Updated: Nov 13, 2018
The birth of a baby is life-changing. It's easy to focus on a newborn baby, but mums need special care too. When you're a new mum, your self-care routine may begin to feel like a distant memory. A very distant memory! Trust me when I became a mum self care was the furthest thing from my mind too. After all, how are you supposed to care for your needs when your baby requires your attention? Looking after a new baby can be incredibly stressful as it is 24/7, 365 days a year with sleep deprivation being thrown in for good measure. The smallest tasks seem monumental. I mean I can barely brush my teeth in the morning and showering seems like a gift. Yeah, so I get it, and more importantly, I get you. Being a new mum is an incredibly overwhelming time.
Despite what you may think, it’s important to practice self care right now as a new mum. Here are some tips to help you through some typical challenges mothers face in the first few weeks and months after birth. I am sharing my tips and ideas on how to implement some simple ways to keep yourself nourished so that you can be the mum your baby needs. This list is as much a reminder for me as it is sharing with you. I hope it ignites some self-care habits!
Sleep Or Rest When Your Baby Does
A common self-care tip for mums is to sleep when your baby is sleeping. But like many other mums I find I can't sleep. That’s why I rest. Because when I don’t feel like sleeping, that doesn’t mean I am supposed to go on a cleaning spree. I like to sit down on the couch, read a book or a magazine, or even lie down. Even resting my body on the couch for 15 minutes can make a difference in my perception of the day and how much energy I have until bedtime! I listen to music that makes me feel happy or will read a good book. Put the books on motherhood and parenting to the side, sit back and read a fiction story instead. I do what ever is relaxing for me, you should do whatever is relaxing for you that puts a smile on your face. Discover what ignites your soul!
Be Mindful Of The Moments
For instance, I would be mindful when I was feeding the baby. I did this by taking deep breaths and relaxing into them. Focusing my attention on what I could hear, smell and feel. What sounds was my baby making? Can I smell the sweet baby smells? How does it feel to hold them and their warm cuddly selves? Am I sitting in a comfortable chair or lying on my bed? How does it feel? What do I see? I saw everything from my baby’s beautiful eyes to the bushes blowing in the wind outside my window. It’s amazing how just taking a few deep breaths really can help not only calm you down but re-energise you instantly.
Many a night and day spent jiggling, swinging and swaying baby but autumn is coming to our island and it’s starting to get a bit nippy here which means I tend to stay indoors more. But, I try to make it a habit to get outside at least once during the day, either alone or with the baby.
Have Time Alone
Make sure to get at least 30 minutes of alone time each day. This time could be before bed or in the morning before everyone else gets up. Taking time alone during the day to just breathe and reflect is good for everyone.
Self care is care provided “for you, by you.” It’s about identifying your own needs and taking steps to meet them.
Is self care something you struggle with as a mum. What are your favourite ways to fit in self care? What would you add to this list?