Congratulations, mama! Your days of discomfort have finally paid off now that you have your bundle of joy in your arms. From baby-proofing your home to buying diapers, it’s been a never-ending rollercoaster of emotions preparing for your baby. However, motherhood, as we know, presents new challenges.
Although every woman experiences the postpartum phase differently, many new mamas experience a euphoria of feelings, especially burnout. The good news is, with adequate self-care, having a baby does not have to affect your quality of life, and these five tips are a great place to start.
1. Permit yourself to have minutes of unapologetic “me-time” every day.
It’s understandable that, as a mother, you want to be present for your child at every waking moment, but this only leads to exhaustion. While having a child can bring changes to your life, they shouldn’t stop you from caring for your mental and physical health.
So, spare a few minutes of each day to shop online and do something else you enjoy. You can buy yourself a new silver necklace or pendant, some high-quality lotion, or a pair of new shoes. Buying yourself something nice, like a necklace or earrings, will make you feel special. Other fun activities include walking the dog, soaking your feet while reading a book, and listening to soft, relaxing music. Whenever your partner, family member, or babysitter takes over entertaining, feeding, and changing the baby’s diapers, you should try to catch up on some sleep or take the time out to reflect and journal your thoughts.
2. Be patient with your body.
Along with your emotions, your body also changes after birth. You’ll particularly notice changes in your hormones, menstrual cycle, and vaginal area. Just as these changes didn’t happen overnight, your body will not revert to normal immediately after your delivery.
The best thing is to be patient and equip yourself with methods to ease the recovery process. You can ask your gynecologist or healthcare provider to recommend supplements that use FDA-approved superior supplement manufacturing methods.
Also, hopping back into regular activity may not go as smoothly as you may have hoped, and that’s fine. Many women experience a genitourinary syndrome of menopause which refers to symptoms that menopausal women experience during menopause, but felt by women after giving birth.
A common symptom is vulvovaginal atrophy, also known as atrophic vaginitis or vaginal atrophy. This makes you experience symptoms of vaginal dryness and can lead to painful intercourse as a result of low estrogen levels, especially as a breastfeeding mom. Fortunately, with the use of a dietary supplement and other vaginal dryness treatment options like estrogen therapy, your life doesn’t have to come to a complete halt.
A good example of these supplements is Osphena, an estrogen supplement that improves vaginal moisture, arousal, and overall vaginal health to help make intercourse enjoyable. It can come as a capsule, tablet, gummies, or softgel, although side effects may include hot flashes and vaginal discharge. Additionally, you may want to avoid irritants like latex condoms (if you’re allergic to latex) and use Astroglide or any other latex-free vaginal lubricants.
3. Make comfort a priority when choosing your clothing.
As a postpartum mama, you’re already going through so much emotionally and physically. The last thing you want is an uncomfortable fit for any of your clothes. It’s not surprising that many first-time moms focus more on shopping for the best maternity underwear than they do for postpartum underwear. This is because they never fully grasp or know what to expect after birth.
You see, shopping for postpartum clothes is different from maternity clothes shopping. There are many things to consider because your body is healing, and you are nursing a child. For these reasons, you’ll want a comfortable fit that provides belly support suitable for c-section recovery.
You don’t want to skimp on supportive bras and pants. First, remember that you may still have a noticeable baby bump, but this will go down over time. You’ll need a low-rise pant made with a soft, stretchy spandex blend that can easily adjust to all the stages of your beautiful bump.
Panties made of a soft spandex blend can also be worn through different pregnancy stages, from the first trimester to the third trimester. Plus, you can still use maternity panties during subsequent pregnancies. Another essential item to consider includes a loose-fitting dress with front buttons that makes breastfeeding easy and makes room for your beautiful baby bump. Also, opt for elastic leggings that give tummy support or low-rise jeans.
4. Assemble your village.
Dear super mom, don’t resist the need to ask for help. After all, it takes a village to raise a child. It’s a good idea to welcome as much support as you can get, as this will enable you to have more time for yourself and relieve you of undue stress. Raising a child isn’t easy, so take advantage of all the family members and friends clamoring around to meet your baby and ask them for help. Many of them will be happy to exchange their time for a few baby snuggles.
This doesn’t have to be daily, or at night—even though we know you need some sleep. It could be any time of the day and at any frequency; regardless, every little help goes a long way for new moms.
The point is, asking for help doesn’t make you any less of a mom. Instead, it gives you ample time to recover the much-lost strength needed to be the best mom for your baby. So, call on your friends and family for support. If you don’t have any member of your support circle nearby, consider outsourcing. You can hire a babysitter or a postpartum doula to assist with childcare.
5. Schedule a therapy session.
After childbirth, it isn’t usual to not feel like yourself on some days. Perhaps you can’t stand the baby crying, you can’t stop crying yourself, you have trouble eating and sleeping, your emotions are all over the place, and you feel lost without a clue how to hold things together.
All these things are normal, and they should fade away within a couple of days as you adjust to your new routine. However, if things seem to be getting progressively worse, you should schedule therapy. For starters, about one in every ten women experience postpartum depression or anxiety. When you visit a therapist, they can help you gain insight into yourself and teach you how to practice self-care.
There are online therapists for moms who don’t have the luxury of time, and their sessions are just as effective in helping your mind navigate through motherhood successfully.