Those first 6 weeks postpartum after having a baby can be emotionally, physically and mentally draining. Here are tips to enable you to recover, heal and allow you a smoother transition into motherhood.
1. What do you love?
Write down at least 5 things you love to do for yourself right now before becoming a mamma. It could be reading, journally, painting, going for coffee with friends, having a bath etc. Write next to each one how it makes you feel after – relaxed, calm, happy, grounded. We can lose ourselves in the journey into motherhood. We are so focused on the baby that we often forget about our well-being during our postpartum period. When you are feeling overwhelmed, anxious, stressed, sleep deprived bring this list back out and create time to do one or all of them! It really does work in resetting your mind and body.
2. Food glorious food!
Stock the cupboard with a few yummy treats that give you a boost of energy. Pair this delicious snack with a nourishing tea. Pop the kettle on, get out your delicious treat and stop and enjoy them both. Use this opportunity to check in with your emotions, hold the warm mug, slowly feel the warm tea seep around your body, taste the treat in your mouth and most importantly breathe.
Start this mindful time now so it becomes routine and you are more likely to keep this up in those first 6 weeks postpartum!
3. It is time to just breathe!
Start now by practicing some deep breathing exercises (square breathing or alternate nostril breathing – these are also great tools to use in labour). When you feel overwhelmed or anxious you will have the confidence to turn to these breathing techniques to slow your mind and body down. The power of the breath is incredible and sometimes all we need is to stop, breath and reset.
4. Grow your village!
It takes a village to raise a mother! So, I am going to ask you to do something hard – start asking for support now. Yes, I know this is almost impossible to do as we want to be seen that we have everything under control. We have also been told that asking for help is a weakness! But it is the opposite, and we need do it more! Your friends are going to start asking if you need anything and when they do simply say yes please! If we can build a village of support around us now, I promise those first 6 weeks postpartum will be so much easier.
5. Calming our body down with self massage!
We massage our babies right –I can almost feel the squidgy arms and legs of my second bub!! Babies relish this loving touch from us, and it is so calming for them and us. Now is a great time to try out self-massage. My favourite is a head massage - our head is full of nerve endings and it is a great way to relax our whole body. Take your fingers tips and in upwards motion gently pinch your scalp. Follow this by stroking your forehead and running your fingertips slowly down your face. So, when you massage your newborn follow it up with a self-massage for you too!