Across the globe, there are several cultures that treat the first 40 days postpartum as a sacred time. Brand new mothers are encouraged to take to their beds, focusing on resting and healing while a team of relatives and friends tends to the household. While such a situation may not be in the cards for you, there are ways you can ensure you have as much rest as possible once your little one arrives. In the first weeks of motherhood, you'll most likely be exhausted, depleted and too frazzled to do anything but pass out when given the chance. Here's how to take care of yourself now:
Fill your freezer
Newborns are demanding, albeit loving little creatures. You'll be so busy responding to him or her in those first days that you may neglect your own needs, the most basic among them being hunger. Save yourself from another bowl of cereal by thinking ahead. While you're still awaiting your little one's arrival, spend a few afternoons cooking some of your favorite meals. Pack them up in clearly marked containers and store them in the freezer. Weeks or months from now, you'll look back and want to hug yourself from sheer gratitude.
Once baby arrives, basic beauty maintenance goes out the window. There's just no time for manicures, waxes and trims when there's a hungry baby to feed. So pamper yourself now – fitting in a haircut and manicure shortly before your due date to ensure you feel like yourself when you need it most.
It may be a month or two before you're ready – physically and emotionally – for a night on the town without your little one. With that in mind, make it a priority now to make date night happen. Go to the movies, go dancing or enjoy a long and luxurious dinner together – all fun activities you won't want to do with a little one in tow.
If you have room in your baby budget, spring for a new set of pajamas and nice fluffy slippers for your postpartum hospital stay. Between the fluorescent lighting and bland food, you'll be grateful for a dose of decadence.
Share with us! How are you taking care of yourself before baby arrives?