New moms need all the support they can get. Making the transition to first-time motherhood or welcoming a new little one into your life can be overwhelming and all consuming... and then there are those brutal hormones to contend with.
I know from my own personal experience that the early weeks and months postpartum can be daunting, isolating, and confounding. You want to do the best to take care of yourself and your growing family, but, for many, the demons can be real.
Postnatal depression and postpartum support have been in the news a lot lately but there aren’t that many options for new parents (moms mostly) to access support in a relaxed and social way.
That's why we were happy to learn about the Parent Collective, a company striving to make help more readily available to new parents. The Parent Collective's founder, Jessica M. Hill, shared six self-care postpartum tips for new moms.
- Slow Down. Respect that this is a time for healing. Your body has just been and is going through so much, from birth to making milk, and you simply cannot resume your normal pace in those early weeks home with baby. Give yourself permission to let the laundry go or leave the house a mess and simply be with your baby. Better yet, assign those tasks to a willing helper.
- It’s all about the baby. A wise doula once told us your baby is completely unaware that you don’t know what you are doing. They need to be fed, sleep, kept clean, and held. That is it.
- Prepare in advance. Make and freeze meals, load up online grocery delivery orders with easy to prepare foods, staples, and grab and go, protein-rich snacks (Some good ones are nuts, cheese sticks, veggies and hummus, rolled up cold cuts, etc). Also arrange to have help either from family or through hiring. Postpartum doulas are an amazing support for new moms and surprisingly affordable.
- Trust your instinct. You are connected to this baby in a way no one else is. If something feels right but a well-meaning passerby tells you otherwise, trust your instinct not their advice… unless it’s your doctor.
- Be kind to yourself. You are new to this and you will only be able to do so much. Put away the guilt about what you feel you should be doing to achieve super-mom status and just focus on loving your baby and keeping yourself in a positive place. Your baby is going to be more settled if you are content. It’s a virtuous cycle!
- Lean on your friends. Your friends – whether they live near or far, exist in online communities or live in your neighborhood – will be a crucial support in these early weeks and months. They provide a sanity check on everything from illness, loneliness, marital problems, to the run of the mill baby drama. And if they live locally, they can also provide companionship during those sometimes endless and monotonous days with a newborn. Seek them out and make those connections. It will make life so much easier!
This is not a sponsored post. Parent Collective has launched a postpartum support series in CT, NY and NJ. This offering reinforces the 3 goals of the Parent Collective which are to provide: a judgment-free space to learn about how to deliver and care for your baby, a forum for discussion around topics of concern to expectant and new parents, and a social network through participation, gathering playmates for the little ones on the way and of course, that crucial support system that parents so need.