Parenting is exhausting! It is hard to find time for yourself, especially as a new parent. Moms and dads often find it challenging to establish routines, even for activities that are necessary for maintaining their livelihood. In all the chaos of learning to nurture and care for a tiny human being, it’s easy to forget that it’s equally as important to care for yourself.
How To Practice Self Care as a New Mom
Many women feel like there is no significant opportunity to practice self-care, assuming that the practice is overwhelming and incredibly time-consuming. However, there are several small things you can do to take some time for yourself!
Self-care could be as simple as going to your room and listening to soothing music for a few minutes. It can also include taking mommy-baby exercise classes, or simply going for a short walk to take a breath. Self-care is about learning it is still OK to say you need a break, even though you have a newborn.
Self Care Tips for Working Moms
As a working parent with an infant, it is important to take time for yourself, away from work and baby, to recharge, even for a few moments. Here are some ways to practice this:
- Breathe deep: Deep and focused breathing are mindfulness exercises to help calm anxiety and stress.
- Take breaks: It is natural to feel like you need to be present every moment of your baby’s life, but you don’t. Your child will be fine if you take 5 minutes to yourself.
- Share responsibilities: Make sure you are getting the help you need from your partner, spouse or other support person. Don’t be afraid to vocalize your needs if you feel like they are not being met.
- Ask for help: No parent should feel like they have to raise a child all alone. Find a circle of family and friends that can help you watch and care for your baby or assist with errands and chores around the house.
- Set professional and personal boundaries: Having a newborn is a life changing event. You need to reevaluate your career and personal limits, setting specific boundaries for each that allow you to maintain both.
- Respect your limit: It is not enough to set boundaries. You must also enforce them.
- Don’t forget to eat: Many new parents are so focused on their newborns, they don’t give themselves time to nourish their bodies. Make sure you schedule mealtimes so that you don’t miss one and set up easy access to nutritious snacks throughout the day.
Self Care Postpartum Checklist
The postpartum self-care checklist is about helping you and your newborn settle into the world after pregnancy. Following any of these tips can help make you and your baby more comfortable:
- Limit visitors
- Keep feet elevated to prevent swelling
- Find help for daily chores (cleaning and cooking)
- Drink water and eat fiber to prevent constipation
- Eat fruits, vegetables, and whole grains
- Reach out to friends for support
- Call doctor if you have any concerns with postpartum depression or anxiety