Be Good to Yourself
It’s easy to put yourself last once your baby is born. Here’s how to stay happy and healthy…
When you first become a mum, life changes forever.
Your baby becomes top priority and it’s all too easy to forget about yourself. But your child needs a healthy, happy you. If your look after yourself too, both you and your family will benefit. We asked experts and mums the best ways you can be good to yourself.
Rest is Best
Take care of yourself physically by getting plenty of rest. As much as possible, absolve yourself of all responsibilities other than feeding your baby. “Having not rested after the birth of my first child and suffering for it, I was determined to recuperate after my second baby,” says Amy Collins, 31, mum to Eva, 3, and Calvin, 1.
Try to carve out a few minutes of time for yourself each day.
When you can, take time to have a bath before bed. Not only will relaxing allow you to recover, it may also help boost your milk supply. Sit somewhere comfortable and close your eyes. Notice your in-breath and your out-breath and how your body has its own natural rhythm. After a few breaths, the next time you breathe out, make this breath longer than the one before. Repeat this over the next three out-breaths, so your out-breath becomes slightly longer each time. Maintain this breathing rhythm for a few minutes, with closed eyes. When you feel ready, slowly open your eyes and bring your attention back to your surroundings.
Not only does it ease tension in the entire body, it also restores energy levels and helps the abdomen to return to its pre-pregnancy condition.
Form a Support System
Having a new baby can be isolating. Join baby groups at your local library or church so you have other new parents to talk to, and make a point of talking to them at least once a week. Have family or friends help, so you can delegate the household responsibilities. You can then concentrate on the needs of your child, rather than the laundry. If this isn’t possible, look into hiring a cleaner. Knowing someone is coming to keep on top of the chores, even just once a week, will take away a lot of worry. “Our cleaner was recommended by friends,” says Charlotte Cooper, 40, mum to Marvin, 6. “I was reluctant as my parents didn’t have a cleaner and they managed, as my mum reminded me! But any guilt is gone as I have more time to spend with my children.”
Listen to Your Emotions
Focus on your positive feelings.
Look for things that make you feel good. Try to laugh daily, watch your favourite TV show or have your favourite meal. Similarly, act upon any negative feelings. It’s normal to feel bad sometimes when you are a new mum. Mood changes, irritability and tearfulness are common after giving birth. However, if negative feelings increase as time passes, you could be suffering from postnatal depression, which is often not apparent until around six months after having a baby. Symptoms can include a persistent low mood, feeling unable to cope, and difficulty sleeping. Wanda Lovett, a health visitor in Kent, says, “Be honest and open about your feelings with family, friends and professionals and answer any mood assessments honestly. Seek help from your health visitor or GP and support from your family and friends.
A Little Help from Snuggle Up
We love doing our little bit to help mums and babies during this beautiful (yet stressful) times of their lives,with our range of comfortable pregnancy and nursing pillows.