What does self-care really mean when you have just given birth and are winding your way through the postpartum phase of your new life with a newborn?
Taking time out just for you, probably seems so unrealistic now that you are feeding around the clock, squeezing in housework and just about managing to shower.
But realistically, self-care is just about finding those short and sweet moments that are just for you because if you’re needing a recharge post-birth, allowing yourself to give it, is the most selfless act; not the most selfish. And that could simply mean starting each day with a fresh mind, finding a moment to do something to help nurture and connect with yourself, away from the pressures of your to-do list, committing to nourishing your body or making time every day to tap into your interests.
So in the spirit that nourishing yourself allows you to be a better mother, parent, partner, what might self-care look like for you? Here are some of our top tips for carving out little moments for yourself as a new mum.
How to care for yourself as a new mum?
Close your eyes and take 5 deep breaths. Sometimes that’s enough to center yourself. Allot 15 to 25 minutes a day to close your eyes and do some breathing exercises in peace.
Get some alone bathroom time
Take these moments as yours and yours alone. Try peeing with the door locked or just go to the bathroom, lock the door, sit with your eyes closed, breathe in and out a few times.
Feeling stressed or overwhelmed? There is nothing like switching your brain by using comedy! Watch a funny video or listen to a comedy stand up, laugh for a few minutes, you’ll feel like a new person.
Take a shower everyday
Seriously, daily showers can make or break your day. There’s nothing like a nice, hot, shower to refresh your soul.
It goes without saying that meditation can do wonders. Try doing one while you're taking a shower, this is perfect to do since you’re alone, water in the shower creates its own meditation music, and it’s something you have to do every day, anyway. It’s a great alternative if it feels unnatural or impossible to sit somewhere with your eyes closed. Try this short shower meditation.
Lean on your tribe
We can’t stress enough the importance of having a good support system for anyone who has a baby. If you are able to, having a postpartum doula, scheduling friends to come by to help out, or having family around can really help. Even for an hour! Even for 30 minutes! Having someone hold your baby while you take a shower or a well-need nap can do wonders. Especially if you have a new baby that just doesn’t want to be put down.
Go for a walk.
The effect of movement and fresh air can completely change your entire outlook on life. Even if it’s a quick walk down the street and back with or without your baby, it will help increase your endorphins and give you a moment of calm.
Pick one day of the week for you
Being out in the world and remembering what it’s like to be a separate adult can really help even if you’re literally going for a coffee at your local Costa, even just for 30 minutes or an 1 hour in between feeds or 3 hours to get lunch with a friend- just no kids or babies allowed. The change of scenery alone and the fresh air can do wonders.
Get some emotional release
Cry when you need to, but if you need to more than feel right to you, talk to someone! Your mental health is critical not only for yourself but for your baby. Try a therapist who specializes in pregnancy and postpartum
Caring for yourself after your baby is born is not selfish, it’s healthy and it is necessary. Do what you can to practice self-care and give yourself that little boost. Start small and enjoy the compounded benefits of self-care. You’ve got this!
Caring for yourself after your baby is born is not selfish, it’s healthy and it is necessary. Do what you can to practice self-care and give yourself that little boost. Start small and enjoy the compounded benefits of self-care.