The first few months with your newborn are a magical time, filled with snuggles, coos, and that incredible new-baby scent. However, it’s also a period of exhaustion, emotional swings, and the ever-present question: when will I have time for myself again?  
Here’s the good news: self-care for new moms isn’t selfish, it’s essential. A well-rested, happy momma translates to a happier, healthier baby. So, ditch the guilt and keep reading into our suggested practical strategies to find that sweet spot of balance between caring for your little one and nurturing yourself. 

Nourishing Your Body With Nutritious Food

Healthy eating might not be at the forefront of your mind during those early weeks, but what you put on your plate directly impacts your energy levels and mood. Here’s how to fuel your body without sacrificing precious time: 

Prep Some Food in Advance 

Before your baby arrives, spend some time batch cooking nutritious meals that can be easily reheated throughout the week. Enlist your partner’s help or recruit a friend or family member to assist with cooking and portioning out meals for the freezer. Having a stash of ready-to-go options will save your postpartum self from the stress of figuring out what to eat while juggling a newborn. Don’t forget to stock up on non-perishable snacks like nuts, granola bars, and dried fruit for those moments when you need a quick energy boost but don’t have the time or hands free to prepare a full meal. 

Drink postnatal vitamins 

Pregnancy depletes your body of essential nutrients. Taking postnatal vitamins specifically formulated for new moms can help fill those gaps and ensure you’re getting what you and your baby need. Look for one that includes key nutrients like iron, folate, vitamin D, and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), which is important for brain development. Discuss your options with your doctor to find the best postnatal vitamin for you. 

Delivery is Your Friend 

Don’t underestimate the power of online grocery delivery or takeout. It’s okay to rely on these services occasionally during postpartum period to free up time for other things. 

Accept Help 

Let friends and family bring you healthy meals. A casserole or a big pot of soup can be a lifesaver for a new mom like you, especially during those growth spurts when your baby seems to be eating constantly. 

Getting Enough Sleep Postpartum 

The thing about newborns is that they don’t exactly follow a sleeping schedule. But that doesn’t mean you have to resign yourself to permanent sleep deprivation. Here are some tips to maximize your sleep: 

Nap When Your Baby Naps 

This might seem obvious, but resist the urge to clean, scroll through social media, or tackle that never-ending to do list. Those tasks can wait. When your new baby goes down, close your eyes and rest, even if you can’t quite fall asleep. Resting your body and mind will do wonders for your postpartum recovery and healing. 

Delegate Tasks

If your partner is available, consider nighttime feedings a team effort. This allows you to get a longer stretch of uninterrupted sleep. Likewise, don’t be afraid to delegate daytime tasks. Can your partner handle a diaper change while you grab a 20-minute power nap? Absolutely! 

Exercising for Postpartum Body  

Exercise might seem like a luxury you just don’t have time for, but even small amounts of physical activity can have a big impact for new mothers. Here’s how to incorporate movement into your new routine: 

Go for Stroller Walks 

Take advantage of those daily walks with your baby. Fresh air and sunshine are good for both of you, and the gentle motion can be calming for your little one. Plus, it’s a fantastic way to get some exercise without leaving the house. 

Try Postpartum Workouts 

Once you get the green light from your doctor or healthcare provider, consider fitness classes or gentle postpartum exercises like yoga or Pilates. These can help strengthen your core, improve flexibility, rehabilitate pelvic floor muscles, and boost your mood. 

Prioritizing Your Mental and Emotional Well-being

The emotional changes of postpartum is real. Here are some ways to take care of your mental health and emotional health: 

Connect with Other New Parents

Feeling overwhelmed and isolated during the postpartum is common. To prevent feeling alone, reach out to other new moms through an online community, mommy and me groups, a postpartum support group, or a playdate community. Talking to others who understand what you’re going through can be incredibly validating.  

Perform Mindfulness 

Take a few minutes each day for simple mindfulness exercises. Deep breathing, meditation, or progressive muscle relaxation can help manage stress and anxiety. There are even apps specifically designed for mindfulness practices. 

Don’t Be Afraid to Seek Support and Help

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, anxious, or down, don’t hesitate to reach out to your doctor or a therapist for social support or counseling. Postpartum depression and anxiety are real, and there’s no shame in seeking help. 

The Bottomline

Remember, taking care of yourself isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity. By looking after your nutrition, sleep, movement, emotional well-being and mental wellness, you’ll be much more ready and available to care for your baby and enjoy this precious motherhood time in your life. The more you nurture yourself and practice self-love, the more you’ll have to give to your little one. So, embrace self care, mama.