Whenever people talk about self-care for new moms, it’s often about how to pamper yourself every now and then, ending with a suggestion to spend some time reading a book while you enjoy a warm bath. While it’s helpful to have a little additional downtime every now and then, it’s also important to practice daily self-care.

When you have a newborn, your early days revolve around them and it’s important for new mothers to feel like they haven’t lost their identity in their new role as a mom. Regular self-care helps to improve your physical, mental, and emotional health which makes the transition to motherhood that much easier.

Self-Care Practices for New Mothers to Try

  1.  Wear Comfortable & Flattering Clothes 

Having a baby takes a toll on your body, and while you had nine months to adjust to your changing pregnant body, you don’t get much time to adjust to your postpartum body.

The frustration of seeing others and celebs contributing to “bounce back” body culture can leave us feeling disappointed and frustrated when we cannot manage a similar result. To add to it, your hormones are all over the place which can make you especially critical towards your self-image and self-esteem.

The best way to counter this is to wear clothes that are comfortable and flattering. Instead of trying to squeeze yourself into your pre-pregnancy jeans, invest in postpartum leggings.

You can buy postpartum leggings that have a thick waistband that helps to support your healing stomach muscles.  There are a lot of leggings on the market, so advice from experts and been-there-done-that moms on the best postpartum leggings will let you compare the different styles, fabrics, and prices to make the best choice for your needs.

When you look in the mirror and like what you see, it does wonders for your mood and self-esteem!

  1.  Limit Visitors to Your Home

Newborn babies need a lot of care and turn your sleep schedule upside down. The last thing you need at this point is to run around tidying up for guests. It’s understandable that everyone is eager to meet your baby but this is why you need to set boundaries early on.

Inform your family and friends that you will be limiting visitors for the first few weeks (depending on your doctor’s advice) but that you can have video calls and send pictures to keep them updated. Also, instead of having visitors come over, you can take your little one over to meet immediate family.

This gives them the chance to meet the newest family member while you get to relax, unwind, and talk to adults for a change! It can be prudent to wait for two-three months before extended family and friends visit so that your baby’s immune system is stronger.

  1. Set Aside Time for Relaxation Every Day

The idea of putting aside time to relax may seem absurd since you’re already struggling to keep on top of everything, spending free moments away from your baby trying to catch up on chores, work, or entertaining. However, you have been through a lot in the last few months – physically and mentally and you need to take the time to relax and de-stress every day.

Create a daily schedule and multi-task when possible as this can help you save time. Don’t aim for perfection and delegate household tasks to your spouse or other family members.

Once you get used to your daily relaxation time where you can go for a walk, meditate, get in some form of light physical activity or socialize, you will find it easier to “switch off” from making mental checklists of the things you need to do, and focus on yourself during that time.

  1. Get Emotional Support

Taking care of your mental and emotional health is particularly important during the postpartum period to help reduce your risk of postpartum depression. Recent research shows that emotional support helps to protect postpartum women from clinically significant depressive symptoms and impaired bonding with their babies.

You probably can’t put aside dedicated time for long conversations but instead, you can talk to family members and friends while taking care of your regular everyday chores. You can also invite friends to accompany you when you take your baby out for a walk or to spend some time at the park. If this is not an option for you, you can join an online support group to connect with other new moms.  

  1. Exercise Daily 

Considering how exhausted you feel at the end of the day, you probably think that you get all the exercise you need. However, dedicating even ten or fifteen minutes a day towards exercise will help you build your energy and stamina so that you feel less drained by the end of the day.

Daily exercise will also help to improve your mental health as it releases endorphins – happy hormones that improve mood. Start with a short walk at a moderate pace and gradually increase the intensity and duration of your walks. According to the postpartum exercise guidelines by ACOG (American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists), you should also add 2 sessions of muscle-strengthening exercises like yoga, Pilates, lifting weights, sit-ups, and push-ups per week.

Taking care of yourself after having a baby is a benefit to you and your child. The focus has shifted, and time is important. Take care of yourself with these self-care ideas.

What were your favorite ways to balance your health after having a baby?

Mom kissing newborn baby while he rests his head on her shoulder. Text reads 5 self-care practices for new moms, ideas to fit in relaxation when you have a baby..