7 Tips to care for yourself with a new baby.
- Nap when baby naps
It’s hard for new mamas to adhere to the ‘nap when the baby nap’ mantra. Because, to us when baby naps it means figuring out the list of chores we can get through. But think about this...babies need naps so their bodies re-charge and brain develops. We need the same and more except for the brain part. The important thing is to schedule a nap pattern that works, or may its not a nap, it might be lying on the floor or on the couch with your eyes closed. If the thought of napping when the baby naps gives you the heebie-jeebies, try a half and half approach. Use half of the time your baby is down to accomplish one or two tasks and use the other half for some solid self-care.
- Accept help
So some of us walk around like we're super mamas, doing everything which at the end of the day make us feel drained and tried. For me, when I'm tired I snap so easy and at the slighted thing. So my question is...do you want to remain sane? I’m guessing the answer is yes! Then accepting help from people you trust is the way to go. Learn to say “yes” to help from your spouse/partner as well as capable friends and family. They are your support system, they will be more obliged to take the load off giving you the much needed breather you need.
- Pamper yourself
Now you’re a mama, you’re no longer a priority. The sad truth with this statement is most of us think so, we make our babies such a priority that most of us forget ‘us’ and ‘let ourselves go’. Take time for a soothing bath, treat yourself to a mini pamper session. Do something that makes you feel whole and your soul happy.
- Go out
Some mamas, are completely attached, the first few months after baby. The thought of going out may seem foreign but don’t lock yourself in. Meeting a friend for lunch is self-care that will do you a lot of good. I’m not saying go all the way to being a social butterfly, but try to spend a few hours away from baby with your friends and family.
- Join a mama group
It's great to have a support system filled with other mamas. How do you do that? Find other mamas through yoga, the gym or search the internet for local groups within your neighborhood. Having these communities help lighten the load of being a new mama. You may meet a few 'mama veterans' who are going through or have gone through what you are experiencing. You won’t feel alone and you will get good advice from forums like these.
This is not an immediate need, but you need to get into a routine as soon as your doctor gives you the go-ahead to add exercise to your lifestyle. We mamas first think we have to ‘get our bodies back’, that’s an unrealistic way to thing about exercising. You just birthed someone for nine months, the last thing you want to think about is going back. I also thing as humans we're always growing, evolving and motherhood is just part of that evolution. You will never 'go back' be realistic, embrace the new and set realistic goals to accomplish. Start slow, do some yoga, take a spin class, go for walks, do whatever gets you moving.
- Get back into your routine.
I know, easier said than done. Babies as wonderful as they are, should not totally change your life, they are an addition. So maybe you can't spend hours flipping through your favorite magazines or read a novel in 3 days, now it will take you 2 weeks. Either way get back to reading, get back to doing the things that make you feel whole and nourished mind, body and spirit.
In the end, we mamas need to be whole for ourselves and then for our families.
Do any of these tips sound doable? Start with one then add on a few. Let us know if there's any not listed here that you worked for you?
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