Newborns need a lot of attention, and you’ll give it to them—for at least the next couple of decades. That’s no reason to put your own needs on the back burner. You’ve heard it before: if you’re not taking care of yourself, you can’t take care of anyone else. Now it’s time to prove you’re up to the challenge with these ways to practice self-care as a new mother.
Prioritize the Basics
You’ll be shocked by how quickly you lower your standards for yourself. It’s completely understandable, considering how great a feat it is to get into the shower without the baby screaming. But you can’t give up. You need to have goals for yourself if you want to thrive as a mother. Challenge yourself to work some balance in your life. Adequate sleep. Healthy food. Lots of water. Time to reconnect with your partner. Time to reconnect with yourself. If you’re keeping track of breastfeeding times in a notebook, keep track of when you’re taking care of yourself, too.
Schedule Appointments for Yourself
It’s been a blur of doctor’s appointments, hasn’t it? Don’t stop now. You’ve just been through a profound physical experience, and your health matters as much as the baby’s. That includes your mental health, which might be stretched thin at the moment. Sit down with your datebook and make necessary appointments for yourself. Doctors, hairstylists, even a long-overdue lunch with a friend; you deserve that time for yourself. The only way to make that happen is to plan for it.
Get Help Maintaining Your Health
You’ll have to pace yourself, of course, but these months will go quickly and any personal neglect will accumulate. Think about trying things you’ve never done before, like visiting a chiropractor. New moms can benefit from spinal adjustment, deep tissue massage, and kinesiology taping to help your belly muscles heal. Check in with the state of your emotions, too, even if you haven’t tried therapy in the past. It’s never been easier to schedule an online Zoom call with a professional, and you might be able to head off any developing issues.
Redefine Your Workouts
Pre-baby, you might have been in the best shape of your life. Right now, it’s going to be tough to sustain that kind of commitment to fitness, but you don’t have to give up. Anytime you can work some more movement into the day, it’s a win. You’ll probably want to spend most of your free time sleeping if you can. That means the baby will be joining you on this exercise odyssey. Go for walks with the stroller. Put on some boy band classics and dance around. Put on one of those YouTube videos where you do yoga with the baby. When you’re trying to practice self-care as a new mother, things rarely go according to plan. But if you can work up some sweat and feel the joy of an endorphin rush, you’ll be on your way!