Postpartum Self Care
Take Care of Yourself After Having a Baby
Many women end up so busy in the first few weeks post baby they end up burning out, stressed and overly tired. With late night feedings, unstable and short napping periods and late nights partnered with early mornings it’s no walk in the park. One of the important but overlooked things that a new mom needs to do is find some time for taking care of herself. It doesn’t need to be a huge ritual or take a whole day, it could be as simple as a bath while the daddy has the kids. Right now, in the age of the pandemic, self care is more important than ever. With the rising anxiety and depression from isolation and stress from trying to teach kids from home while working or dealing with unemployment, it’s critical to take some time for yourself daily- if possible. But don’t beat yourself up if you can’t take time every single day. Even taking a few breaths or practicing mindfulness while cooking dinner can help.
Importance of Self Care
Self care has become somewhat of a buzzword. At times it is viewed as just another “to-do” to tic off the list, but it is really important to not only get some in on a regular basis, it’s also important to find something that doesn’t feel like a chore. You can’t take proper care of anything else if you’re tapped out, it’s the same concept as putting the oxygen mask on yourself before your kids.
Self care doesn’t have to be a spa day or time off from the baby. It could be putting the baby in a stroller or wrap and going for a walk. It could be taking a hot bath by yourself or journaling your feelings before going to bed. It can be a short, simple habit you form as you’re going to bed or while the baby naps.
What Happens When You Neglect Yourself
When you neglect your own well being by taking care of everyone else and ignoring yourself, you can’t give the baby your all. You can’t pour from an empty cup. It’s a saying that holds a lot of truth.
Not only does neglecting yourself affect your physical health, you feel run down and fatigued. Due to fatigue, it can make you overeat, too tired to function properly or even find yourself drifting off at bad times but it can lead to stress, anxiety and even depression. Not only that, if you have daughters seeing you neglect yourself, you’re setting them up to repeat the cycle when they grow up and have kids.
Steps to Making Self Care Part of Your Routine
Making self care a part of your morning or evening routine doesn’t have to be difficult. Once you find a time that works for you, it will help you get into a routine of regularly taking the time out for yourself. If you find the best time is laying in bed doing a silent meditation to go to sleep, that counts just as much as taking a day trip to a luxury spa and leaving the kids with a sitter or their dad. What really matters is taking some time for yourself.
Ideas for Practicing Self Care
- Find a journal and spend a few minutes writing out your thoughts.
- While someone else has the baby, take a hot bath with epsom salts.
- Lie down in bed before you drift off and say a few positive affirmations or meditate. It can also be done right when waking before stepping out of bed.
- Treat yourself to a homemade spa day at home in the bathroom. Make some bathsalts, a bath bomb or buy some already made and take a nice, hot bath with some candles lit.
- Practice Yoga one or two times a day. There are plenty of free apps to help beginners add Yoga to their daily routine.
- Take the whole family for a walk after dinner and focus on nature.
- Head to the park weekly, if possible to get outside and clear your head.
- Find someone to watch the baby and go for a jog/walk alone.
- Strap the baby in the carseat and just go for a ride. Most babies fall asleep and driving can be peaceful.
As you can see, it doesn’t have to be taking a whole weekend to run off to a mini vacation or spa trip. You can easily find a few minutes to create a self care and destressing routine that can fit into even the busiest of days. What are some ways you get a few moments in? What tips would you give a new mom struggling with life to make some time for herself?
Meet Our KeaMommy Contributor: Bethany Boggs
Bethany Boggs is a 30 something married mother of 2 kids. When she is not writing or working her day job, you can find her wrangling her 2 girls and 3 cats while sipping cold Starbucks and trying to remember why she walked into the room.