Happy Mommy Happy Baby!- Self Care Tips for the New Mommy
Blog Submitted by Vishakha Godse
Photo by Zach Lucero on Unsplash
The long wait is over and your little bundle of joy is here!! Suddenly you realize, the focus has shifted from you on to the new arrival! You feel left out. Not only others, but you too have forgotten yourself completely! The first few weeks take a toll on you, with the never ending feeding, crying, nappy changing sessions….phew! There’s hardly any time to breathe. But you need to be one happy mommy to raise a happy baby. So here are a few self-care tips for the new mom around the block.
- Schedule your sleep: Although it’s easier said than done, but it’s highly recommended to schedule your sleep to match according to your little one’s sleep timings. For someone like me, it never worked, because I cannot sleep in daytime and my baby also slept for barely an hour , at a stretch. A short nap was all I could manage. Whenever the baby sleeps, you need to nap….that’s the best way to squeeze the most of your well deserved quota of rest.
- Go shopping: Nothing works like a short shopping trip. Short because with a baby at home or with you carrying her, you are compelled to keep your outings short ;-)…. by default. Doesn’t matter, if you visit a mall to pick a few stylish dresses for yourself…..or even if it’s a visit to the grocery store to pick a few home essentials. It feels refreshing, and empowering too, just what you need right now.
- Vent out/ share what you feel: I felt terrible after the baby was born…….i had never heard of “post partum depression”. But now I know this is for real! I cursed myself for feeling terrible, when I should be on top of the world for bringing this little bundle into the world? The hormones just get you….and how. Share how you feel, with your doctor so that he can medically approve and convey your situation to the rest of the family. You can vent out to your husband, mom, siblings, friends…..whoever you feel a connect with. Venting is important because people around you need to be aware about your mental state. This way, they can be available to you whenever you feel down.
- Hangout with friends or with other new moms: Catch up with friends over a cup of coffee. Or join a neighbourhood mommy group, where you can share your woes. Fellow mommies can share their experiences and give some parenting tips too.
- Go for a spa: Relax and rejuvenate with a nice head massage. Or book a pedicure at your home itself. Now-a-days we have a lot of options to get a beauty treatments done at home itself, without having to leave the baby and the house.
- No cooking day/ order food: Last night the baby had colic and both of you couldn’t sleep. You are too tired to cook for the day. Simply order food from outside. You can contact any local suppliers / tiffin service, who provide home-made food if you want to avoid outside spicy, oily stuff. Getting a day off cooking, can make you feel so much better and in control.
- Meditate/Exercise: Meditation and light exercise is highly recommended not only to new-moms but for everyone. Meditation helps you connect with your inner self, and gives insights about your inner needs, keeping you rooted, without getting lost in the daily chaos and chores that come alongwith having a baby. Light exercise and stretching will help you get your flexibility back, as pregnancy brings about a lot of stiffness in the body, due to reduced movements during the nine months and also after delivery.
- Reading: Read…..your favourite romantic novel, or any self-help, motivational book. Anything that comes handy, and gives you a mental break from being a mommy. Postpartum depression creeps into you silently without you noticing it. A good motivational book can do wonders to keep you in touch with your goals and aspirations, even after having a baby.
- Appreciate: The late night feeding sessions, carrying her in your arms to comfort her from the colic, all through the night…..no one’s going to appreciate you, because all these come with being a mom. Why wait for anyone else…..you be the one patting your back J. Reward yourself for being a nice mommy, or a good spouse, or just for the wonderful person you are. You need to cheer yourself, appreciate and acknowledge efforts you take to keep the household running smoothly.
- Treat yourself: Go out for an icecream, or gulp a few pani-puri if that’s what makes you happy. You need to treat yourself , as recognition of all the hardwork that you are putting in for the baby, and the household to keep it running smoothly. Rarely anybody else will sit up and take notice, so don’t wait for it.
- Get ready for a new day: As you settle down with the new addition to the family, slowly you will see yourself getting back to a routine. Finish your morning chores, freshen up and get ready for the day ahead. Wear fresh clothes, put up your hair nicely, new pair of earrings and a dash of lip stick…..that’s it. Look and feel radiant, ready to take upon the challenges of the new day!!! Post partum does make you feel low, and depressed, but getting dressed up just brushes away all the blues, that are waiting to get the good out of you.
- Set a routine: Routine and baby……these two words can’t go together. Well, but its very important that as a new mommy, you have a set plan of action for each day to tackle your cute little monster. Set a routine for waking up, to getting the baby bathed, massage. Time his feeding sessions, play time, sleep. You need to schedule your morning chores, cooking time, grocery shopping, according to the baby’s schedule. Be realistic in your expectations, as it’s bound to go haywire, once in a while. But to avoid daily frustrations, setting a routine works wonders.
- Ask for help: Whether in a joint family or a nuclear family, do not hesitate to ask for help. If your in-laws cannot share responsibility of the baby due to their old age and sickness, you can always hire help for household chores, or someone to help you with handling the baby while you finish the other important stuff.
In the early days after you have delivered, its practically difficult to take any decision…even as simple as oiling and combing your hair (this happened to me many times!). This is what this post is aimed at…..to make you aware of what lies ahead after the baby arrives. So that you can chalk out a few things before the baby happens….like hiring a house help, or arranging for close family to be with you after the baby comes. You can hire someone to massage the baby, keep a few referred paediatricians in your locality in your contact list, a list of nearest day-night chemists…..saying from my experience.
These self care tips cannot be applied in the first few days or weeks of having a baby. Take your time to settle in your new routine, before you indulge in self care. Any action without awareness is bound to push you onto an unplanned guilt trip, which is bound to occur, courtesy your hormones…. of-course!
Having a baby is indeed a blessing, but in no way it means that you have to forget yourself completely! A happy mum, whose needs are being taken care of, is going to make sure that the baby is cared for in the best possible manner. No second thoughts!