10 Postpartum Self-Care Tips: Coping Alone With Your New Baby
Postpartum self-care plays a pivotal role in a mother’s recovery and enhances the bond with her baby. We’ll explore some essential self-care tips that can empower and nurture new mothers during this delicate time in her life. Although the early days with a newborn are exhausting and overwhelming, we want to help you make them as enjoyable as possible.
It is hard enough with a new baby even when you have a partner around and a supportive family. But then there are the daunting days ahead of you when you know your partner needs to go back to work, and any family help may get less and less. These 10 postpartum self-care tips will help you cope with the first few weeks after birth, and when you are getting used to looking after your baby by yourself.
10 tips for Postpartum Self-Care
Lower your expectations of yourself
Reserve all of your energy for what matters; taking care of yourself, and caring for your baby. Instead of trying to keep your home to the same standard as it was before, plan to do the essentials like washing up and having a clear space to rest in. When your baby is sleeping, if you’re not able to fall asleep yourself then just rest, and do something that relaxes you. You could get comfy with a neck pillow and listen to some mindfulness music. Remember If all you do today is take care of yourself and your baby, then you have done everything you need to do mama.
2. Prepare food for convenience
While you’re coming to the end of your pregnancy, order in or prepare lots of healthy frozen meals. Freeze them so they can go straight in the oven when baby arrives. If you have children in school then stock up on lunch box snacks that are little preparation and can be packed straight away.
3. Pre-schedule things
While you are waiting for baby to arrive, preschedule things like food shops, check your MOT, and write out any upcoming birthday cards. Iron 1-2 weeks’ worth of school uniform for any older children. You will love yourself for doing things like this because they’re the last things you’ll have time for. And you shouldn’t need to worry about anything in those first few weeks when you are exhausted. You will feel a lot better not having the pressure on yourself.
4. Have accessible ready-made mum and baby trays
In different rooms, stock up on essentials for both mum and baby. Things like cotton wool, face wipes, healthy grabable snacks, baby vests, and bottles of water. Have one by your bed with everything you’ll need in the night. Have one in the bathroom with everything you need like a peri bottle. You will thank yourself for not needing to carry things around to different rooms all day along with your sweet baby.
5. Make a relaxing playlist and listen to it while you’re pregnant
Listening to music while baby is in the womb is proven to play a role in brain development before birth. This will also soothe your baby when you listen to it with them as they’ll remember it. This is my number 1 post partum survival tip. Listening to the same music during pregnancy and postpartum got me through every evening with both of my newborns.
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6. Have places you can put baby down in each room you go in
For example, a bouncy chair in the bathroom so you can put your baby down when you need to go to the toilet. This helped me so much when my daughter was a newborn and I was home alone. Have one in the kitchen for when you need to quickly prepare some food or make lunch for any older children. Not needing to carry a large bouncy chair from each room when you are sore all over is a game changer.
7. Comfortable and easy clothing
This is for both you and the baby. Now is the time to find the softest stretchiest fabric which also feels supportive around tender places like your belly. And when you’re buying all the cute outfits for the photoshoots, remember to stock up on the easy-to-put-on baby clothes like vests that are really stretchy around the head and arms. This makes it so much easier when baby is crying and you can quickly and easily get them dressed in stretchy and easy-to-pull-over clothes.
8. Buy an extra-long phone charger
I found 2 and 3-meter chargers so helpful for when the baby was sleeping on me, or when you are in a lot of post-birth pain and need to avoid stretching and bending. Have one in each room too as it makes you feel a lot safer knowing you can text or call someone for help and advice if you need to at any point.
9. Allow yourself to feel how you feel
This phase will pass, it won’t be around forever so hold that in mind when it feels really tough. When you’re having better moments, soak in all the lovely newbornness (isn’t a real word but it should be). But this doesn’t mean that the way you feel right now is invalid just because it goes quickly. Allow yourself to feel however you feel because it is all valid. And if you allow the emotions, then they will come and they’ll go and you’ll feel better for it.
10 . Create little things for you to look forward to
Have signposts throughout the day for you to look forward to. For example, during one of her naps, you treat yourself to your favorite snack. Or you go sit in the garden listening to the birds with your favorite drink. You may like to have a chat with your best friend or a mom chat online. This will recharge your emotional cup and make you far more able to enjoy bonding with your baby when she’s awake. It also breaks the day up into smaller manageable chunks.
Bonus Tip: Speak to family about your boundaries
A new baby is exciting and sharing the baby with close family and friends is lovely. However, this is also a time when you may feel vulnerable because of a big life change and the need to heal. Setting boundaries with family before the baby is born will ensure everyone knows where they stand and it will reduce any conflicts or miscommunication. Discuss boundaries with your partner so you can ensure you are both happy with the plan. Think about things like visiting hours and handling the baby. Then communicate your boundaries clearly to everyone involved and choose a calm place or way to do this.
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Do you have any postpartum self-care tips that you couldn’t have coped without? Head over to the forum to share your thoughts, get advice and connect with like-minded others! See you soon.