When we are pregnant (especially for the first time) there’s a huge focus on our well-being. Everyone fusses around us, supports and cares for us. They ask us how we’re doing; they report on how well we are looking.
We try to eat the right foods (and do slightly better at avoiding the ‘wrong’ foods). We might do a hypnobirthing course and so discover the wonderful benefits of meditation, deep breathing and relaxing. We might attend pregnancy yoga, book a pregnancy massage, have treatments for those parts of us which are aching.
We take care of ourselves; we are focused on our well-being and it feels great.
And then we are introduced to motherhood.
Suddenly our attention is entirely on this new and beautiful life. Sadly, everyone else’s attention is on them too. Our – and their – focus is purely on the well-being of the baby. Interest is no longer in the well-being of the mumma, it’s like we no longer matter as much as we did. But we do…
This is where society – and we – are getting it wrong.
Having a baby, letting go of the person we once were, getting to know this new version of life and ourselves is hard; it’s a rollercoaster that requires patience, respect and self-care.
When we have a newborn, we start to neglect ourselves at a time when it most important to care for ourselves.
So, let’s look at the things you can do…
Some practical steps to well-being with a newborn
Firstly, set aside a few minutes every day that’s yours. Reflect on areas of your well-being that you want to shift focus on. This could be one or two, or a little of everything.
Take this time to really nurture your needs openly and without judgement. We want to create a safe and positive space for you to explore and reconnect. Remember; you deserve and need this time.
It might help to ask yourself one, some or all of these questions to spark what will fill, energize or benefit you most today:
What can I do today that makes me feel happy?
What can I do that will inspire me?
Who can I reach out to?
What can I do that will help me to feel connected to who I am?
What can I eat that will give me energy?
How can I move my body safely?
Which areas of my life do I need to bring awareness to that need some love?
Recognize the importance of taking time for you. Not only do you benefit (hugely) but your feeling stable, happy and confident will benefit your family (hugely) also.
Other things you can do
Read some positive affirmations, those that resonate with your soul the most
Spend some time listening to podcasts or reading your favorite book
Start to move your body, ease yourself into your favorite exercise and eat foods that make you feel healthy
Open up to others, be vulnerable, honest and ask for help when you need it
Spend time with someone who understands, accepts and loves you
Just five minutes of meditation each day will shape your energy and bring you more peace
Put your favorite music on, drink coffee and rest your eyes
Do whatever used to fill you before getting pregnant as often as you are able; whether that’s writing, drawing, sewing, working out, studying. You’ve changed, but your interests are still important. You and your personal needs are still important.
My suggestion is simply this: Try to do just one thing every day that’s yours. Do not be afraid to ask for help to ensure this happens and do not feel guilty for wanting or needing this.
If we neglect our own self-care it can affect everything. We are just as in need of tenderness, love and support as we were before our bundles were in our arms.
Start as soon as possible. Today..?
Ask for help, change your habits and learn to appreciate and love your new mother-self for she is truly awesome.
Good luck mama, you can do this; you are worth this.