When you’re caring for a new baby, taking care of yourself postpartum can fall to the bottom of your priority list very quickly.
However, as a new mother, it’s essential that you take care of yourself to ensure that you’re feeling your best and are aiding your recovery.
There are numerous ways to take care of yourself postpartum, some of which include:
- Sleeping as much as possible
- Eating nourishing foods that support your healing body
- Booking a postpartum massage
- Reading a book
- Not being afraid to ask for help when needed
1. Sleeping As Much As Possible
As a new parent, you already know that it’s not always easy to sleep postpartum when you have a baby, especially during those night feeds when your sleep is disrupted.
That said, when you have the opportunity to get those precious minutes of sleep in, it’s important to take advantage of them any chance that you get.
Sleep is essential for your recovery postpartum, and it should therefore be considered a top priority.
This means if you can nap during the day when the baby sleeps, try to prioritise it over household chores that you’re likely tempted to get done during this time.
This is especially true in the first few weeks postpartum, as your body needs all the rest it can get when undisrupted sleep is so limited.
2. Eating Nourishing Foods That Support Your Healing Body
Another way to take care of yourself postpartum is to eat nourishing foods that support your healing body.
It’s worth noting that you don’t need to spend hours in the kitchen to achieve healthy and nourishing meals, and the word “healthy” doesn’t automatically translate to “time-consuming”, despite what some recipes might lead you to believe.
There are plenty of no-prep recipes out there that are ideal for new parents and aid you in finding quick and easy meals throughout this time-limited period of your life.
In addition to this, you should make sure that you get a cookbook with quick meals that can provide you with inspiration on those nights where you don’t have the energy to think of a recipe yourself.
3. Booking A Postpartum Massage
While a full spa day might not be high on your priority list postpartum, the benefits to booking a postpartum massage are vast.
Regardless of how your birth goes, pregnancy and postpartum is physically and mentally hard on your body, and postpartum massage can significantly help.
The benefits to treating yourself to a postpartum massage include relaxation, reducing stress, as well as pain relief.
If you can make the time, booking a postpartum massage is the ultimate self-care activity to help aid the recovery of your body following birth.
Massage is also known to help your mental health in various ways, including promoting better sleep, so it’s worth looking into once you have given birth and feel up to it.
4. Reading A Book
It might sound simple, but another way to take care of yourself postpartum is to dedicate a bit of time to reading a book.
This comes down to the fact that making time for yourself to read a few pages of a book postpartum can do wonders for your mental health.
In fact, reading ‘as little as 6 minutes a day can improve your quality of sleep, reduce stress, and sharpen mental acuity’.
Considering fiction can take you out of your own reality and allow you to get lost in a fictional world, it’s easy to see why it can aid you throughout your postpartum recovery.
While it might initially be hard to make the time to read, by incorporating a few minutes of reading into your daily schedule it will soon become part of your routine.
5. Not Being Afraid To Ask For Help When Needed
Last, but by no means least, not being afraid to ask for help can help you to take care of yourself postpartum.
The first few months of being a parent are both physically and emotionally exhausting and can be incredibly isolating.
It’s essential to ask for support from friends and family as your body needs to heal following birth and physical help can significantly aid your recovery. After all, the saying ‘it takes a village to raise a child’ exists for a reason.
While it’s not always easy to ask for help as the mum guilt might kick in the first few times, getting the support that you need is essential to taking care of yourself.
Written by Jemima Thomas for Life As Mama, on behalf of Fox Chiropractic, chiropractic specialists based in Cardiff and Cwmbran.