Having a baby can be one of the most wonderful yet most difficult things you’ll ever do. Caring for someone else constantly can lead to burnout, which is why new moms must practice self-care.
There are inaccurate misconceptions of self-care being selfish or unnecessary, but the benefits of taking time to recharge and giving yourself time to focus on yourself can help everyone, particularly new moms, immensely. So here is why self-care is essential for new moms.
Self-care recharges you
It is important to take time for self-care so you can continue to successfully care for your new baby. Caregiver burnout is a real condition that can cause mental, physical and emotional exhaustion, such as depression, reducing your immune system, and causing excess stress. Taking time just for yourself can be essential.
As a new mom, you need to schedule more time to sleep to ensure you’re still getting enough rest even when being woken by the little one. If possible, ask friends and family to watch the new baby for a while so you can catch up on the sleep you need.
Additionally, make sure you’re getting the best sleep possible. Try to just use your bedroom for sleeping unless you have a recliner. Sleeping in recliners is great for new moms as it keeps your trunk upright and your airways open which has numerous health benefits. It’s also important to reduce your caffeine intake before bed and try to avoid spending too much time on devices to ensure you sleep soundly.
Self-care sets a good example
While every child believes their parent to be a ‘Super Mom’, it can actually be beneficial for your children to observe you partaking in self-care. It sets a good example for your children that they need to look after themselves well, as it is beneficial for their health and well-being.
For new moms, ensure you make time for the basics:
● Washing Your Hair
● Wearing Clean Clothes
● Changing Your Bedsheets
● Light Tidying or Cleaning
● Sleeping in a Clean Environment
When the baby is sleeping, it can be beneficial to sleep too, but also take time just to relax. Meditate or journal for some quick mindfulness, or read. Gentle, relaxing activities can help lower your stress, which prevents health issues such as hair loss (find out more here).
Self-care is good for your health
Another form of self-care is ensuring you’re eating enough nutritious food and drinking enough water. Particularly for new moms who are nursing, passing on essential vitamins and nutrients to your baby is important for their health, as babies’ immune systems are developed through their mother’s milk.
Keeping yourself healthy, both mentally and physically, is an important form of self-care as it makes caring for your baby easier too. Find time to eat healthy and nutritious foods. Meal prep in advance if you know you may struggle for time, or even snack on healthy food to keep your body running efficiently.
Keep a bottle of water beside you at all times so you can ensure you’re staying hydrated. Healthy eating and drinking are vital for new moms, as it helps you feel better prepared for looking after your new baby.
Self-care helps you keep your identity
While you’re still getting used to the new title of ‘Mom’, it’s important that you retain a sense of yourself for your own peace of mind. Participating in self-care can help you continue to do the activities and hobbies you love and help you avoid losing yourself completely to being a mom.
As much as you may want to spend all your time with your new baby, it is important to maintain friendships with friends and family and talk to other adults. Meet up with people for coffee dates, go for walks and ensure you’re staying social to avoid feelings of isolation. It can be hard to maintain a social life with a new baby, but it is an important form of self-care to practice.
Making time for self-care as a new mom may seem tricky, but it is incredibly beneficial in the long run for both your and the baby’s health. Parenting can be difficult, but practicing self-care can help alleviate some of the stress and help you enjoy your time as a new mom.