Yes, all the focus is on the baby, but you need to also take care of you. Take a moment to read our advice for your priorities in postpartum care to make sure mom is also healthy and happy.
1. Prevention: Start a self-care practice early. Create a habit of taking care of yourself during pregnancy. Having a self-care practice set will help you as a new mom when you’ll be so focused on your baby. Self-care is a popular term lately- thinking it means something specific or one more thing to add to your “to-do” list. All it really means is something that supports you, anything that supports you. Something that brings you back a feeling of ease when you’re feeling stressed. Think of a few things that help you to reduce stress. Maybe it’s a walk outside? Maybe it’s a bath? Maybe it’s a square of dark chocolate? The options are endless. Self-care is a broad term and you can make it mean anything that will best support you. Begin doing things now to support yourself so that those things will become a habit and support you while you’re taking care of a brand-new baby.
2. Nutrition: Eating nutrient-dense foods and comfort foods in moderation. Not restricting yourself. Not trying to push yourself to get back to pre-baby weight to quickly that can put a lot of stress on yourself- mentally, emotionally and physically. Just as when you were pregnant, what you are eating is affecting your baby, especially if you’re breastfeeding. You’re still eating for yourself and your baby, so eating foods that give you energy and keep you well-nourished and hydrated.
3. Hydration: Drink a lot of water. Water will help your milk production, energy, digestion, and elimination. So drink plenty of clean and fresh water.
4. Connection: In my book, Pure Nurture I have a chapter titled “Pregnancy Tribe.” Connection is one of the basic human needs. Surround yourself with supportive friends, family, a meetup group, a postnatal or mommy and me yoga class, etc. Find others to connect with. This is essential. Being a new mom can feel so isolating, so make a little extra effort to connect with others.
5. Sleep: This is the advice I heard the most often from the most people… Sleep. Sleep when your baby sleeps. It was hard for me to do, but it really helps. Our mood, energy, and well-being are drastically impacted by the amount of sleep we get.
Make sure your support group gets enough hints that postpartum care is key for mom as well as baby.