As a new mom, you probably feel pressure and guilt at the idea of taking time for self-care. The reality is that your ability to care for your new baby is impaired when you don’t take care of yourself, and the whole household suffers.
You may have a misconception about what self-care means. It is not all about taking bubble baths or having massages. It is about setting some time aside to care for your essential physical, emotional and social needs. Here are five self-care habits you need to develop as a new mom.
Essential Self-Care Habits That New Moms Need
1. Make Sure You Drink Enough
You lose certain nutrients and fluids while giving birth. If you’re breastfeeding, this further depletes your bodily fluids. If you don’t drink enough, you can become dehydrated and experience some unpleasant symptoms such as headaches, lethargy, muscle aches and mood changes.
Fill up a water jug with water and lemon slices every morning. Keep it close to where you feed your baby to remind you to drink enough every day.
A post-partum drip can help you to replenish all the fluids and nutrients you have lost during birth. The Drip Bar, Hydra Plus, and Drip Hydration Atlanta have licensed nurses who will come to your home and administer an IV drip that will refresh you and make you feel more energetic.
2. Eat Healthy food
When your body is recovering after giving birth, you need nutritious food in order to recover your energy. You may wonder how eating healthily is possible when you don’t have time to plan, cook or even sit down to eat. Having your groceries delivered can really help to save you time if you can afford it. Shopping with a baby is exhausting, so you will also save energy by receiving deliveries.
Make sure you have quick, healthy snacks you can easily grab and eat, such as hummus, baby carrots, cheese cubes, nuts, fruit, and peanut butter.
3. Get Enough Sleep
Getting enough sleep is one of the biggest challenges when you bring home a new baby. Since you know you will get up several times during the night, it may help to get to bed earlier.
Good sleep hygiene habits will also help, such as only using your bedroom for sleeping and not using electronics before bedtime. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. Sleep when the baby sleeps is also common advice given to new moms. Your partner can watch over the baby while you sleep. You can also ask a family member or friend to look after your baby once in a while so you can get some sleep.
4. Get Moving
Who has time to go to the gym as a new mom? Fortunately, you don’t have to go to the gym to get some exercise. One of the best forms of exercise is walking, and putting your baby in a stroller and pushing it around your neighborhood or the mall is good exercise. You need to get your heart rate up and your blood circulating, so put on some music and get dancing while your baby is taking a nap. You can join a gym that offers childcare when your baby is older.
5. Take Some Quiet Time
Babies are not quiet, and you need some quiet time to yourself as you recover. Your phone may feel like a lifeline when you’re a new mom, but you also need to put it aside to give your brain a chance to rest. Take the opportunity if you’re breastfeeding to relax and play some calming meditation music. Don’t feel that you have to rush around and clean or cook every time your baby takes a nap- it is important to prioritize your rest as well. There’s nothing wrong with taking the time to sit down with a book or just do nothing.
6. Make Effort To Socialise With Adults
Having some adult conversation when you become a new mom can help you maintain your mental health. Many communities have mother and baby social groups that you could join. If you are unsure where to look, start with your local library or local church to find mother and baby sessions.
Reach out to your pre-baby friends and let them know you would like to see them and what your availability is. They may avoid reaching out in an effort to not overwhelm you at this busy time. Set up a coffee date or a play date with another mother who has a baby. If there are obstacles to leaving the house, make use of video chat to have some adult conversation with family or friends.