Millions of babies are born in the United States every year, with millions of new moms facing new challenges. Regardless of how many times you’ve given birth, the weeks and months following birth can sometimes seem overwhelming. Practicing self-care can help.
A leading provider of women’s health care in Arlington, Texas, Women's Health Services offers comprehensive pregnancy care, including support during the postpartum period.
In this post, our team offers five self-care activities to help you feel more relaxed and confident during the months following your child’s birth.
1. Make sleep a priority
Childbirth takes a toll on your body, and it’s understandable that rest is important for your physical recovery. But childbirth and caring for a newborn take an emotional toll, too, and here again, rest is paramount. Heed the old advice to sleep when your baby sleeps.
Asking your partner to assist with nighttime feedings (and with other children and chores) can also help. Getting plenty of sleep helps your body recover while reducing the risk of depression and other mood disorders, especially as your hormones return to their pre-pregnancy levels.
2. Commit to a healthy eating plan
Healthy eating is certainly important during pregnancy, but it’s essential during the postpartum period. Your body needs plenty of nutrients to recover from pregnancy and childbirth, and optimizing your nutrition can help prevent depression and keep your energy level up.
Focus on fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and low-fat or fat-free dairy. Stay hydrated by keeping a water bottle with you. If you can, try cooking multiple batches of meals and freezing extras for later.
3. Incorporate physical activity
You need to take it easy right after giving birth so your body has the time and resources to heal. But once that initial recovery is complete, incorporating gentle exercise into your daily routine can reduce stress and boost your energy.
Instead of obsessing over getting your pre-pregnancy body back, use exercise to improve your cardiovascular fitness and overall wellness. Walking, swimming, floor exercises, and yoga are all good choices. Remember to start slow and gradually increase the intensity if you feel like it.
The important thing is to exercise regularly, and that means doing what you enjoy at a pace that’s right for you.
4. Make time for ‘me time’
Caring for a newborn can be demanding, and it probably feels like there’s no time for you anymore. Still, it’s important to make some time for yourself every day during the weeks and months (and years!) after having a baby.
Taking small breaks to do something you enjoy — listening to music, practicing focused breathing, or reading, for instance — helps you recharge while encouraging more positive-thinking patterns.
Communicate your need for occasional breaks to your partner, and enlist their aid in baby-care duties.
5. Ask for help
Frustration doesn’t mean failure; every new mom feels frustrated from time to time. Finding support in these moments can give you the time to de-stress and overcome obstacles. Connecting with friends and family helps you get that support and avoid feeling isolated.
Joining a mommy group is another way to bond with women facing similar frustrations. Of course, our team can be a resource for physical and emotional support, and we can help you identify other sources of support.
Find the support you need
The birth of a child can be a time of excitement and joy but also challenging for even the most organized moms. Being kind to yourself is especially important during this time.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, we can help you find the support you need. To learn more, call 817-277-9415 or book an appointment online with the team at Women’s Health Services today.