• Interval Health

5 Ways to Practice Self-Care After Baby


Self-care isn't selfish. It's a necessity! Especially as a parent.

Everything changes when you have a baby. You’re no longer just living for yourself but for your precious bundle of joy. Newborns require a lot of attention, time, effort, and work. You’re probably not getting a lot of sleep, but you might also be avoiding self-care in other ways without realizing it.


While your little one should be your first priority, that doesn’t mean you should ignore taking care of yourself, too. You can’t pour from an empty cup. Without practicing self-care, you’re less likely to be able to give your baby what he or she needs without feeling drained or even a little hopeless. Self-care isn’t selfish. By finding small ways to make it a part of your routine each day, you’ll be a better parent and improve your mental and physical well-being.


With that in mind, let’s check out five ways to practice self-care after having a baby.

1. Rest

It might seem impossible to get the sleep you need after having a baby, but make it a priority. You might have trouble focusing, you’ll feel fatigued, and it could even lower your immunity. Without enough sleep, you could negatively impact your mental and physical health.


Sleep is essential and a great way to care for yourself. If you live with a spouse or partner, establish a sleep schedule with them to get the rest you need. Or, ask a family member or friend to come over for a few hours each day to watch the baby so you can take a nap.

2. Accept Help

Speaking of working with family or friends, don’t be afraid to ask for whatever you need! More often than not, those closest to you are happy to help out with your new responsibilities. Whether you need them to watch your little one for a while, run errands, or just help with household chores, reach out for help. Doing so will keep you from feeling overwhelmed and can combat guilt.

3. Eat Healthily

You might not feel like you have a ton of time to cook healthy meals right now. After having a baby, things like frozen foods and convenience items can quickly become your best friend. While those can work in a pinch, they shouldn’t make up the majority of your diet.


Try to meal prep while your baby naps, or have some healthy snacks on hand that are easy to grab in a hurry. You can also ask others to help out with meals for a while, or consider using a meal subscription service for a few weeks to ensure you’re getting the nutrition you need.

4. Stay Active

It’s important to rest and recover after having a baby. After all, your body has been through a lot! However, once you’re feeling up to it, start incorporating physical activity into your daily routine. You don’t have to join a gym or run five miles every day. Instead, do small things to stay active. Try a 30-minute yoga session each morning to benefit your mind and body while your baby sleeps. Or, take them for an afternoon walk in the stroller. Exercising every day will help boost your mood, give you more energy, and keep your body as healthy as possible to have the strength and stamina to take care of your little one.

5. Connection

Talking to your partner, friends, or family members is always important. Having strong relationships and connecting with others every day is a wonderful form of self-care. It’s just as important to connect with other mothers and women sharing similar experiences. Reach out to other new moms in your area, or join an online support group to meet people dealing with the same ins and outs of motherhood at every stage.

---

If you struggle with any postpartum anxiety or depression, consider connecting with a therapist. Motherhood begins a new journey in life and having a trained professional to help you navigate this new world can be helpful.

Give me a call to set up an appointment, and we can find ways for you to thrive after having a baby.

 

Jennifer Perera is a mom of two boys, a spouse and a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She is also Certified as a Perinatal Mental Health Professional by Postpartum Support International. She has a private practice in Springfield, New Jersey and also sees clients throughout New Jersey via telehealth. Her passion is helping new moms and dads find their joy again in parenthood through individual and couples counseling. She also runs workshops for new parents, teaching them techniques and strategies to help them have a stronger relationship - built to thrive during the parenthood years. Jennifer specializes in working with parents during the prenatal and postpartum periods and those coping with grief or loss issues surrounding pregnancy.