Taking care of a newborn has always been difficult, especially among first-time parents who may rely only on pieces of advice that they receive from parents and in-laws. Time for yourself is totally non-existent when taking care of a baby whose routines are yet to be established. In the first few hours, you may be excited waiting for the baby to come out. That excitement will fade and will be replaced with work and utmost attention that you and your spouse should give the baby all the time.
Despite these trying times, you have to steal even the shortest time for yourself and practice the self-care that your body needs. Here are some self-care ideas that may work for you:
This is the time when your body needs the most fuel and nutrients for you and your baby. Good nutrition is crucial to breastfeeding moms who need a balanced, healthy diet. What is a healthy diet, then? The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services encouraged moms to eat food from these five groups: grains, vegetables, fruits, dairy, and protein. Moms should also include healthy oils such as nut oils in their diet. This is not the time to diet and lose weight yet. Doing so may only result in rapid weight loss and may weaken your baby.
Support your body’s immune system with vitamins and minerals
Both parents taking care of a newborn should take vitamins every day. Sometimes, we are too busy to include a representative from the five food groups. Some of them may not also be available in our community or a particular season. A daily multivitamin will fill in the nutrients that your body lacks.
A magnesium supplement is a good supplement for managing stress levels. It is also good for managing anxiety. If you or your spouse has difficulty swallowing pills, consider multivitamins in gummy form or those that can be mixed into a drink.
Meditate and let your stress go away
The stress that resulted from a lack of sleep, exercise, or social life may take a toll on your mental well-being. Meditation is a relaxing breathing exercise that can help you feel rejuvenated. If you have not tried meditating before, consider using apps, websites, and audio files that contain steps on how to relax your mind and breathe properly.
You may also want to try mindfulness practice that can help mothers cope with postpartum depression. Being a new parent may be exhausting as you are hypervigilant and watchful to attend to your body’s needs. With the right diet and lots of family support, mindfulness can be an effective postpartum depression treatment to get through the phase of raising a newborn.
Take time to be with nature
Nature heals the tired soul. Despite having a baby, you should spend some time in nature. A stroll in the park, hiking with your partner, and tending a garden are great forms of exercise that contribute to your psychological well-being.
Staying close to nature can be effortless sometimes. Being in a room with natural light and a window that lends an ample view of the greenery outside is one way to experience nature’s healing powers. You can also bring indoor plants into the room to invite positive vibes.
Make an effort to reignite your social life
Keeping a social circle is part of self-care. You may have spent lots of time for your baby in the first few months, but consider seeing your friends and family members again when raising the newborn is manageable. A quick dinner with friends at your favorite restaurant will make you feel at home again and loved. Golfing with friends or keeping in touch with fellow parents would also be a great diversion from your usual routine.
Raising a newborn is a long journey. Thus, you should take each day as gracefully as possible. Get as much sleep as you can. Talk to your spouse and praise each other for the work done. You can also agree to take turns on resting time and taking some time out for socializing with others. As the other is busy feeding the baby, maybe you can spend your time wisely by taking a nap or relaxing.
Moreover, consider asking help from in-laws so that you and your spouse can have time for each other. A part-time helper would also be a great help to relieve the burden of looking after your newborn. To avoid missing out on your baby’s needs, consider keeping a checklist and updating it once you have finished doing a task or purchasing the baby’s stuff.