weeks when some new moms begin to experience symptoms of postpartum depression.
Listen to Your Body
Your body just did something incredible and it’s going to take time to heal. Give yourself permission to take whatever time you need. There’s nothing wrong with you if you don’t “snap back” to your pre-pregnancy size right away or if you aren’t able to clean your house from top to bottom as soon as you get home from the hospital.
You don’t have to be a superhero. The dishes will eventually get done. The pain will go away in time. Your everyday activities will resume once again. Until then, feel free to take things one day at a time and don’t push yourself to do anything you’re not physically ready for.
Stay Present in the Moment
Your baby is growing every day. Your little one will be talking and running around before you know it, so don’t take these moments for granted. Take time to enjoy rocking your baby to sleep. Relish the drool and the diapers and the cuddles.
Laugh at the mishaps and mistakes. Learn and grow together. This time will be over sooner than you think, and you don’t want to look back and have any regrets.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
Being a new mom isn’t easy, so don’t feel like you have to do it alone. Help can come from a lot of places, be it a spouse or significant other, your family and friends or even a support group. If someone is offering help, accept it.
If you need help, don’t be afraid to ask for it. It’s also important if you’re feeling especially overwhelmed, sad, anxious, or depressed, to seek help from a professional. By taking the best care of yourself, you’ll be able to take the best care of your baby, too.