If you’ve just welcomed a newborn into your life, congratulations! And while it’s likely the amount of love you feel for this special little person could burst your heart right open, in order to properly care for your bundle of joy, you have to make sure you carve out the time and space to also care for YOURSELF.
Yes, you heard that right. It’s not selfish. It’s self-care.
Many new moms make the mistake of putting all of their focus and energy along with their devotion towards their new baby, completely neglecting their own needs in the process. While understandable, if you aren’t careful, you could end up doing your baby more harm than good because you won’t be giving your child your best self.
Take Time for You
Taking even 20 minutes a couple of times during the week to do something you enjoy—taking a bath, reading a book, or calling up a friend to talk can have profound effects on your energy level and outlook. Ask your significant other to tend to the baby while you do this. You’ll return feeling relaxed and with a charged battery.
Take Time for Your Relationship
Along the same lines, carve out time to spend with your partner. The arrival of a baby is joyous, but can also put stress on a relationship. Once you feel comfortable leaving the baby with a trusted friend or relative, plan a date night with your significant other.
Get Some Exercise
Physical activity, such as a brisk walk or some bodyweight exercise, even if it’s just 10 minutes a day, brings on increased blood flow which is shown to boost your energy levels, improve your mood, and help you feel more in control of all the events taking place in your life. Being a new mom can sometimes feel overwhelming so adding a little exercise to your day is a great way to recenter yourself again.
Maintaining the good nutrition you adopted during your pregnant months will provide you with enough energy to care for your baby and all his or her needs. While you may be eager to regain your pre-baby body, refrain from dieting and and instead focus on eating wholesome, nourishing food during this time.
Get Help as Needed
Finally, remember to ask for help as you need it. Don’t fall into the “Super Mom” trap, thinking you can do everything yourself. Because you can’t. Your loved ones want to help out during this time, so take them up on the offer. That way, your baby gets the very best, rested and recharged version of her mom. And that’s why caring for yourself is really about caring for your child.
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