As wonderful as raising your newborn is, it’s easy to get wrapped up in your baby’s needs and completely forget about your own. It’s important to take some time for yourself so that you can relax, recharge, and unwind. We know it can feel selfish, and we know it can be difficult to do, so Mustela is here to help. We’ve created the best postpartum care plan for new mothers. These nine tips will help you take care of your own needs so that you’ll have the energy necessary to give your baby all the attention and love she deserves.
1. Nap When Your Baby Naps
Getting plenty of rest is crucial for maintaining your energy levels. That rest, though, can be easily disrupted because your newborn needs to be fed multiple times during the night. In order to be alert and able to care for your baby during the day, you’re going to need to take a nap or two. When your baby naps, you should too. You don’t have to sleep every time your baby does, but once or twice during the day will work wonders for your energy levels and focus.
2. Ask For Help
Your to-do list seems never ending—trips to the supermarket for food and baby supplies, laundry, keeping the house clean. The responsibility for all that, though, doesn’t have to be yours alone. Make a list and send a family member to the market to pick up your groceries. Ask a friend to come by once or twice per week to do a load of laundry or vacuum the floor. Delegate chores like these to your family or friends so you can focus on you baby without ending up exhausted after only a few weeks.
3. Buy Some New Clothes
After your baby is born, you won’t be able to get into the clothes you wore before your were pregnant, and you can’t keep wearing your maternity clothes. Take this in-between time to buy some new clothes. These in-between clothes don’t have to be expensive—your body will change again over the next six to twelve months anyway—but having something new can keep you feeling good about yourself while your body is changing. This won’t help with your energy levels like napping and delegating chores, but it will certainly boost your mood.
4. Make An Appointment For The Salon
There’s little time to do your hair when you have a newborn. This can affect your self-esteem, which can hinder your motivation and energy levels. An appointment for a haircut or a few highlights can give you the pampering you need to keep your energy up. While you’re at it, you might as well sneak in a manicure, too.
5. Get Up And Move
Taking care of yourself is one of the best ways to take care of your baby. The best way to take care of yourself physically is to stay active. That doesn’t mean you have to start training for a triathlon right away. Staying active can be as simple as going for a walk with your baby or doing yoga while your baby sleeps. Just pick an activity you enjoy and start slow.
6. Let People Give You Gifts
Friends and family will want to buy your baby gifts. It’s just a fact of life. How many stuffed animals does a newborn need though? When someone asks what you need, why not suggest something for yourself instead? Remember, your baby depends on you for love and attention, not just the fancy mobile hanging over their crib. If an afternoon of babysitting, a manicure, or a massage will help, your friends and family will understand and be happy to assist.
7. Read For Pleasure
In the nine months before your baby was born, you may have read about pregnancy, labor, baby names, and raising a child. Those novels you used to read for fun probably fell by the wayside. You may even have a pile of them somewhere just waiting to be read. After your baby is born, it’s time to get back to reading for pleasure again. Take an hour during one of your baby’s many naps to read a chapter in a book that has nothing to do with motherhood. Make a cup of tea, let your mind focus on something else for a change, and allow your body to relax and unwind.
8. Make Time For Yourself
Making time for yourself is important for your baby’s well-being. At some point during the day, give the baby to your partner or a friend for a half hour or so. This gives your partner or friend time to bond with your baby, but it also gives you time for yourself. We suggest taking a hot shower or bath. Pamper yourself after the shower with a gentle self-massage and a soothing moisturizing balm, body firming gel, or stretch marks recovery serum. You’ll feel renewed, recharged, and reinvigorated to continue giving your newborn baby all your love and attention.
9. Get Back Into Your Beauty Routine
Take some time while your baby is napping after breakfast to get back into your pre-pregnancy beauty routine. Indulge in a hot shower, exfoliate and moisturize your skin, and maybe try a nourishing face mask once or twice per week. Getting back into this routine can help you reclaim a sense of order to your newly topsy-turvy life. You could even apply a bit of makeup. You don’t have to go the whole nine yards, but a bit of foundation and some mascara could bring some normalcy back to your day.