With so much focus on health tips during pregnancy, postpartum moms often get the short end of the stick. They are left to figure things out on their own when they need help and support more than ever before. Being a new mom can be challenging. As if the physical and emotional exhaustion of labor and delivery weren’t enough, you’re now responsible for this little person who relies on you for everything. The good news is that there are some things you can do to make the transition easier and improve your health and wellbeing in those early postpartum months.
Sleep as Much as Possible
The dishes can wait, the laundry can wait, what cannot wait is you needing to get enough rest. Look for ways to simplify and streamline your life so that you can prioritize sleep. Even if it means using paper plates and plastic forks and spoons. Avoid caffeine and other stimulants like nicotine or alcohol before bedtime. Create a bedtime routine for yourself and the baby. When you are home, try your best to lay down and nap when your baby is napping. You can even use blackout curtains to create an environment more conducive to sleeping.
Surround Yourself With Supportive People
A supportive community is an important part of postpartum recovery. It’s not just about your immediate family; it’s also about the people in your extended network who can help support you during this time. Find groups online, friends who love you, and more to offer their help and expertise when you need it the most.
Get Help For Breastfeeding
There are many great benefits to breastfeeding, but sometimes you can feel like a failure when it seems like it’s not going well. You can improve your success by seeking out help from a lactation consultant. Their services are well worth the investment when you can breastfeed your baby. Not only is it easier and more portable than formula, but it’s also better for them. If for some reason even your best efforts aren’t working, it’s okay to supplement with donor milk or formula to ensure your baby is fed.
Eat Healthy, Balanced Meals and Snacks
Good food helps you regulate your hormones, gives you energy, and if you’re breastfeeding, gives your baby the nutrients he or she needs to grow. It also improves your skin tone and can alleviate much of the postpartum acne that leaves you looking like a teenager. Eat a well-balanced diet to include a lot of protein, healthy fats, fruits, vegetables, and some grains. You can also take any postpartum-safe supplements like prenatal vitamins or a safe hormonal acne supplement product to give you some extra help. If friends ask how they can help, ask them to help you meal prep or bring you food.
Allow Yourself to Ask for Help
It’s okay to get help. It doesn’t mean you are failing as a mother, it simply means that you are human and may need assistance on the hard days. Maybe you’re afraid that asking for help will make people think less of you. This is a common misconception, but it’s one that many mothers believe anyway. It’s okay to ask for help: the important thing is to make sure that any support comes from a place of love and respect rather than obligation or condescension.
Keep the House Clean Enough to be Comfortable and Safe
As a new mom, you have enough to worry about. So don’t let the housework stress you out. It’s not super important to keep your home immaculate every day. Your life is too short and you have better things to do than run around cleaning all day. Ask for help in this area if you need it, and let some of the perfectionism go. A little dust is no big deal. Prioritize the necessary tasks to keep your home safe from pests, mold, etc.
Make Time for Self-Care and Soul Care
New moms need time to take showers and manage their health, and spiritual wellbeing. Make time for these activities regularly throughout the week. Whether you spend time reading religious texts, praying, meditating, or doing Yoga, these activities can all benefit a new mom and give her mind and spirit a sense of well-being. It’s okay to also schedule something like a spa day or read a favorite book.