As a busy new mum with a small baby to look after it may seem impossible to get that little bit of ‘me-time’. We’ve put together some top tips to nurture and look after YOU!
Looking after a young baby is demanding on the body, mind and spirit, so it is important during these early months for you to give yourself the time to rest and relax. This not only helps with the necessary healing after birth but giving yourself the time to simply relax and ‘be’ with your baby will help with breastfeeding and bonding. Easier said than done, we hear you say but there are some simple techniques that you can integrate into your daily life to help you relax with your baby.
Rest when your baby rests
The first thing is to try to rest or sleep when your baby sleeps. There is a tendency in all of us to want to be superwoman and when baby sleeps instead of resting, we rush around catching up on household chores. Yet the most important chore at the moment is to look after and nurture your baby. By catching up on lost sleep whenever you can, means that you will be able to cope better with the challenges of looking after a little one. Bear in mind as well, that if you choose to have a snooze alongside your baby, then it is the most natural thing in the world for you both and is wonderful for the bonding process.
But what about when baby is awake? Believe it or not, it is possible to actually create a focused relaxation phase with your baby. You will be amazed how your energy levels can influence your baby’s and if you are nice and relaxed you will find your baby is too.
Make relaxation your daily ritual
Helena Bingham is our resident prenatal and postnatal yoga teacher at MamaBabyBliss and she has put together this very simple relaxation exercise for you to try:
1. Find a comfortable spot for you to lie with your baby – make sure the phone is off and you don’t have any distractions.
2. You can now a) place your legs up on a chair so your back is nicely grounded for full support whilst lying or b) place a rolled up blanket or cushion under each knee whilst lying on the floor.
3. Place your baby on your chest or by your side on a comfy blanket. This way, your baby can really pick up on the relaxed energy and relax too. Play some soft music and dim the lights – lighting a candle can also help to set a mood.
4. Now just pay attention to your breathing. Slow your breathing right down and breathe deeply into your belly. Imagine it is like a vase – as you breathe in, your belly expands, as you breathe out your belly comes in. Begin with five breathes and build up to more. Do this exercise as often as you can.
Eat lots but eat well
As well as sleep good nutrition is vital. Because of lack of sleep, your body has to work doubly hard to maintain its energy levels so maintaining the right fuel is critical. Try and eat loads of fruits and vegetables. Small frequent meals are a bonus to keep your energy levels constant. Bigger meals will make you feel heavy and tired. Fresh juices and high-energy snacks are a great help such as dried fruits, seeds and fresh smoothies and yes, it sounds cliché but make sure you drink lots of water and herbal teas. And remember, whatever the celebrity hype, this is not the time to worry about your post-baby weight, so don’t deny yourself a tasty biscuit or delicious piece of chocolate!
Take some time out
Finally, don’t feel guilty about taking some time for you. Indulge in a nice long bath when your partner comes home. Many mums feel guilty spoiling themselves because their partner is going off to work. Well, just remember that looking after the baby you both made is now your job. What’s more it’s difficult, 24/7 and it’s not paid! But let’s face it it’s also the most worthwhile job in the whole wide world so you deserve to really enjoy it – EVERY DAY!