Nothing can really prepare you for motherhood. Let’s be honest, not any books, movies, or even watching your friend’s parenting makes you an expert till you experience it yourself.
But there’s one thing that you need to take care right from the start – putting yourself first from time to time.
It is very easy to lose yourself in the initial few months after delivery when everything is a blur. Putting your priorities behind is not the solution. Having “me” time is very important for your family as much as it is for you to maintain the sanity.
Self-care is very important to get the renewed energy to cope with the non-stop demands of the newborn, and also to boost your confidence when you are in self-doubt.
5 Best Self-Care Postpartum Priorities
1. Eat, Eat, Eat!
The demands of your newborn can be overwhelming and it’s easy to skip a meal here and there or worse, forget to eat altogether. You need to stay on top of the whole motherhood thing and your energy levels would get sapped due to lack of nutrition if you skip meals.
So, the idea is to eat, eat, and eat more to keep yourself and the baby happy. Eat when your baby eats. Have simple-to-make snack options on hand and try to avoid food which needs a lot of preparation. Stock the freezer with food so that you can eat when you are tired to cook. Keep yourself well hydrated if you’re breastfeeding.
2. Take Short Naps
Sleep is very important after delivery, ironically, it is a thing of past once your baby arrives. It can be very frustrating when all you do is only feed and change nappies for the newborn. You need to keep yourself awake when the baby is awake. Typically, newborns sleep for about 16 hours a day for 3-4 hours at a time. It becomes practically impossible for moms to have a solid stretch of shuteye.
So, it is best to sleep when your baby sleeps. Even if it is a short nap – it will be refreshing – after all little sleep is better than no sleep at all. Bring a routine to your baby, get her into a rhythm.
3. Don’t Be Afraid To Delegate
The most sensible thing any mom would do is to hire a cleaner and delegate work. What seemed like a luxury before will become a necessity once you have the baby. Motherhood is the most demanding job ever and outsourcing the work will only give more time for yourself. Getting someone to watch over your little bundle of joy while you take a shower or a nap is not going to hurt anyone. Help with laundry, making dinner, grocery shopping, even walking the dog will take the load off you. When others are waiting to help, don’t be afraid to delegate.
So, keep your focus on cleaning the baby rather than the bathroom.
4. Get Back In Shape
Remember, getting back to your pre-pregnancy shape is important but not at the cost of your health. If you have had any painful and difficult delivery or complicated surgery, take your time to resume work out. Wait for your doctor’s green signal. Your baby will love you no matter what’s your hip size.
Doing Kegel exercises are effective and bring those pelvic muscles back to shape. Pregnancy and childbirth can weaken the pelvic floor muscles, Kegels is the best way to exercise your pelvic muscles. Taking your baby for a short stroll for 20-30 minutes is also an easy and safe exercise.
5. Be Happy
Do whatever makes you happy. Whether it’s talking to your friends on phone or watching a funny show on the TV, keep yourself high on “Vitamin Happiness”. After all, a happy mom equals to a happy baby. Stay away from negativity and be cheerful – postpartum depression will not even glance at you!
Don’t view “me” time as selfish, it is part of being a MOM!