Bringing a child into this world can make you feel more joy than you ever thought a person can feel. However, joy is merely a drop in the sea of emotions you’ll experience when becoming a new mum. And when you’re overwhelmed with being, tired and scared about your newborn at the same time, it’s easy to forget that you also have needs and that you have to take care of yourself in order to be able to be the best mother that you can be to your child. If this is what you’re going through at the moment, or you know you will soon, here are some ways to support yourself through your baby’s first several months.
Give Yourself Time
Oh, it looked so easy when your friends had their babies. They loved their cherubs from the first day and they knew precisely what they needed to do and how. Or did they? Well, probably not, but even if they did, it doesn’t mean that you’re any less of a mother if you still don’t know everything. This is why you have to take it easy on yourself and allow yourself the time you need to adjust to the new situation. Don’t be alarmed if you don’t feel that all-consuming love for your little one straight away, as it sometimes takes a while before that happens for some mums. Furthermore, if you feel that motherhood has influenced your relationship with your partner, know that it’s nothing uncommon. It’s likely that you’re both sleepy and aren’t functioning at your full capacity, due to being focused on the baby. Try talking to each other whenever you can, since communication is vital in any relationship. Finally, if you’re facing baby blues, you should be aware that this is a frequent occurrence with new mums. However, if you notice that it’s too much for you to bear and that it’s lasting for too long, talk to your partner, a trusted friend or family member, or your GP. If it’s postpartum depression, you’ll want to know and you’ll need some help dealing with it.
Create a Support Network
Being able to rely on others for all the dilemmas and issues that you come across daily should be imperative for any new mum. This is why it’s important that you have your own support network, which can include your friends or family members who have had babies recently. In case you haven’t got any, there are other ways to reach out to mothers who are just like you. For instance, there are support groups and mother-child workshops and classes. Another great way to find like-minded mums is through the use of technology. One excellent example is some of the popular motherhood apps, which provide an opportunity to connect with other mums, share your experiences with them, and benefit from some of their hacks. That’s also an abundant source of online content for mums such as yourself but well organized so that you can access any of it in a moment and make the best of it in those day-to-day situations you and your baby find yourself in. Such support can help you find your motherhood style and improve your mum skills, but it’s also good for your psyche, as you’ll probably get a lot out of interaction with other adults, especially if you have several common interests.
Maintain Personal Hygiene
Surely you never thought you’d have to be reminded of this, but when all of your attention is aimed at your baby and their well-being, it’s easy to neglect yourself and simply lose track of the fact you haven’t showered today or that you’ve been wearing the same clothes for three days in a row. All of a sudden, styling your hair, putting on smart clothes, and finishing everything off with a touch of your favorite perfume isn’t a part of your morning routine anymore. It’s essential that you make some time for yourself every day, just so you can take a bath, wash your hair or just brush your teeth in peace. If you don’t live alone, enlist your partner to help you by taking care of the baby while you take care of yourself. If not, take your baby to the bathroom with you, so that you have your eyes on them, as their safety comes first. If you think it would make you feel better, give yourself a manicure or put on some basic makeup. And bear in mind that you are just as important as your baby since a happy mum means a happier child. So, basically, by tending to yourself, you’re ensuring that they get the best version of you, too.
Being occupied with the reasons your baby is crying and the color of their poop can be distracting enough to completely ignore your own body and your own health. As difficult as it may seem, try working out as often as you can, and don`t wait for spring. You might not be able to do so every day, but if there’s a way for you to set aside half an hour or so every day or at least several times a week, use that time to do some stretching or any other type of exercise you enjoy. Next, don’t skip any meals. You wouldn’t forget to feed your little one, so keep in mind that you have to eat regularly as well. Your diet should be diverse and nutritious, which is why you should base it on fresh fruit and vegetables, dairy products, whole grains, and lean protein. In addition, do your best to get as much sleep as you can. This can be particularly problematic, but when your baby is asleep, you should also take a nap. Housework can wait. Last, but definitely not least, visit your gynecologist regularly to stay on top of your health.
While your baby may be the center of your world right now, it’s still crucial that you take as good care of yourself as you do of your baby. Even when it’s complicated and hard, make an effort and treat yourself with the kindness and mindfulness that both you and your new baby deserve.