SELF CARE

Your Postpartum Health: Caring for You While You Care for Baby

It may feel like a challenge but in the first few weeks after giving birth, the very best way to care for yourself (and let your partner and family care for you) is to give you space to sleep, rest, recover, adjust, bond, snuggle and generally take it easy. Listen to podcasts, read a book or catch up on Bridgerton. Leave the laundry. Leave your email. It’s not going anywhere.

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As a culture, we place so much emphasis on doing things  that it’s really important to remember that recovering from childbirth while feeding and caring for a newborn (and maybe other children) is doing more than enough. In fact, a month-or-so-long period of staying in and being cared for is the norm in many cultures around the world. In Hispanic cultures, it’s known as la cuarentena  (literally “the quarantine”). In China, “sitting the month” is intended to restore balance of yin and yang to your postpartum body and while some of its practices, like not showering or using air conditioning, may not suit you, surely we could learn a thing or two about taking time to rest and heal.

Recruit Helpers

Or better yet, let your partner recruit them! Make sure anyone who comes to visit your new baby doesn’t come empty handed. Simply showing up with a few packages of baby wipes can save you or your partner a trip to the store. A small task for them but a big help to you!

Let friends bring food for you and your family or, even better, let a trusted friend or family member set up a meal train for you. Especially if you’re breastfeeding, you're gonna be hungry, like really really hungry.

Recruit your tidiest friend and to help with the housework. Even if you have the world’s best hubby or partner to take care of this stuff, they will likely be exhausted too. Having a friend help or take over household chores is a great way to stay in, keep chilling and not let the dishes pile up.

BONUS: 

you have a cute little baby to show off which should
help entice your friend to come often! 

LOSE THE LONLINESS

Those first few weeks can be very isolating and lonely. When you feel ready to get out of the house, the world is at your feet, provided there’s adequate stroller access. If yoga’s your thing, find out if your local shavasana spot hosts a mommy and me postnatal yoga class. Music? Check out a mommy and me class geared toward music. 

Even chatting with other moms at the mall, the grocery store or the playground will help you feel less isolated, so don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation! Chances are that mom would love to have someone to hang out with for park playdates or a gentle stroller walk. 

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RETURN TO YOU

It’s hard to find moments when you feel like the old you, the you before you were living in sweats and scarfing down meals with one hand. Give yourself permission to go out sans baby. A walk, massage, pedicure or even solo errands can do wonders for your sanity. Ready for the next level? Try a local date night to reconnect with your partner, have some sushi and a glass of wine, you deserve it!

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Article by: Jessica Kivnik

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