Self-care for new moms is, protecting your own well-being and happiness is crucial, especially when you’re a new mom. Here’s how to practice self-care when you’re a first-time mom!
Becoming a new mom is life-changing. Some activities you used to enjoy doing become a thing of the past as your sole focus now is your child. The well-being of your little one is far above your own well-being.
But to care about the people in your life, you have to care for yourself first.
As a mother of two, I know how difficult it is to fit in self-care when time is in short supply, and other more vulnerable people need your help. But there are some ways for how to practice self-care, even if you’re a new mom.
Self-Care for New Mom Tip #1: Move your body
Why is movement important?
Exercise has the power to lower stress, improve the mood, and elevate your energy level. What’s more, it decreases your risk of heart disease. In a nutshell, it’s incredible for your overall health!
Why is it so challenging to move your body when you’re a new mom?
New moms struggle with finding the time to take a quick shower, let alone indulge in pilates or total body workout. Who has the time to do a workout when the baby is crying?
How to get it done:
- If you have the time, consider joining a mom-baby exercise class. By doing so, you’ll get your daily dose of exercise and socialize with people.
- A 5-10 minute daily walk with or without the baby can do wonders when you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed. Getting some sunshine and fresh air can help you feel alive again instead of as a walking breastmilk machine.
- If you’re pushing the stroller, that’s a great time to listen to your favorite music and podcasts or call a friend.
- Apart from walking, gardening is another form of great exercise, if you have a backyard.
- When your child gets older, one great idea is to join a workout class that has daycare or exercise activities for children. That way, you can both get your movement at the same time.
Self-Care for New Mom Tip #2: Shut off your brain
Why is silence important?
Every human being needs moments of stillness, solitude, privacy, and personal reflection. Taking even a few minutes a day to let your mind wander without a schedule can have multiple benefits on your mental health.
Why is it so challenging to shut off your brain when you’re a new mom?
News moms have a myriad of things on their mind, every minute of the day. Did she breastfeed? Why is she crying? Did I call the doctor? It can be incredibly hard to disconnect from your life as a mom and devote a few minutes to quiet time and self-reflection.
How to find the time to shut off your brain:
- Put your phone aside. Phones are a source of distractions and can also lead to more “loud” times than “quiet.”
- Give yourself at least 10 minutes to shut off your brain while your baby is taking her nap or before bed.
- Use the quiet time to read a book, meditate, or just sit and daydream. Let your mind wander and think random thoughts.
- When your baby falls asleep, it doesn’t mean that it’s time to cook and clean. Use that time just to sit and breathe.
Self-Care for New Mom Tip #3: Maintain a healthy diet
Why is eating healthy important?
Eating healthy can help control your weight, boost your mood, prevent certain health conditions, and boost your chances of a longer life. The more plant-based your diet is, the better. A healthy diet is particularly vital for new moms who are recovering from pregnancy and birth.
Why is it so challenging to eat a healthy diet when you’re a new mom?
Kids demand all your attention. It’s practically impossible to cook when you have to feed your baby, put her to sleep, clean the home, and keep an eye she’s doing well at all times.
How to get it done:
- Hydration is vital. Keep a glass of water close at hand and drink it while you’re breastfeeding or bottle-feeding your baby. You’ll feel amazed at how much better water will make you feel.
- Keep small and healthy snacks in your home. Meals can be tough to prepare when you get hungry. You might get caught up in taking care of your child and fill up with junk food at the end of the day.
- Some great snacks can include yogurt, fruits, veggies, peanut butter, and cheese cubes. Make a list of great healthy snacks and make sure you always have them in storage.
- Order food delivery. I’m sure that there’s an online market available in your area where you can have food delivered at your doorstep. This is a great way to get your hands on healthy foods when you and your partner don’t have the time to run to the nearest supermarket.
- Try batch cooking. Batch cooking is a fantastic way of ensuring a healthier and cheaper way of eating. It involves preparing all of your meals for the week in one go.
Self-Care for New Mom Tip #4: Get the rest you need
Why is getting rest important?
When a person fails to get the amount of sleep they need, they start accumulating what is called sleep debt. Although many people suffer from lack of sleep from time to time, ongoing lack of sleep can lead to emotional difficulties, poor job performance, obesity, and excessive daytime sleepiness.
Why is it so challenging to get the rest you need when you’re a new mom?
New mothers are often left with little sleep as they’re constantly nurturing the baby. As the majority of infants wake up several times during the night, mothers end up being sleep deprived.
How to get it done:
- When your baby is taking her nap, try to make good use of that time by catching a nap yourself: no cleaning, no cooking, just rest.
- Rotate nights with your partner. Try rotating nights so that one night you get up to nurture the child, and the next one it’s your partner.
- Try sleep training your baby. Sleep training is a fantastic way to get high-quality sleep. There are several gentle methods for sleep training your baby, with the most popular being the cry-it-out technique.
Self-Care for New Mom Tip #5: Devote a moment to personal hygiene
Why is taking care of your personal hygiene so important?
Maintaining personal hygiene is essential for your personal, social, and psychological well-being.
Why is it so challenging to maintain your personal hygiene when you’re a new mom?
When you become pregnant, you never assume that once your child is out in the world, you’ll hardly find the time to brush your teeth or take a shower. But that’s what happens. New moms simply become more concerned with their child’s personal hygiene than their own.
How to get it done:
- If you struggle to find the time for a shower or are scared to leave your baby alone, take your child into the bathroom with you. Give her a bath first and then put her in her baby tub next to you while you shower.
- Make a “me time” whenever you can. If you’re not a single parent, let your partner watch the child while you give yourself a foot soak, put on a face mask, or paint your nails. Don’t hesitate to pamper yourself once in a while.
- Make self-care a part of your morning or evening routine. In many cases, it’s not that you don’t have the time, it’s that you don’t set aside the time. A routine will make self-care more consistent.
Self-Care for New Mom Tip #6: Accept and ask for help
Why is accepting and asking for help so important?
Being a mom doesn’t mean that you have to do everything by yourself. Asking and accepting help can do an amazing job of keeping you and your baby healthy and well.
How to get it done:
- There will be people who will offer you help. Accept their help. Have them watch your baby while you shower, or cook for you while you care for your child.
- Keep a list of tasks, such as washing dishes, doing laundry, grocery shopping, and cooking. If someone offers to help, pick something off your list.
- If you’re struggling with depression or anxiety, don’t hesitate to see a therapist.
- If your baby has difficulties sleeping at night, you might end up being sleep-deprived. In this case, ask for help from a sleep training consultant. By working with a sleep consultant, you’ll get a program designed just for you, based on your schedule, your baby, and your home environment.
Caring for your own well-being while caring for your child is a win-win. Your child, to grow into a healthy and happy individual, will need a healthy and happy mother to guide him/her into adulthood.
For next week, make self-care a goal and make it part of your ritual as a new mom. I promise that you will feel better and function more effectively in your everyday life.