Postpartum mental health is especially delicate. Bringing home your sweet new baby is certainly a joyous occasion, but the overwhelming sensation you may feel as the realization sets in that you are fully responsible for this baby can quickly creep up on you.
To avoid as much stress as possible, and instead feel the excitement of your new life as a mother, you have to make yourself a priority just as much as you would your baby. It can be so easy to neglect even your most basic needs while caring for your little one, but in order to have a healthy and enjoyable postpartum experience, you have to find a balance between caring for yourself and your baby at the same time.
To ensure this process is as seamless as possible, we suggest trying out a few of the following tips to simplify the process.
Embrace The “New You”
Your body after giving birth looks and feels so different from how you’ve always known it. It can feel scary or even isolating to not recognize yourself in the mirror, especially postpartum when your hormones are fluctuating and your emotions are at an all-time high. Being that you will need to rely on your body to perform its best now more than ever, the only way you can make that happen is by embracing and appreciating your postpartum body.
Instead of inviting feelings of insecurity and fear surrounding the new appearance of your body, feel gratitude for the miracle it produced and will sustain all on its own. Your body will continue to change and regulate as you adjust to life postpartum.
Too often, women feel the pressure to “snap back” right after giving birth, but this isn’t necessarily possible or healthy for most women. Rather than adding self-hatred to the list of emotions you’re feeling postpartum, accept yourself and find beauty in the fact that your body looks the way it does because you gave birth—that is something to be celebrated, not hated.
Dress For Yourself
If you find yourself struggling to adjust to your new body and create a daily routine, it might be helpful to incorporate some of the things you enjoyed from your life before your baby. For some women, this can include wearing your favorite clothes or expressing yourself through your personal style. If necessary, purchase new clothing that fits your evolved body shape and allows you to feel beautiful and confident every day. You deserve to feel good about how you look after giving birth, and the way you dress can directly impact this.
When you feel ready to venture out of the house, perhaps for a date night or girl’s night out, you may feel unsure of how you should dress for a special occasion that makes you feel comfortable and confident. Alternatively, feel free to wear any item of clothing that makes you feel beautiful. There’s no one way to dress your new postpartum body.
Create Beneficial Routines
Prioritize your morning and evening routines to help you feel like yourself. Rather than rolling out of bed and going about your day, take a few moments to set yourself up for success for the day ahead. Start with a simple yet effective morning routine that allows you to freshen up and put yourself together for the day. From a basic routine of brushing your teeth, washing your face, and combing your hair, to a more elevated one of styling your hair, putting on makeup, and an outfit of your choice, you can make this routine as simple or complex as you like.
The same goes for your nighttime routine. By the end of the day, you probably feel so exhausted that you want to just collapse into bed and sleep. As much as you’d probably like to be able to do this every night, a nighttime routine is imperative to your overall health. Brushing your teeth and removing any makeup can help you wake up feeling cleaner and refreshed each morning. Additionally, giving yourself time to wind down before falling asleep can actually help you get better quality sleep, leaving you feeling much more refreshed the next morning.
Carve Out Time For Self Care
Similar to creating morning and evening routines that benefit you, you should carve out time on a regular basis, whether it be daily or weekly, to do something for yourself that you truly enjoy. If you have the opportunity to practice a hobby or activity without your baby, take advantage of that opportunity. This will allow you to fully engage in whatever you’re doing. Whether you can spend your dedicated self-care time alone or with your baby, taking time to do something you enjoy will be just as beneficial to your mental health and overall wellness.
Navigating your new daily life in the fourth trimester can be tricky. Without properly caring for yourself, you may find that you are struggling to effectively care for your baby. In order to avoid feelings of insecurity and overwhelm during postpartum, look after yourself and make sure that you feel beautiful and confident every day.