Importance of Self-Care after Baby is Born - Amanda Hilton
Importance of Self-Care after Baby is Born
Amanda Hilton / February 2019

You’ve done all the hard work, right? Your baby is born, he or she is super cute and now you are preparing for cuddles, cooing, constant baby feeds, sleepless nights, dirty diapers and a whole slew of wonderful additions to your parenting life.

Amongst all this chaos, where do you find time to take care of the most important part of this new dyad – YOU?

The old adage “you can’t pour from an empty cup” rings true when considering the fourth trimester. You have just given birth and your little one needs you for EVERYTHING. You are so important to this little human. If you don’t find the time to take care of yourself, how will you be able to take care of your new addition (or other members of your family that rely on your constant attention, cue crying toddler who needs a kiss on his knee because he tripped over the cat).

Self-care during this time does not necessarily mean you need to book a weekend at the spa (although that would be lovely), it can be as simple as sitting quietly and enjoying a hot cup of tea (without having to microwave it four times).

Some other ways to get self-care:
  • Take a walk 
  • Get outside (absorb some vitamin D while you’re out there to ward off PPD) 
  • Have some alone time 
  • Take a shower or bath 
  • Have a hot cup of herbal tea 
  • Eat healthy foods and drink lots of water 
  • Rest/sleep 
  • Talk with friends/family 
  • Try to spend some alone time with your partner 
  • Ask for help with household chores and baby care 
  • Go to a support group for new parents 
  • Light exercise 
  • Meditation 
  • Journaling 

In order to find even an ounce of time to do any of these self-care ideas, you may need to ask for help. This can be difficult for some people because we feel as parents that we can do it all. You can still be an amazing multitasking parent while asking for a bit of help so that you don’t get burnt out.

Taking a few moments each day to ensure you have some self-care can also decrease the risk for postpartum depression. Maybe your partner works 60+ hours a week, your parents or in-laws live in another city or even country, your pre-schooler gave up nap time several months ago making babies nap time not an option for some self-care time, these can all be problematic when you are looking for some help to achieve some YOU time. But, where there is a will, there is a way. The dishes can wait, the laundry can wait, the house does not NEED to be perfectly clean.

Sometimes it is ok to put your baby down in a safe place for a nap and curl up on the couch with your toddler while he checks out a cool colourful book or encourage baby to have some tummy time while you sip on a cup of tea. If you’re not the type to find relaxation in a messy house or with your children at your feet, you can look into a postpartum doula to give you a hand. Postpartum doulas vary in what they do so interview a few till you find one that can support you to the best of your needs. Some postpartum doulas even provide overnight service so you can catch some much needed zzzz’s through the night.

If you are looking for some additional support to help you get the self-care you need, whether it be a hot shower, warm meal, sleep, or getting through the book you started several months ago so you can finally find out what happened to the main character (or maybe start from the beginning because you can’t even remember his name, it has been that long since you’ve picked it up), message or call me and we can arrange a consultation to see if I can help you transition to having this wonderful new addition in your life.