Self-care: Looking after your mental & physical wellbeing

What is self-care?

It is difficult being a new mother and thinking about what your needs may be, especially if you have other children to care for.

Some of us are used to booking into a salon, receiving a massage and enjoying being pampered. Some enjoy the gym and exercise and some of us love to indulge in coffee and cake with our friends. Being a new mother requires far more basic self-care.

New mothers require time, this may not sound like a lot, but it is the most difficult thing to obtain.

Time to bathe, a small lie-in, a quiet cup of tea.... perhaps most precious of all, time alone on the toilet.

In our society today, it has been made into funny memes and youtube songs, but the reality is, lack of time is detrimental to a mother's mental health.

Be kind to yourself and schedule time into your routine.

The pressure to get back into your jeans can wait, your friends will still meet for coffee and cake, and some dry shampoo and a ponytail won't do any harm.

How to care for yourself

  • Accept help: this can be difficult to do if you are independent or like your private space, but getting home help support from your family, friends for a short period could give you that boost that is needed.
  • Plan:  before you give birth ask friends and family to cook meals and help with the housework.
  • Relax:  do not rush getting into a routine, give yourself and your baby time to get to know each other. Besides babies routines tend to change, adapt your routine to their changing pattern.
  • Give yourself TIME: schedule regular time slots in for you. Make it clear to whoever is supporting you that you need undisturbed time, time to exercise, shop or just 15 minutes in another room with a cup of tea.
  • Organise:  It can be very difficult to organise yourself to begin with, but simple meal plans & lists can alleviate a mental load and help manage your time better, and also gives visitors an idea of what needs to be done.
  • single parent:  time is more difficult to obtain when you are alone, so do what makes your life easier. Babies don't always have to be popped in the cot when they fall asleep during the day, let them sleep where they lie. Hearing their mum potter about can be like white noise to an infant.