Being a mom of a newborn or just being a mom, in general, has its challenges. It is very easy for moms to put all of their time, energy, and focus on their children and forget about their own needs. It is very important to take care of yourself not only for you but for your children too.
This may be one of the most challenging concepts for moms. In fact, you probably just laughed when you read that sleep was number 1 on the list. But it’s true. When you lack needed sleep it not only affects your physical health, but your mental health as well. This is why you hear the common phrase “sleep when your baby sleeps”. Sleep deprivation also raises your stress hormone, which can negatively affect breast milk production and let down.
Many moms forget about the importance of their own nutrition. Sometimes they tend not to eat as healthy while caring for a newborn or may skip meals altogether. Take advantage of the offered help from friends and family and ask them for healthy meals or snacks.
It may help to keep healthy snacks around your breastfeeding “spot” so you can quickly grab some while nursing. Some good ideas for healthy snacks can include nuts, fruit, and cheese. It is also okay to occasionally splurge on one of your favorite less healthy snacks too. You deserve it! Some places offer grocery delivery if you and Dad are finding it difficult to get to the store.
Along with diet, it is sometimes tough to keep track of your water intake. Treat yourself to a new water bottle if it means you will drink more water throughout the day. Keep your water bottle with you wherever you go. There are also many apps that you can use to help track your water intake throughout the day. For those moms that find it hard to drink plain water try adding some fresh fruit to change up the flavor.
Especially if you live in the Buffalo area you know the importance of getting fresh air. Take advantage of warmer weather and bring your baby for walks. For younger babies, you may want to consider a strap on a baby carrier or sling to keep baby close to you. In inclement weather try locating a mommy and me yoga class or perhaps a workout center that provides onsite child care.
Not only will this help you get some good Vitamin D and exercise, getting some fresh air can help with your mental health too. Even if you are not up for taking a walk yet, just sitting outside is helpful.
In between feedings, have someone else look after your baby so you can get some time to yourself. In the beginning, this could be just sitting outside alone, reading a book, taking a relaxing bath, or even taking a trip by yourself to grab those diapers you need.
As you feel more comfortable take some time to do the things you enjoy. Go out to lunch with friends, go shopping, or get your hair and nails done. You may end up talking about your baby the whole trip and that is okay! Know that you are doing such a great job. You have dedicated your whole self to your children for the entirety of their lives. Don’t feel guilty spending time on yourself. We encourage it!