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Congratulation's mama. You're amazing, and you've been though a lot in the last nine months!
While you're busy getting into the swing of being a mum, it's important to remember to take care of yourself and enjoy a little you time. After all, a happy mum means a happy baby.
The time after birth is often referred to as 'The Fourth Trimester' - a transitional period between birth and the 12-week postpartum point. It's during these weeks when your mind and body are recovering that you may feel a little run down and overwhelmed.
We know that selfcare is a huge buzzword right now, and it can seem daunting, but it really doesn't have to be complicated. To help you treat yourself to a little TLC, we've come up with some simple, back-to-basics selfcare pointers to keep you feeling good.
People are bound to want to visit you and your new arrival, and that's lovely, but having lots of people popping in and out of your home can get stressful quickly. Ask visitors to get in touch before they come round, and don't be afraid to politely turn them away if you're feeling overwhelmed. Afterall, this time is for you and your partner to get to know your little one first and foremost.
During this time, relaxed, comfortable clothing is going to be your go-to. Think cosy loungewear and comfy slippers around the house. When you do head out, you're going to want pieces that're gentle on your skin and practical - think things like a feed-friendly wrap dress, a good quality nursing bra, and some super comfy shoes that're easy to slip on and off.
It is so easy to forget to pamper yourself in the same way you pamper your baby! Because of the drop in estrogen that happens after birth, your skin during the postpartum period may feel a little dry. Now's the time to ramp up your moisturising regime - head to toe. Use bath or shower oils if you want to save time, and don't forget to apply plenty of SPF if you're stepping out for a walk with the pram (even if it's cloudy).
"Caring for yourself after giving birth is really hard. When I can, I take a shower in the evening to reset. It's really surprising how something so simple and mundane can become a real task when you have a newborn! I exfoliate to care for my skin, and I like to drink a lot of green juice and eat healthy foods to look after the inside of my body." - Phylicia
In between nappy changes, feeds, bath time and navigating a new sleep routine, it can be hard to find a spare moment. One thing that's so important is hydration. Drinking enough water will help your body recover and supports your metabolism and energy levels. If you're breastfeeding, the hormone oxytocin actually sends signals to your brain to let it know that you're thirsty before you begin to feel dehydrated. Clever right?!
When you eat well you nourish your body and in turn, your body takes care of you. Why not ask your friends and family to rustle up some healthy meals that you can pop in the freezer, that way you won't need to think about cooking every evening! Healthy snacks are also a great way to keep your energy levels up throughout the day.
Getting stuck into a good book while your little one snoozes is a great escapism method. Reading something that isn't about babies or parenting when you're a new mum will ignite your imagination and give you a break from what can feel like a repetitive routine in your new baby bubble. Why not get some reading recommendations from and ask if you can borrow some books from them?
Podcasts are the perfect thing to listen to as you get on with your day. They can make you laugh, teach you something new, or transport you to another place and time. Whatever you're interested in, there's a podcast out there for everyone!
Writing down your thoughts, experiences, and feelings in a dairy when you become a mum is a great way to clear your head and keep track of time. Noting down when your baby first smiles, giggles or rolls over by themselves will help you remember the experience of bringing up baby forever, and it'll be a lovely thing to look back on with your little one when they're older!
You may be a little flustered getting to grips with your baby's routine but getting into one yourself can have huge benefits for your wellbeing. Something as simple as getting out of bed, washing your face, moisturising, brushing your teeth, getting dressed and having a good breakfast means that you're set for whatever the day brings. However, in those early weeks don't fall into the trap of becoming super stressed about routine - everything will fall into place in good time.
Make sure to schedule some time into every day to get moving. Nothing intense! It can be as simple as walking around the block in the fresh air or doing some relaxing stretches. It's proven that moving your body gets feel-good endorphins flowing, which can only be a good thing.
"My body has changed since giving birth in lots of ways, and in terms of self-care, I've been on a bit of a journey. I am breastfeeding, so my boobs are bigger and very tender! I thought that I would have more stretchmarks, but they never came which actually disappointed me a little because I think they're beautiful!
I am trying to get back into a light fitness regime by walking, stretching and doing my pelvic floor exercises. I also try to eat well and keep hydrated. Overall, I really love my postpartum body, and I love being a mum!" - Jessa
Take these transitional months as time to rest up and recover. Remember to grab some precious sleep whenever you can. Don't put pressure on yourself, keep your goals modest, savour every single newborn snuggle, and celebrate the small victories!
Your mental wellbeing is just as important as your physical health. Lots of new mums feel low in the fourth trimester but for some it can be more serious. If you're worried about your mental health at any point, speak to a healthcare professional you trust as soon as you can. You are not a burden!
For some, postpartum is just really tough, I've had friends who have experience depression. Some have sought help, and others haven't, and I can see the difference. So, my advice is to always seek help if you feel low and overwhelmed." - Danielle
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