Just had a baby? Congratulations! Your precious bundle of joy is home and all wrapped up in love. While it’s undoubtedly a happy time, you’re likely also feeling the struggle of balancing your new identity with all the other activities going on in your life.
From nap-time to feeding, dishes to diaper changes — more often than not, mothers tend to put their needs and wants on the back burner. Maybe you’re going on day three of not showering, have your hair tied up in a messy bun, and you’re wearing the same baggy clothes you’ve been rocking for the last five days (we feel you) — postpartum self-care is probably not at the top of your list.
It’s normal that this whirlwind of change has left you feeling out of sorts. So, if you are looking for ways to boost your confidence, consider these postpartum self-care tips:
As a mom, you may (intentionally or not) take on all the responsibilities of caring for your family. This, paired with negative self-talk, negative self-image, or added stressors can lead to a quick downward spiral. Leaving you overwhelmed and on edge.
While you can’t self-care your way out of depression and anxiety, increasing some self-care practices can support your mind. Here’s a few self-care practices you can start today:
If these methods don’t seem to be working, talk with your doctor about a combination of treatment with medication. Luckily, there are plenty of options for anxiety medication that can be provided to you online. Find peace of mind by speaking with a doctor from the comfort of your own home.
There is a mounting body of evidence in support of meditation that shows the myriad benefits it has for you. Meditation can help reduce stress and anxiety, increase mindfulness and awareness, and help you fall asleep and stay asleep longer.
A great place to start would be with affirmations for self-care and self-love. Affirmations are as simple as speaking positively to yourself. They are super flexible, require little or no special equipment, and can be used in a variety of different environments (think home, on a drive, sitting in an office, or even when you’re laying in bed.)
No matter where you are in your journey through motherhood, meditation may help.
Have you heard that exercise releases endorphins, and endorphins make you happy? It’s true, but remember, our body changes in many ways to prepare for childbirth (whether you delivered vaginally or via cesarean). Give it some time to recover, and remember not to push yourself too hard. If you’re not sure where to begin, check out this fitness guide for postpartum.
Try something like a 10-20-minute walk to start with. Walking is completely free, self-paced, and you can also bring your family along for additional bonding time. Or, if you’re ready to take it up a notch, you can participate in fitness classes like yoga or pilates. They’re perfect for recovering from labor and building your strength back up before you move back into, or begin, more intense exercises.
In our age of smartphones and hyper-connectivity, it’s easy to get caught up with a case of comparisonitis. Seeing influencer moms with a full face of makeup in their delivery room, celebrities with “perfect,” bodies just days after giving birth, or even watching babies hit milestones before yours can leave you feeling hurt and confused.
We’re here to remind you — everything happens on its own time. Your body has just done an amazing thing. It deserves time to rest and heal. Do not feel like you have to bounce back to make anyone else happy. Your child is learning a million things, they will reach those milestones when it is right for them.
So put down the phone, stop the scrolling, and remember that you are all doing the best you can.
Squeeze in some reading during nap-time? Ask grandma to babysit while you visit the salon? Try a painting class? What seems feasible for you, your budget support, and your schedule? Evaluate your day and see where you can begin! With each accomplishment, you’ll feel a little bit closer to who you were before you became a mom.
Utilize your friends and family when you can — do not allow mom guilt to hold you back. Repeat after us, you deserve time away! If you don’t have support nearby, try joining a virtual group. You might even enjoy one that’s hosted by a lactation consultant or midwife. They’re fun ways to get helpful advice, learn, and share with others who might be going through the same struggles as you.
Caring for your mind and body begins with you, and prioritizing self-care during the postpartum stage is the first step. Life is busy as a mom, we completely understand because we’ve been there ourselves. Even if it’s five minutes a day, small changes add up to big impacts.
If you’re feeling stressed, anxious or overwhelmed, it might be time to discuss your mental health with a professional. From mindfulness and therapy to exploring medication, there are options to help you feel better again.
We understand that growing your family while having a healthy and happy pregnancy and baby is probably a top priority for you right now.
We created Expectful to help you harness the power of your mind to have a healthy, happy pregnancy and baby.
All of our meditation content is based on interviews with many soon-to-be and new parents just like you, and is created with the help of licensed psychologists, hypnotherapists, and meditation experts. You can practice in just 5 minutes a day.