Following on from my blog earlier today…it got me thinking about little tips for postnatal care and self care…
These are some general ideas and tips I’ve collected along the way and I thought I’d share them with you…obviously you’ll need to consider your own situation and what works for you…as I always say…there is no one-size fits all approach when it comes to this birth and parenting wild ride!
- Talk to those closest to you regarding your postnatal needs. Arrange a schedule so you know what is happening when and can relax and concentrate on you and baby
- Try and sleep as much as you can during the day and let others take care of the housework etc
- Try and wait at least a fortnight before letting non-family members come and visit. If they love you, they’ll understand that you just need some time with baby getting used to becoming an awesome little family
- When you have visitors over, ensure that they are being useful! Leave a basket or container at the front door with ‘chores’ in and get them to pick one and get on with it! Equally, don’t be afraid to ask them to leave if you feel you need to rest; you and your baby must come first and visitors can wait
- Before you have baby, try and furnish yourself with local/national support groups for things like breastfeeding – make a list of websites/telephone numbers that are easily accessible should you feel you need the
- Don’t be afraid to ask and accept help
- Keep an eye on how you are feeling – keep talking to your partner or family/friends. It’s easy to feel pressure to appear super excited about your new baby or to be on top of everything but please talk to someone if you feel you need help or support in any way. Getting your feelings out in the open is often the first step. This is one of many wonderful resources available, but a good place to start; http://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/postnatal-depression-and-perinatal-mental-health/#.WOgFFcN4Xxw
- Let those feelings out. Your hormones are going a little bonkers right now so cry, shout, do what helps you feel better in that moment. (Obviously not at baby…but to your partner, friend, anyone that loves you and will hold space for you while you release the feelings you are experiencing). Baby blues are very different to perinatal depression though, talk to someone if you’re feeling you need more help or support
- Don’t feel that you have to fill your day with baby groups and visitors…it can be very overwhelming and if you’re feeling that way, imagine how baby is feeling! It’s fine to just stay at home and not rush about everywhere
- When your husband/partner goes back to work, that may be the time you’ll feel you’ll need that extra support, so ensure that your postnatal care extends beyond a week or two
- Maybe look into engaging with a postnatal doula. They are awesome and will do as little or as much as you feel you need/agree with them. Even if you just need someone to have a cuppa with or hold baby while you have a shower, just having someone to hold space for you and listen can be so releasing
- If you feel that you want to cook for yourself, take steps to make it as easy as possible. Maybe consider switching to online grocery shopping or during your pregnancy make up some meals to chuck in the freezer for when baby arrives or get family/friends to do it for you!
- Remember to keep an eye on your body and don’t hesitate to contact your GP, health visitor or midwife if you feel you need to have anything looked at or discussed. Your health and wellbeing is super important and you are not wasting anyone’s time!
- Make sure you consume enough nourishing foods and water to help your recovery. Lots of water and healthy foods are the key, although have some of your favourites on hand to make sure you can treat yourself! Also look into a good vitamin supplement, which can also help your body get what it needs to recover
- Please, please don’t obsess over the ‘baby weight’…your body is amazing. It grew an actual human…if anything it’s ok to feel a little superhuman! Celeb magazines etc are full of bullshit pictures of this ‘celeb’ or that ‘celeb’ getting their ‘post-baby figure’ back but what we don’t know or aren’t told are the steps that are taken to achieve this, they also have access to all kinds of photoshop packages…’nuff said. Be kind to yourself
- When you feel ready, find a baby group or local buggy walk group etc that suits you. Getting out of the house and having a change of scene can also be quite the tonic and making some mummy friends who get your situation can be so valuable
- Everyone is going to have a story or opinion on parenting. Listen to advice as needed and then politely disregard that which goes against your instincts and do what you think is best for you, your baby and your family situation
- Schedule some self care, just get it in the diary…book a haircut, book a manicure, whatever makes you feel good…even if it’s for a couple of months away
- Involve your partner! Maybe agree a period of time when they’re home where you can go have a shower etc, whatever you feel like doing. It’s so important that they have time to bond with baby too
- Please give yourself a break and know that you are really fucking amazing.
Sending you peace and love