Self-Care for You as a Brand New Mom
One of the things I love so much about pregnancy are the physical and emotional changes that in some ways really radically change your world. No matter how sensitive you are to your experience, no matter what constelation of symptoms and transitions you go through, it is most certainly a time that gets your attention. Most commonly we hear the pregnant moms we work with in San Diego comment on the digestive issues, the fatigue and the emotions. I agree its not the most ideal way to spend your time if its a significant amount of discomfort for you, but I always like to bring in the persepctive of all the awesome ways it prepares you and your body for labor and birth.
Most women experience a huge build up to the labor and birth experience. All plans and all eyes are on that finish line and the prize: your baby! But what we often cut short are the plans and experiences of postpartum, after the birth day. Those first few days after baby is born can be pretty rocky. Not only do you have a new tiny human to care for and love, but you have to take care of yourself in a brand new way as well. At best, for most moms this could be a shower at any point in the day (or every other day), 1 hot meal made by someone else, and a nap. It's pretty easy to get back to basics during these first few days, it is literally all you have the time or energy for.
At My San Diego Doula and Placenta, we think a little postpartum planning before you have the baby can go a long way for you into recover from birth and learning the lifestyle of mothering an infant. Although we can safely bet that your basic needs will get met somehow, someway- we want to help you maximize those and even take in a little extra. Afterall, this is your baby's birth and it's a precious time that will fly by all too quickly and deserves to be savored and enjoyed.
Before your baby is born consider the necessities: How will you eat? How will you get a break every day for your own basic hygiene? How will you get enough rest? For food it can be helpful to make a freeze meals ahead of time during pregnancy, ask a friend or family member to start a Meal Train for you, or at the least talk to your family and partner about what the best plan is for continuing the with the eating habits you are used to. Nursing moms still need lots of good nutrition, frequent meals, and plenty of hydration.
How long will your partner be able to stay home with you after the birth? If it is less than 3-4 weeks you may want to talk about how you will get a little help the first few weeks. Having someone come and help you move the laundry, take out the trash and hold the baby so you can take a quick shower can be extremely helpful. Decide ahead of time what will work best for you both to get enough sleep. Maybe you will take turns with naps during the day, or maybe organize some help to come and rock baby while you catch a few extra Z's. Some parents don't find themselves to be nappers at all in pre-baby life and have to get extra creative for sleep. Either way that works best for you, thinking about this ahead of time can save you the rest-deprived headache in the moment- no one is thinking clearly after many days and nights of breastfeeding and baby care cycles.
Strongly considering Placenta Encapsulation services is another way to safe guard your postpartum experience. Consuming the placenta after your birth has been shown to help boost nutrituve stores in new moms, help them to feel better rested, balance emotions and help boost milk supply. Now who couldn't use all that from their newborn experience?? There are many ways to consume your placenta, it doent have to be just pills; we also offer smoothies, loose powder, and tincture form. Each of these personalized products do something a little different for the brand new mom.
Finally, as you look forward into your postpartum planning, think of the things that you naturally do in your life to build yourself up and fill up your cup before baby.
Mothering is extremly rewarding but gosh, it sure does take a lot out of you! Have a plan for getting back to some of your most treasured activities; date nights, recreation, socializing, creative outlets. As your baby gets older you will find that there is room for that quick treat of a massage here, dinner out there, or even just a baby-free bubble bath to relax and unwind and connect to your individual self again.
Have some ideas for self-care that worked for you? Share with us on facebook! We are always looking for feedback to share with the community of moms we work with in San Diego.
Tiffany Alblinger is a mom, doula and placenta encapsulation specialist who has long been writing informative articles on women's health surrounding the childbirth year. She serves all of San Diego, but provides the most rapid placenta encapsulation service to the Encinitas, Carlsbad, Poway and Solana Beach areas. Contact her about placenta encapsulation today!