by Samantha Carroll
Having a baby is one of the biggest changes a woman can go through in her life. A post-baby world can seem scary and a post-baby body can seem unfamiliar. One way to bring back a sense of wellness and equilibrium is with the following post-baby tips:
In this fast-paced world, we want everything yesterday. Celebrities seem to have a baby one day and then sashay down the red carpet at their pre-baby weight the next. This is not realistic for most women and, more importantly, it is not a healthy approach to recuperation. Give yourself time to heal physically and adjust psychologically.
Instead of running to the gym the first post-baby week, try going for a (short) walk. Gradually build up your stamina and set short-term, realistic expectations for your progress. With time, you’ll reach your goals. There’s no rush.
This is often the hardest tip for new mothers to follow. You’re up all hours of the night, you’re feeding your wee one on demand, and you’re changing upwards of 10 diapers a day. Sure, it’s rewarding, but who has time for a “treat”?
You should try to make that time. Even if it’s a 10 minute bath while the baby is napping for a few moments, or some solitary time with a guilty-pleasure magazine; it makes a big difference. If you work a few simple “treats” into your routine, you’ll start to feel like yourself sooner rather than later.
Sleep (as much as possible)
The biggest cliché there is about parenting, of course, is the sleep deprivation. This is another tip that might sound impossible, but will be well-worth it if you find a way to make it happen. If you can’t follow the old adage “sleep when the baby is sleeping”, don’t be afraid to ask for a nap. Have your partner take the lead for a little while, or recruit a close friend or family member (a lot of loved ones are more than willing to help out with a new baby, but you have to ask).
You might not be able to get the full 7-8 hours a day that you once enjoyed, but even an extra hour here or there can make a big difference to your overall well-being.
Though you’re sure to be busy with your new little girl or guy, don’t forget about the other things or people in your life that you love. If you used to attend a book club once a month, try to make the meetings. If you and your partner have a weekly movie tradition, try to keep it (though you might have to move the session to your leaving room). You won’t be able to do everything exactly the way you used to, but rediscovering old habits and passions can help you cultivate a sense of balance as a new parent.
Last but not least
The most important tip of all for a new parent is to cut yourself some slack! Now, more than ever, moms are expected to be superheroes that raise their children by the book. The vast majority of us mere mortals, however, won’t be able to do everything exactly how we envisioned. This is okay. If you approach your new role with a sense of self-forgiveness, the remaining big changes won’t seem quite so daunting.