As I mentioned a few posts above, the BEST way to fight or prevent postpartum depression and baby blues to make sure you do not lose yourself. Many women will get lost in the mother role and forget who they were before their baby was born, especially first time moms.
Something that I’ve heard a lot from my patients is that they don’t know where to start with this. They don’t know what’s considered best for “Me time” when they’re feeling lost. So I’ve written out a list here of things to do if you are feeling down and burnt out in your new role as a mom!
- Get enough rest! Something cliché that will never not be true is to sleep when the baby sleeps. Take naps whenever possible and let dad do some of the heavy lifting over night, especially if you’re feeling sleep deprived.
- Exercise as much as you can- even if all that is going for a walk with your baby in a stroller. Being outdoors and walking is great for your sense of wellbeing!
- Eat healthy. This one is hard, especially when you have baby weight and calories burning off with breastfeeding. But try to snack healthy instead of junk food!
- Go back to your hobbies. If you’re lucky and your baby sleeps through the night, you can get some alone time during naps throughout the day. Take this time to go back to a hobby that you used to enjoy like crafting, knitting, sewing, scrapbooking, etc.
- Create a space just for you- your house will be taken over by your baby. Make sure you have a place that can still be just for you. This can be something as simple as your bedroom, a craft table, a desk where you write, or a yoga space. This is your sanctuary and if you are feeling burnt out and the baby won’t stop crying- hand baby to dad and walk away and straight toward your sanctuary.
- Read more! If you can’t escape to a spot, you can at least escape into a book occasionally.
- Take long baths and showers. Something simple like showering everyday can become a new oasis for you. You can take extra long, buy some salts, scrubs, or new body washes. The hot water will soothe your muscles and relaxing scents will help you calm down after a stressful day.
- Buy yourself something that you’ve always wanted and enjoy it!
- Try something new! If you’ve always wanted to play tennis or learn how to paint, do it now! It will add some excitement to your new routine.
- Make sure you and your partner have some alone time. Schedule a weekly standing date, do fun new things for these dates. Reestablishing your intimacy with your partner will be hard, but making them part of your routine will help ease the transition. Remember- you are not just a mom! You’re partner needs you too!
I know these are all so basic and obvious but they need to be said! Every mom needs to know that it’s okay to do things that do not revolve around your new baby. It’s important to take care of yourself so that you can be the best mom you can be.
Always think about what kind of woman you want to be, not just what kind of mom.