Moms Be Good To Yourself

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When you first become a mum, life changes forever. Your baby becomes top priority and it’s all too easy to forget about yourself. But your child needs ahealthy, happy you. If your look after yourself too, both you and your family will benefit. We asked experts and mums the best ways you can be good to yourself.

Rest is best
Take care of yourself physically by getting plenty of rest. As much as possible, absolve yourself of all responsibilities other than feeding your baby. “Having not rested after the birth of my first child and suffering for it, I was determined to recuperate after my second baby,. My grandmother had four children and said her midwife looked after her and her baby for the first ten days. I set ten days as my target and didn’t go out of the house during that time, returned to bed as much as possible and limited visitors. This enabled me to recuperate sufficiently before my partner returned to work.

Try to carve out a few minutes of time for yourself each day. When you can, take time to have a bath before bed. Not only will relaxing allow you to recover, it may also help boost your milk supply.

Try this relaxation technique,

Sit somewhere comfortable and close out-breath and how your body has its own natural rhythm. After a few breaths, the next time you breathe out, make this breath longer than the one before. Repeat this over the next three out-breaths, so your out-breath becomes slightly longer each time. Maintain this breathing rhythm for a few minutes, with closed eyes. When you feel ready, slowly open your eyes and bring your attention back to your surroundings.

Also consider treating yourself to a postnatal massage, which has many benefits. “It can play a vital role in a new mum’s recovery, Not only does it ease tension in the entire body, it also restores energy levels and helps the abdomen to return to its pre-pregnancy condition. Mums can have the massage on their own, or with their little one to learn baby massage techniques to enhance bonding.

Form a support system
Having a new baby can be isolating. Join baby groups at your local library or church so you have other new parents to talk to, and make a point of talking to them at least once a week. Have family or friends help, so you can delegate the household responsibilities.You can then concentrate on the needs of your child, rather than the laundry.

If this isn’t possible, look into hiring a cleaner. Knowing someone is coming to keep on top of the chores, even just once a week, will take away a lot of worry. Accepting help is especially important if you’re recovering from a c-section. as this is was much worse than from a vaginal birth. In hospital and at home I felt bad asking the midwives and my husband to do things for me, but I soon realised they were all there to help.

Get moving
Some days with a new baby can feel long, so try breaking them up with light exercise. Going for a daily short walk, whatever the weather, will prevent cabin fever and provide a chance to meet new people. Fresh air should help lift your mood and your baby’s, too.

Before I had children I enjoyed running and completed the local Marathon, but for the past five years tiredness seems to have dominated! Going for a run was unthinkable,. Then my husband signed me up for a 10km run for my birthday. He wanted to get me back into something I enjoyed that was just for me. I actually had more energy after my runs than before. Going out in the fresh air, headphones on, was so energising! I recently completed the 10km race in a respectable time and am determined to keep running.

Be realistic
No one can do it all, let alone do it perfectly. Work toward achievable goals, whether dealing with feelings, exhaustion, housework or losing your pre-baby weight.

Lower your expectations.
Accepting that caring for my baby was a 24/7 endeavour allowed me to worry less about the housework or excursions not taken. Choosing days to be at home with no plans has given us the mental space to enjoy the days out more.

Listen to your emotions
Focus on your positive feelings. Look for things that make you feel good. Try to laugh daily, watch your favourite TV show or have your favourite meal. Similarly, act upon any negative feelings. It’s normal to feel bad sometimes when you are a new mum. Mood changes, irritability and tearfulness are common after giving birth. However, if negative feelings increase as time passes, you could be suffering from postnatal depression, which is often not apparent until around six months after having a baby.

Symptoms can include a persistent low mood, feeling unable to cope, and difficulty sleeping. Be honest and open about your feelings with family, friends and professionals and answer any mood assessments honestly. Seek help from your health visitor or GP and support from your family and friends

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