What does self-care look like with a newborn?

Self-care is an important part of recovering and healing after childbirth. However, with a brand new person to look after it can often be difficult to achieve.

Often when a new baby is on the scene it can be hard to prioritise yourself, especially when you are existing on very little sleep. I remember the first month with my baby went by in a blur and it was very difficult to incorporate any self-care at all.

In this article, we will give you some excellent ways to incorporate self-care into your routine while you care for your newborn baby. From simple 5-minute moments to establishing a regular self-care routine we will give you some much-needed ideas to best take care of yourself following the birth of your baby.

Newborn baby

1. 5 minute self-care

Sometimes just taking 5 minutes for yourself can make a big difference both mentally and physically. However, with a newborn in the house, 5 minutes to yourself can seem impossible. While your baby is sleeping, try to take 5 minutes to do something you enjoy. This could be enjoying a hot cup of coffee, reading a book, or listening to your favourite music. Those 5 minutes to yourself can make a big difference to how you feel and will be the beginning step in making time for yourself.

2. Meditation

Life with a newborn can be stressful and at times can seem overwhelming, and your head can sometimes feel busy. Taking time to meditate can help to reduce your stress levels and help you feel calmer. I enjoy meditating to seek out moments of calm in my day and there are many different meditation styles with varying time lengths. What's more, you don't have to leave the house to meditate.

3. Take a nap

Let's face it you are likely very sleep-deprived and lack of sleep can affect both your mental and physical ability to cope. A nap absolutely counts as self-care and if your body needs it then everything else can wait. During the first month at home with my baby my husband and I took turns napping or we napped together while our daughter slept. It was a great way to boost our energy and survive through that first month.

Take a nap whenever you can!

4. Get outside

If you are physically able to get outside it can help to clear your mind and carve out time for yourself to reset and rebalance. Ask your partner or a friend/relative to take care of the baby while you take 30 minutes for a walk outside. Making time for yourself during this new phase of your life is crucial to maintaining good physical and mental health. It can also be easier to relax if you’re away from your baby for a short time and aren’t tempted to step in and help.

5. Gentle exercise

Exercise is a great way to release stress and centre the mind and body. It is great for your blood circulation which will help with your recovery. However, be mindful that you have recently given birth. A light stroll or a very gentle yoga class is enough to make a difference in how you feel without pushing your body too hard.

Looking after yourself is vital to being able to properly look after your baby. It may be difficult to incorporate self-care into a seemingly hectic situation with a newborn, however, you will be grateful that you made time for yourself.

The first month with a new baby can be a big adjustment and you will also be recovering from birth so you need to take care of yourself. It is also a good time to check in on your partner, communicate your needs, and work together as a team so you both avoid feeling burnt out by the demands of your sweet newborn.

As time goes on you will be able to make more time for yourself and gently find your own routine and way of including more time for yourself while meeting your baby’s needs.

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