In the days, weeks and months post-partum, it’s important to be kind to yourself, after all you’ve just given birth to a tiny human and that’s no mean feat!
Self-care is not a dirty word. After nine-months of gestation and all the rest, it can take up to a year to recover “physically and emotionally” according to Dr Julie Wray of Salford University.
While it’s natural to prioritise your baby, it’s equally as important to take time for yourself. If this seems an impossibility, or you don’t even know where to begin, here’s six simple self-care tips for mind, body and soul:
Figure out a routine
Forget the baby for a moment, we’re talking about you lady! Having a routine will give you a sense of order and some control at a time when, well… time has no meaning. This might be making an appointment with Loose Women every day, or going to your local coffee shop for a morning pick-me-up. It’s all part of your important self-care routine. Finding some sense of norm will help break up your day and give you something to look forward to. Plus, it helps with adjusting to not ‘working’ every day too.
Getting some Zzzzs
We’ve all heard the saying ‘sleep when baby sleeps’ and we all know the impossibility of achieving it. Instead, figure out what works for you. Some new parents find that they have to be in bed before 11pm to have any chance of normality the next day, while others benefit from a daily 5pm fiesta. Sleep is such an important part of self-care and while it’s naturally going to get a battering, try and aim for at least seven hours if you can.
Shop till you flop
After nine months in the same tired clothes, it’s time to treat yourself. Yes my friend, shopping is self-care!
Clothes are important to help you look and feel your best. At a time when hormones are readjusting and broken sleep affects your equilibrium, it’s prudent to do all you can to give yourself the best shot of feeling good. If that means another dress on the credit card, then so be it.
If it doesn’t send you to sleep, meditation can be a great way to destress and achieve some clarity in postpartum fog.
There’s some great Apps on the market to help you unwind and recalibrate. Even just 15-minutes a day can help you feel better, stronger and more prepared for the day ahead.
Step to it
In the weeks after having a baby, exercise can help you mentally and physically. But it’s important not to overdo-it. This is less about losing baby weight and more about self-care.
That’s why a gentle daily walk is beneficial for new mums. It’s great for enhancing mood and energy levels. Plus, it’s said that exposure to daylight is great for babies too, helping them understand the difference between day and night.
Get your hair done
Many women forgo hair treatments during pregnancy for various reasons. Now’s the perfect time to give yourself that new haircut or colour you’ve been desperately waiting for. It’s a great way to instantly feel better about life and feel 100 times sexier too.