Okay, Mama, you made it through 3 trimesters of pregnancy AND childbirth! We know you’re taking great care of that little one, but what about you? We wanted to share a few tips and things we learned about self care after having your new baby.
What others can do for you:
-You are going to need a great support system. (Sidenote: If your friend just had a baby, check on them!)
From your spouse: This might mean a spouse who is attentive to what you need. I was absolutely against being fed while I breastfed, but my husband cut up most of my meals so I could eat them more easily. So, ask for what you need!
Family and Friends: If you have family close by, maybe they can bring you meals. My parents went grocery shopping for us the day we came home from the hospital. Groceries weren’t even something we had considered. We made sure we were prepared for the baby, but forgot about us! Friends coming over for some adult conversation is good too! And if someone offers to do the dishes or the laundry and you feel comfortable, let them!!
Support Group: Find a support group near you, it could be a new mom group, a breastfeeding group or our online group meets once a month via Google Hangouts if you want to join us! Meeting with other moms to just hear that what you are feeling is normal is so helpful!
What you can do for you:
-Give yourself grace. There is so much to learn and everything is new. It is not a sprint, you do not need to be supermom the minute you come home from the hospital. On the same note, your body just had a baby, it is amazing and strong. Do not think for a second about weight loss, think about being healthy and giving your body the rest and time for recovery it needs.
-Sleep! It sounds so cliche but sleep every opportunity you get. You can sleep when the baby sleeps (this might also be the only time you have for a bath or to treat yourself, so also don’t feel guilty if you won’t use it for sleep, just make sure you are using the time for you!) Sleep every time you are in the car! Your baby is safe in the carseat and you have zero responsibility, so get some rest!
-Go outside! Being overwhelmed is tough, but being overwhelmed and feeling like you have been in the same room for weeks is tougher! So go for a walk or sit outside for a few minutes. This is a small thing but it made a big difference for each of us!
-Set boundaries if necessary. Your body is tired and you aren’t getting a lot of sleep. If you need rest or time with just your new family, it is more than okay to let people know it is not a good time to come over. Some good advice we were given was to choose a time and let people know that every evening at that time, it is family time and everyone will need to leave. Whatever boundaries you decide on stick with it!
Lastly, you are going to get so much advice. Some advice will work for you and some will not. Listen to it all (or pretend to 😉 ) and then you make the decisions that feel right for you and your family. So much advice is conflicting and people only know what worked for them, and they swear by it! If it doesn’t work for you, don’t worry about it!