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Settling into life as a mother can be tough, especially if it is your first time. Listening to others’ stories is never enough to help you through yours because every mother experiences childbirth differently.
Research shows that mothers generally take four to five months to nail the new baby’s routine.
If you are struggling to get used to this new lifestyle, there are millions of other mothers going through the same thing. ‘How do other moms manage to do it well, then’ you might think to yourself.
We cannot speak for all mothers, but we are sure that self-care will tremendously help! Prioritising your physical and mental health can contribute to your having a smooth postnatal period. How to start doing it?
If you haven’t found one that works for you, here are five things you can do as a part of your self-care routine after childbirth!
1. Get yourself pampered in a massage therapy
Remember how comfy it was when your parents used to carry you as a child when you were a child? Wasn’t it nice being pampered?
Just because you’ve physically outgrown the ‘pick me up, papa’ phase doesn’t mean there is no other way that can give you the same kind of pampered feelings! If that’s what you are looking for, go for a massage. This will allow you to relax fully and may even put you to sleep!
Massage therapists normally use warm oil (whether heated up or naturally contains ingredients with ‘heaty properties’) in a postnatal massage.
Afterwards, a belly binder will be wrapped around your abdomen and hips to help fix your posture and tone up your figure.
2. Enjoy a warm herbal bath
Also, as part of confinement practices for many cultures, taking a herbal bath is something you could look forward to during your early postnatal period!
Even if you are not following a specific set of confinement rules or practices, you can still select several that interest you. After all, these practices have been adhered to by new mothers for a long time!
A warm bath is a therapeutic experience where you can rinse your body with warm, herbal bath water.
There are a lot of instant herbal packages that you could try. Using those, you can simply take out a sachet and boil it whenever you want to bathe.
3. Indulge yourself in the goodness of sweet dessert
Who doesn’t love delightful snacks that can immediately lift your mood? The good news is, even if you are counting calories, you can still have your desserts!
You just have to be careful not to get the ones high in sugar or dairy products if you are lactose intolerant.
To be safe, you can find breastfeeding-friendly confinement recipes for easy-to-make desserts.
You can modify the ingredients to stay within your recommended daily sugar intake. Most of them also require very few ingredients, so you do not have to go out of your way to obtain any hard-to-acquire items.
4. Start a Journal
It can be a short one-line journal to express your feelings and emotions. During the postpartum period, moms often feel out of control, leading to anxiety. Writing down your feelings and emotions is a simple and easy way to emotional release. If you feel frustrated, write it down. Throughout the writing process, you will realise your current emotional state, which is a good way to clear your mind of negative thoughts.
5. Shop ‘til you drop
Don’t worry, you do not have to step outside and head to the mall. Just take out your laptop or phone. Nowadays, everything can be done through the screen!
Studies have proven that shopping can lift your mood, which is why it is called retail therapy.
This unconventional therapy is believed to reduce anxiety and stress while lowering the risk of high blood pressure.
So mothers, shop happily! Fun is fun, but you need to rest your eyes, so be careful not to be glued to the screen for a long time!
6. Give yourself a break
You’ve been and gone through a huge, mentally and physically taxing labour that no one can understand how it feels for you. But you do. You know you deserve more rest.
If you do not feel like doing anything, do nothing. After all, you only owe it to yourself to be kinder and gentler to your body.
Not motivated to do other things than just catching forty winks? Off to bed, you go. This is your time as much as it is your newborn’s.
7. Turn off Devices & Unplug From Social Media
Staying active is a great way to have a refreshing mind, whether it’s hiking up a mountain, jogging in a park, swimming, cycling, cuddling with your kid on the couch, or simply watching a good movie together, are all great ways to get away from the hectic daily life. The most important part of these activities is to switch off your devices and get away from social media. Facebook? Instagram? Anything on these platforms can wait.
While social media can be a good place to gain information, sometimes going out for a walk or staying off it can be much better for your mental health. Not to mention, constantly checking social media and scrolling through your Facebook homepage can be overwhelming, with endless things to keep up with.
You can just talk to your baby – which is adorable and joyful! Take time out of your busy schedules to spend some time on your own and do what you like that won’t have to happen on social media. It can be singing songs, reading a book, or even just talking to another person who’s physically around. As time is always squeezed out, doing something as simple as talking to your baby can positively affect both of you.
8. Spend the Day Sleeping
Sufficient sleep is almost impossible to find in a new parent’s dictionary. The moment when your newborn wakes up, you are going to be wide awake as well. Therefore, grab any chance you can get to sleep throughout the day. At night, don’t wait until the last minute before midnight but try to go to bed earlier.
If you know you will have a busy week, try to rest before or after it. This will help you gain much more energy for the day ahead. In order to give yourself enough time for a full day of rest, you can allow yourself only four hours of sleep and settle your workload first. Therefore, during this rest time, you can recharge your batteries completely, sleep deeper, and easily get your energy back by morning.
At the end of the day, the point is that being a mother does not mean you have to be 100% selfless, despite that being a mother’s instinct.
Make sure you are well taken care of as much as your newborn. That way, your baby can be taken care of even better by yourself. Spend some time on your recovery and get that ‘pamper yourself massage therapy’ you deserve!