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Postpartum Self Care for New Moms

Self-care is a hot buzzword right now as women begin to realize that their own needs are just as important as everyone else’s. Sadly, postpartum self-care isn’t as buzzworthy right now. I get it; postpartum self-care almost sounds like an oxymoron to a new mom. You get thrown into a world where everything revolves around your newborn baby. The last thing on your mind is taking care of yourself. But let me remind you, you can’t pour from an empty cup.

In your first two weeks after having a baby, self-care is even more important to remember. Taking the time to take care of yourself allows you to recover faster, bond with your baby, and help to keep your mental health in check.  

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Postpartum Self Care for New Moms - pinterest pin

 

MOTHER’S BASKET

Create a mother’s basket before your baby is born. Keep this basket near a comfortable place to relax with your baby. A Mother’s basket in both the living room and your bedroom is a great way to make your life easier. Fill your basket with items that you will often need on hand while taking care of your newborn. This includes things like:

  • Diapers
  • Wipes
  • Nipple cream
  • Bottled water
  • Snacks
  • Phone charger
  • Book + book stand
  • Chapstick
  • Socks and/or slippers

 

TRY TO SLEEP

I know this one is almost laughable. I hated when people would tell me to “sleep when the baby sleeps” because it’s just not an option for many parents, BUT at least try whenever an opportunity presents itself. Sleep is essential to healing and hard to come by when you have a newborn to take care of. Sometimes if you do not have the help you need to keep things up, it’s okay to let somethings slide so you can rest. The dishes will always be there, and after a good night’s rest, they will hurt less to wash. 

If possible, have your partner help with middle of the night feedings and diaper changes. This will allow you to get a bit more sleep to help speed up your recovery. My husband and I would take shifts. So, I would take the night shift, and at 4am, he would relieve me for the night. That would give me at least a few hours of uninterrupted sleep before I had to get up to pump. 

 

FOCUS ON NUTRITION

When you have just given birth, it is normal to feel constantly hungry. This is a combination of suddenly having room to put food with your tiny baby no longer taking up space and your body looking for the nutrition it needs to heal. Also, if you are breastfeeding or pumping, plan on getting really hungry and thirsty!! I would be starving and so dehydrated at the end of pumping and always had snack bars and my water close by. 

Try to eat as many healthy whole foods packed with vitamins and minerals to replenish your body from pregnancy and childbirth. Protein is essential for muscle recovery and rebuilding. Warm foods have been proven to help encourage the body to heal itself rather than working to warm the food you take in. Avoid ice water, ice cream, and other cold foods instead of focusing on warm soups to encourage rest for your digestive tract while you heal.

If you have time before your baby arrives, you can plan ahead to ensure you have healthy whole foods to enjoy. Freezer cooking for after your baby arrives is an excellent activity for nesting mothers to put their energy into. 

Another great idea is meal services. You can get oven-ready meals from brands like Home Chef and Factor to make meals easy, quick, and healthy. I don’t have one for Home Chef, but if you use the promo code “GOFACTOR50”, you can get $50 off  at Factor! 

 

GET $50 OFF FACTOR HERE

 

TAKE A BATH

Your body is recovering from childbirth and needs a bit of extra care to help speed up healing. Consider Sitz baths or herbal baths. Herbal baths, including those with comfrey and lavender, are known for helping to speed recovery.

 

While you may be told not to have baths after a vaginal delivery, it is perfectly safe provided it is clean water. Clean your tub well and shower before soaking in the tub so you can relax with clean hot water surrounding your body. I had a few awful recovery days before I turned the corner, and a Sitz + herbal bath combo helped so much. I soaked each time for 20-25 minutes, and I could tell a huge difference after just two days. Plus, it was nice to just relax and have a moment to myself. Once the baby comes, those moments are harder to come by.

 

SKIN-TO-SKIN

Did you know skin-to-skin time with your baby doesn’t just benefit your baby, but you as well? Whether nursing or just snuggling up with your shirt off and your baby in a diaper can encourage bonding and healing. Skin-to-skin contact releases oxytocin that helps shrink your uterus and calm anxiety, allowing you to rest better for recovery. The things a woman’s body can do are absolutely incredible, hey!?

 

KEEP VISITORS TO A MINIMUM

Keep the visitors to a minimum. Everyone wants to see a new baby, but not everyone realizes that the new mom needs rest and care. Limiting visitors to those that will be helpful rather than wanting you to entertain or host them allows you to focus on rest and bonding with your baby without worrying about if there is coffee made for guests.

 

I remember before our baby got here, I had to create firm boundaries with this. I had a few family members push back, but ultimately, it is up to you and what you want for your baby when he or she arrives. Don’t worry about pleasing others during the first few weeks postpartum, and instead focus on what is best for you and your baby.

 

ACCEPT HELP

Accept help from those willing to lend a hand. Recovery from childbirth is hard, and you can benefit from allowing someone else to take care of things while you focus on time with your baby and rest. When friends and family are willing to come over and help with other children or household tasks, don’t turn them away. They would have volunteered if they didn’t understand how much it benefits you. 

 

SKINCARE AND BEAUTY ROUTINE

Put focus into your skincare and beauty routine. As a new mom, it is easy to forget about basic care for your own body. In the first few weeks following childbirth, you may find that your skin feels dry and itchy. Making a point to use plenty of lotion or skin oil can not only help with this itching; it can make you feel great and help with your skin returning back to normal. A beauty routine as simple as finding time to brush your hair out when your baby is young can give your a new bout of energy and confidence. 

 

EXERCISE

Get in some light exercise whenever you can, even if it is for 5 minutes. Once you feel well enough to move around, get in some exercise to help get your blood flowing. Exercising doesn’t have to be strenuous. It can be as simple as going for a short walk with your new baby. Usually, after the first few days, you will feel up for walking around a bit. Odds are your baby will love being snuggled on your shoulder while you walk around the house or backyard on a warm day.

 

If you’re feeling up to it, do some squats for an added workout. I personally would fit in either BODi’s Pre-Post Natal Barre Blend OR my own arm and booty workout. Typically I would walk up and down the stairs for some cardio, and then use bands and 2 to 5 lbs weights for my arm exercises.

 

 

Postpartum Self Care for New Moms - graph

As a new mom, you need to take care of your baby and yourself. We often forget that it’s not that we can’t make time for self-care; it’s that we don’t think it’s essential.

I know that hitting everything on this list all of the time isn’t feasible, but try your best to tick as many as you can off, whenever you can. Your health and wellness matter too!!

 

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About Morgan Wender

I’m a boy mom, dog mom, bee mom, lover of all things Disney, and lover of making the best out of this chaotic life of mine. I created this platform to share my life, and help normalize “big topic” motherhood issues. I hope you enjoy my mix of life, love, levity, and everything in between.Now that you know a little about me, I would love to know more about you! Find me over on Instagram, and shoot me a DM if you would like to chat!the journey

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Hi, I’m Morgan! I created this platform to be able to share my life, help normalize big topic motherhood issues, and help simplify all the things I learned the complicated way. I hope you enjoy my mix of life, love, levity, and everything in between

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