In a culture that nearly obsesses over self-care, we so often overlook the obvious. This post brings us back to the basics of self-care that you should absolutely do postpartum. These may not feel like the indulgent self-care practices we have come to expect when we hear the term self-care, but they are vital. These three postpartum self-care practices are so life-giving, believe me.
You’ve heard the expression, “Sleep when your baby sleeps.” As it turns out, these “older” moms know what they are talking about. You need sleep!
Don’t underestimate the power of sleep.
Taking the time to rest is not a sign of laziness, nor is sleeping a sign of weakness.
Sleeping is a sign that you are loving yourself enough to give your body time to heal.
No, you may never again get that full night of rest, but don’t overlook the life that 30-minute naps can give you!
Give yourself the grace to sleep.
No need to get nervous over the word nutrition. I simply mean to give your body some energy!
I know that your hands are full with your baby, and you don’t have the energy to prepare any fancy meal. The good news is that you don’t have to eat anything fancy. Just eat something! You need the energy.
Please don’t be concerned about the “baby weight” you have right now. You’ll have plenty of time for that later.
For now, your body just needs some fuel.
It doesn’t take much time at all to grab a cheese stick, munch on granola or nuts, or snack on a Luna bar.
And don’t forget to drink lots water! Even if you have fluid retention from your pregnancy…I know that it sounds counter-intuitive, but drinking more water will actually help to wash out all the fluid retention!
Water is so life-giving! You may be surprised at the energy you gain just by keeping your body hydrated. You may want to also consider reading 7 Natural Solutions to Boost Your Energy.
I know it sounds so boring. But please take the time for your personal hygiene.
Did you have anyone tell you, “Let me know if you need anything”? Do it! This is your cue to take them up on it, let them hold the baby, and use those few moments to catch up on your hygiene. I know it can be hard and awkward to ask for help, but don’t let that stop you from taking care of yourself.
Maybe you weren’t fortunate enough to have someone offer their help. Or maybe they aren’t available when it works out for you. Or maybe you are too tired [or insert any other reason] to even ask. Postpartum hygiene is not impossible (even if your postpartum hormones are saying that it is!)
You can set your baby down in a safe place for a little bit so that you can take a few moments to focus on the essentials of caring for yourself.
Consider this as your permission slip: the words of one mom to another.
Sure, you can go with unshaved legs (thank you, yoga pants!), and you may even get away with not washing your hair for a little while (enter: dry shampoo). Maybe you can even let the makeup go for a little while too. You are still beautiful. 😉
Whatever it is that you can do to save a little time in your routine hygiene, by all means, do it. No shame in that. Just please don’t skip the basics of taking a shower and caring for your perineum.
This is for you. This is for your baby. You are not being selfish when you take care of yourself!
Take care of yourself!
You may be disappointed that this is not any kind of bubble-bath or weekend-getaway kind of self-care post. Unfortunately, we don’t get those kinds of luxuries postpartum. (It’s okay though—they are just on “pause” for now and are not permanently removed from your life!)
But I can assure you that this is the truth.
The newborn phase can be crazy hard. Don’t forget to take care of yourself, mama!