Self care may not feel important if you're the mom of a newborn. You want to do all you can for your new baby. But getting enough self care helps you give your baby the best care possible. When you feel your best, you can offer your best. Try these steps for better self care:
GET ENOUGH SLEEP.
Say "no" to unwanted visitors and outside commitments and nap instead. Don't feel pressured to stuff your social media with tons of baby pictures or give moment-by-moment updates. As time allows, you can post some newborn photos and milestone pictures to share your story.
Cut corners wherever possible, such as using disposable plates or buying rotisserie chicken and bagged salad. Don't worry about deep-down cleaning for awhile. Do the basics and let the rest wait. Or, if finances permit, bring in a cleaning service weekly.
Delegate chores to visitors and accept any offers of help that really will help you. You don't have to do it all because guess what? No one can.
Once you're physically able and your doctor gives you the green light, start exercising again. It doesn't have to be rigorous. It could be as easy as taking the baby for a brisk walk with the baby backpack or stroller. Exercise will lift your mood, clear your mind and help you get your body back.
Recovering from pregnancy and supporting milk production require good nutrition. Follow your doctor's guidelines on how many calories you need. Drink plenty of water. Focus on whole grains, fruits and vegetables, lean sources of protein, and fewer processed foods. It's okay to indulge in "comfort foods" but keeping on hand some healthful snacks like popcorn and nuts, cheese sticks, yogurt, and produce can ensure you get the nutrition you need.
Get out of the house without the baby.
It's okay to take some time to window shop, get a pedicure, have a massage or grab coffee with a friend. These outings remind you that you're still an individual in addition to a mom.
FIX YOURSELF UP.
While you may have days (weeks?) where pajama pants, your husband's t-shirt and a ponytail suffice, making yourself up helps restore your confidence, as well as remind you that you've still got it. A flattering outfit and haircut and a touch of make-up work wonders.