Diabetes - 7 weeks postpartum | me with baby JJ https://oddhogg.com

Tips For Looking After Yourself After Having A Baby | AD

The newborn bubble is meant to be wonderful. You can sit back and enjoy time with your new baby, have all the cuddles you could possibly need and show off your new perfect little family.

While it is wonderful, the newborn stage is also hard. Really, really hard. You are sleep deprived, working out how to breastfeed and have a constant stream of visitors when you really just want to rest. Your baby is your number 1 priority – but what about you?

When my eldest son was born he spent time in the neonatal unit. I was discharged from hospital and had to go home without him, so I spent 8 days at his bedside willing him to gain weight, learn to feed so we could remove his feeding tube and be strong enough to come home. I woke through the night to express, I phone the unit as soon as I woke at 6am to see how he had been overnight. It was easy to completely forgot about myself, and my diabetes and general health suffered as a result.

When JJ was born I spent 7 days with him in hospital. It was extremely frustrating at the time as I really wanted to get home and be with Piglet and JHogg again. In hindsight though, it was the best thing for me – not just for JJ. It forced me to slow down, limit visitors and look after myself a bit. JHogg could visit, bringing food from home and little treats to lift my mood.

Mother holding her newborn baby close to her face
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Lots of women are on the look out of postnatal depression and when they don’t see any of sign of it they forget to look after their general wellbeing. It’s important for all new parents to check in on their wellbeing and mental health regularly – because a happy mum makes a happy baby!

Tips For Self Care As A New Parent

Accept Help

I cannot stress this enough. I didn’t want to be seen not to cope and insisted on doing everything myself. Nobody thinks that way though, so take all the help that is offered. Let someone cook you dinner, handle your laundry or just make you a cup of tea. They are offering because they want to help – so let them!

This goes for your partner too. If they want to hold the baby while you have a bath or have a nap then let them. It’s good for you to rest and it’s a chance to bond with their new baby too.

Acknowledge The Little Wins

Some days it can feel like nothing has gone right. The laundry isn’t done, you have baby sick in your hair and no fresh veg in for dinner. It can feel overwhelming, but think back and think of things that DID go right. Did baby have a nice long nap while you cuddled her? Did you have a good catch up with your mum when she popped in to see you? Was there a cute moment between your baby and their big brother or sister?

Looking for the positive in each day can keep the overwhelm at bay. Chores can wait till tomorrow.

A mum breastfeeding her newborn
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Get Some Exercise

No one expects you to start jogging 10k before breakfast with a newborn – it’s just unrealistic. But moving your body with some light postnatal exercise is proven to be good for your health, both mental and physical.

Once you are out of the heady new-born days you may want to look for a mummy and me exercise class. There are lots of baby yoga classes out there, and even some mummy fitness classes. In these classes you take your baby with you, so you don’t have to worry about spending time away from them. It’s also a great way to find a few new mum friends too.

Fresh Air

We are really lucky to live next to a park so I often take the boys out for a walk to see the ducks, and once they got older we started using the swings too. Feeling cooped up inside isn’t good for anyone, and if you feel unable to get out by your self then call a friend to keep you company and be an extra pair of hands.

Join A Group

But don’t over commit! It is great to get out and meet people who are going through the same things as you, but you don’t have to commit to an activity every day. Lazy days are ok too!

My favourite groups are ones with a purpose. We love swimming, music classes and gymnastics best. I found them less intimidating than a general baby group as you were there to do something, rather than just be expected to chat. The friendships flowed more naturally in those groups, and some of them I have been going to for years now.

Know You’re Doing A Great Job

No matter what you see on social media, no body finds being a parent easy all the time. There are good days and bad days, but you are always doing a great job. Struggling to master feeding or wishing your baby would sleep for more than 15 minutes at a time doesn’t make you a bad mum – it makes you human.

Seeking Help

If you’re not sure if what you’re feeling is normal then check out Emma’s Diary’s guide to postnatal depression. It has more information on what it may look like for different people and how to go about seeking help to get you on the right path to feeling yourself again.

A woman with blonde hair, glasses and type 1 diabates is standing in front of a blue geometric wall
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This post was sponsored by Emma’s Diary

30 thoughts on “Tips For Looking After Yourself After Having A Baby | AD”

  1. Talk to your Health Visitor – they have some really good advice and can put you in contact with with other new mums and new baby groups that are best for you and baby and local to you

  2. These are some really good tips. For me it was getting fresh air, exercise and having people around me that helped when I was feeling a little down. And chatting on WhatsApp!

  3. Some great advice here. My sister took up running after having her baby and she found it not only really benefited here physically but having that time away and to think your own things on the run really helped her.

  4. Take time to breathe and enjoy the little moments of joy with baby and with family members and friends. Never be afraid to ask for help, you will be surprised at how much friends and family love and support you. Finally, don’t put too much pressure on yourself!

  5. Melanie williams

    This is great…so easy to slip into baby mode and forget about self. Joining a group is a great idea xx

  6. Our little girl is due in 4 weeks, so loving these postpartum tips! And I’m sure these spa treatments would be so healing for a post-partum body!
    The one thing I’m going to try and stick to is having a hot shower every morning, and getting some fresh air every day, even if it’s just for 5 or 10 minutes. So important in keeping your mind fresh and active.

  7. Keep in touch with people from your ante natal group or join a new mums group so have people to talk to and meet up with babies and don’t feel lonely

  8. I would say that it is ok to ask for help, and advise – most of all, it is ok to have some time for yourself, even if it is just a walk or a bath x

  9. Doing something that is inventive or creative from making a nice dish to arranging flowers to sketching is most helpful to me as a moment to get my bearings. Don’t get me wrong, I love being a parent but making something, however small, keeps me centered: at least, it works for me.

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