Post-Delivery Core and Pelvic Floor Exercises, Meditations, Recipes and Educational Content
Today’s world is relentlessly go, go, go. Even as new parents, it doesn’t get any better. Get to the pediatrician appointments. Buy the groceries. Tackle the laundry. The Dishes. The Trash. Then add in the full-time job of caring for a very cute, albeit entirely helpless, baby. There is no rest for the weary although any parent – new or seasoned – will tell you there really should be. The reality is you matter. The to-do lists mean nothing if you’re falling off the wagon. So how can you take care of yourself when life with baby feels very much not about you? Here are five ways to nurture yourself in the first six months of life with a little one:
Set Time Aside For You
Notice we didn’t say “make time.” We all have the same hours in a day. It’s about how we prioritize and use them. Prioritize yourself and make sure there is time just for you. Enlist the help of a partner, grandparent, friend, or other trusted caregiver to allow you regularly scheduled time to yourself. You are a critical member of your family and you need to be prioritized as such.
Do Something That Makes You Happy
Make a list of all the things you love to do and pick at least one to add to your weekly routine. Love yoga? Get to a class. Enjoy a fresh pedicure? Make an appointment. If you’re cash conscious, indulge in something cheap or free like a mom-only bubble bath, a short hike, or break out the arts and crafts supplies and get creative.
This sounds like we’re pointing a finger at you, but really, we know the impact good nutrition has on the way we feel. Find a few easy, new snack ideas on Pinterest and ditch the junk you’ve been turning to when you have a hand free. Ask your partner to pick up groceries for a healthy meal on the way home. If you want a baby break, let them watch baby while you make dinner.
Humans were not meant to raise babies alone. Interaction is a basic human need and parenting an infant can be incredibly isolating. Find other people who you can connect with that are in the same season of life. It doesn’t always have to be a playdate either. Meet for a coffee pick-me-up, glass of wine, or dinner date. You can find new parent groups on Facebook and sites like Meetup.com. Yoga classes, libraries, and playgrounds are also popular places to make new mom friends. This is also a great time to reconnect (or connect for the first time) with your therapist.
Move Your Body Outside.
Get your heart and endorphins pumping with exercise. Fresh air and open spaces will help remind you that the walls of your house don’t have to be the confines of your life when you’re home with a baby. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to depression and weight gain. Use your time outside to be alone with your thoughts, catch up on a podcast or audiobook, or connect with others.
Kaylie Groenhout is a certified childbirth educator, birth and postpartum doula, newborn care specialist and sleep coach. As a mother to three young children, she also intimately understands the struggle and need for balance and well-being to be your best self, not just best mom. In 2015, she launched her acclaimed perinatal support agency Doulas of Northern Virginia.
The information contained in this article is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for the advice of your physician or licensed health care provider. You should consult your physician or licensed health care provider before engaging in any exercise activity described in this article to determine if it is right for your needs.