Motherhood

10 Ways To Be Kind to Your {Postpartum} Self

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I am so happy I’m not pregnant right now. (These past 9 months haven’t exactly been a cakewalk.)

But with this truth comes reality…

I am now postpartum.

If you’ve been postpartum before, then you are familiar with that time of transition. Going from the joy and wonder of pregnancy and birth, to the time of healing afterwards.

The squishy belly. The aching you-know-what. Swollen ankels. Aching back. The after birth contractions. The super attractive mesh panties. And the fatigue. The list goes on!

The postpartum stage is rough. As a first-time mom, it can be hard to prepare for this. I surely had no idea what to expect when I gave birth to my son 6 years ago.

Even as a 3rd time mom, this transition is still a little new to me. So when I was at the hospital I thought to myself, “how can I, and how can other women be kind to ourselves as we recover from having a baby?”. I actually wrote the rough draft of this post at the hospital!

One thing that has always bothered me about having a baby is the lack of attention that a mother gets after she births a baby.

Medically, we may be taken care of. But sometimes it feels like no one really sees us. Maybe we even lose sight of ourselves a bit during this time.

But just remember…the baby may be important, but you are important too!

 

10 Ways to be Kind to Your {Postpartum} Self

 

1. Embrace your body, your image of postpartum, no one else’s.

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Women’s bodies are all different. So our post-birth bodies should be no different. Be proud of your body and what it has done for you. Love that squishy belly because it has done some amazing stuff!

 

2. Know yourself.

No one can advocate better for you than yourself. Keep in mind your likes and dislikes. Inform the nurses of your emotions and mental health if you have concerns.

I struggle with anxiety and I struggled with it at the hospital too. I let my nurse know and she helped me through it. And the important part is that she asked how she could help me through it. I had to know what would help best in that moment. (And everything turned out just fine. ☺)

 

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3. Communicate your needs.

Both at the hospital and at home, it can be frusterating to not be able to do things. 

But especially at the hospital, it’s important to communicate with your nurses and let them know your needs. It’s their job to help you and to support you while you heal.

It can be hard to express what you are feeling, not only physically but emotionally. But the better you can communicate, the easier it will be for others to help you.

Trust that others will help care for you and baby while you both adjust to this new phase of life.

 

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4. Let people do things for you.

You are not superwoman and I’ve learned the hard way that it is important to open up to accepting help because doing everything will only wear you out.

While at the hospital, let the nurses take over and help you. It’s important to let them help while you heal, so you can sleep and take care of yourself.

And at home, let a trusted adult help you with the baby. Someone to assist you so you can grab a shower, some food, etc will be a lifesaver. Even big siblings can be great helpers for fetching this and that for you.

No woman can do it all! And rest is more important now than ever.

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5. Do what you can to sleep at the hospital, even though it’s hard.

A hospital setting isn’t really anyone’s idea of a restful environment. I think the most rest I got was after I got my epidural. Then it was all downhill from there.

It can be hard to relax. And then once you finally manage to fall asleep, there is an “interruption”. I struggled a lot with sleep, which is normal. Towards the end of my stay I got a blessed 3 hour stretch of sleep in though. And it was awesome!!

 

7. Eat.

While at the hospital, eat as much of your meals as you can. Protein and other iron-rich foods are good. Eat what you crave. (I loved cheeseburgers and tons of fresh fruit.)

And make a mental note of what you like and crave so you or others can buy and prepare it when you get home.

Also, snacks from home can be a lifesaver! Or just recruit one of your visitors to smuggle you in some treats 😉

 

8. Take a long shower.

Enough said. Baby will be ok in the nursery, feed ’em and send ’em. Those first few showers after birth are glorious.

And find a way to get those showers/baths at home. I’ve found the best time for me is when all the kids are in bed for the night, or in the morning before they wake up. Otherwise, have your significant other, relative or trusted friend help watch baby.

 

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9. Take it easy.

I know, I know. Definite no-brainer right? But it can be hard to do, especially if you were used to being active before.

Take it from someone who overdid it much sooner than she should have. Take it easy. If it is at all possible, let someone else do it. Let someone else go out for diapers. Let someone else take the kids for a walk. Overdoing it will only give you added fatigue and other unwanted issues.

 

9 1/2. Indulge in pampering.

This doesn’t need to be elaborate. Think small. I love lip balm, so I packed some up in a little coin purse to use at the hospital and at home.

Some other ideas are special lotions, a favorite book or a nice cup of tea.

 

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10. Love yourself.

Give yourself grace mama, because you are doing great! Really! Soak up that sweet baby goodness and pat yourself on the back. Because what your body has just done is amazing. And you should be proud!

Rock on, mama. Love that baby & love that body. You are precious and loved!

I ask that you bear with me as I return to blogging. Right now, my goal is 1 post per month as I take on mothering my 3 busy bees 🐝🐝🐝

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10 thoughts on “10 Ways To Be Kind to Your {Postpartum} Self”

  1. Great post! I remember crying when I was postpartum with my first son. I also remember thinking WAY too much emphasis is on prenatal care and labor and delivery and I was thinking I wish I had been more prepared for postpartum pain! I cried so much in the hospital and I remember a nurse walked in and asked me what was wrong and I broke down sobbing and said, “How can I care for a newborn baby when I feel like this?!!!!” Needless to say, I was much more prepared for my second birth.

    Congratulations and take care of yourself!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank-you so much Gail ❤ Having that first baby is such a hard experience, just because it’s so difficult to be prepared for the unknown of birth and postpartum. I know I had no idea what to expect.
      Your experience echoes my own with feelings of sadness and a struggle to adjust while I healed from birth.

      Thank-you for the congrats ❤ I squeeze in self-care here and there, but yes it is essential!

      Liked by 1 person

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