Being a new mom is one of the most wonderful parts of life. As a new mom, you quickly learn that your usual self-care routine is anything but usual. Many new moms often feel like they’ve neglected themselves because the baby’s needs come first. Although you feel exhausted, it’s important to make time to take care of yourself properly. Here are a few tips to help!
1. Say No
Just as important as it is to ask for help, it’s important to learn to say no, too. You don’t have to entertain everyone who wants to visit. If you’re not up for having visitors, it’s okay to say no to their request.
This doesn’t have to include going to the gym or joining a class. Move your body as much as you can by doing yoga, stretching, or taking a walk. Don’t worry – you can take the baby with you; just be sure to dress for the weather. If the weather isn’t cooperating, YouTube has a plethora of videos to get your body moving. Stretching is also an important part of moving your body. Sometimes, a good stretch will invigorate your senses and help you feel more awake.
You might be thinking that getting the proper amount of rest is easier said than done with a new baby, but it doesn’t have to be. Your newborn is going to sleep most of the day so be sure to take a nap, too. Don’t worry – the dishes and the laundry will be there when you wake up. It’s important for new moms to get as much rest as possible to help stave off added stress and illness.
4. Ask for Help
You don’t have to tackle parenting alone. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and don’t be shy about accepting it. Ask your spouse to take care of the baby while you take a shower or go for a walk or ask your mom or mother-in-law to help prepare meals and with laundry.
5. Practice Mindfulness
The art of being present is something many of us struggle with without a newborn. But, it’s important to be in the present and enjoy it. Being mindful also helps us relax. When you’re feeding your baby, be mindful of your breathing and focus only on what you’re doing at that very moment.
Being a new mom is hard work, no doubt about it. Parenting is the hardest but most rewarding job you’ll ever do. It’s important not to lose yourself while you’re taking care of your baby. You’re important, too! If you’re experiencing symptoms of depression, please seek treatment from a psychiatrist.
My name is Amanda Itzkoff, MD. I am a New York City based Psychiatrist and Assistant Professor at Mount Sinai Medical Center.
For additional information, please feel free to email our office at Amanda.Itzkoff@gmail.com.
To schedule an appointment, call our offices at 917-609-4990.