New Mom Self-Care: Taking Care Of Your Postpartum Mental Health

It's often extremely challenging to even think about self-care when you have a new baby. You are probably hyper focused on your little one, and just trying to get through each day. It can take a while to get used to a major life change like becoming a new mom, and stress is a normal part of that transition.

However, it is crucial that you carve out time to care for yourself. This allows you the time to check in, get some restorative downtime, and recharge. It's also a vital opportunity to self-monitor for symptoms of more serious concerns, like postpartum depression and anxiety (which can be overlooked in the bustle of new-baby life).

Here’s how, and why, to take care of your mental health in the postpartum period:

Take breaks when you can, where you can

I recommend any type of break, even for a few minutes. Here are some quick breaks you can try when baby is with a trusted sitter or your partner:

Make some external changes to alleviate stress, too:

Planning before baby comes is crucial for self-care

The fourth trimester is by far the most challenging phase of new parenting, in my opinion, and it is best not to be blindsided by it!

Of course, having a new baby can also be exhilarating and amazing – but it is ideal to have realistic expectations.

Look into baby nurses, and see which family members and friends are available to come stay with you after the baby is born.

Talk to other new parents who have been through it. Ask them to tell you “the real deal” and what they found most helpful and not helpful. The best advice comes from other parents who are willing to be honest.

Also, try to have all the gear purchased ahead of time so you are not scrambling (although you will also get one thousand gifts!).

Additional resources for self-care as a new parent

I have several excellent resources I would like to recommend for new parents – mostly books. I feel these books saved my life and they will help you too!

These articles may help, too:

Self-care is important for you and your child

I cannot stress enough the importance of self-care for you and for your child. It may not occur to you, but helping yourself is helping your baby. It reduces burnout and makes you a more effective parent.

As they say on airplanes, you must put an oxygen mask on yourself before putting one on your child. This allows you to conserve energy and resources that you can use for parenting for work, other relationships, and – of course – yourself!