I meet a lot of new mums in my job as a newborn photographer in Shropshire and I like to think my newborn sessions provide a relaxing time for them, which got me thinking about self care tips for new mums.
Whether it’s your first, second or third baby, you’re still a new mum – each baby is new to you and a different experience. As a mum of two myself, I know that you can feel shocked, on a high, like superwoman or downright terrible after you’ve just had a baby. And with hormones all over the place, a total change to your life and perhaps a major lack of sleep, the old you and time for you might seem to start slipping away.
Self-care for mums is as vitally important as looking after your baby – it starts and ends with you and if you aren’t well and happy, how can you spread yourself round everyone else?! Yes, your baby needs constant love, care and attention, but please don’t forget yourself. Here are just a few self-care tips to help you keep on top of everything and feeling your best.
Sleep when your baby sleeps
You will have heard this – don’t try to be strong about it and get all the jobs done. You are on maternity leave for a reason so you can nap whenever you need! Being a mum is tough and it can take months for your body to recover from childbirth, so, rest when you can and DO NOT feel guilty about those cuddly snoozy moments with your baby. You both deserve them!
Find ten minutes every day to yourself
It doesn’t sound much, but it’s so important to get some uninterrupted time in every day. This doesn’t include checking your phone when you’re feeding the baby. I used to bath with the baby and then my husband would take her and dress and play with her and I would lie in the bath alone for ten minutes. Think, relax, listen your favourite song, wash and pamper alone – whatever works for you. Just find that time to destress away from it all.
Ask for help and accept help
Believe it or not, we aren’t supposed to live or cope in isolation. You have created life and a family for a reason. Being around people helps, if someone offers to help you mind the baby, get the shopping, tidy up or cook you a meal – take it. They wouldn’t offer if they didn’t want to help. When you are able you probably help people all the time, now it’s your turn. It takes a village to raise a child!
Don’t let mum guilt run away with you
Mums can give themselves a really hard time. Don’t! You’re incredible! You really are doing the hardest job in the world. At times it’s amazing and at times it’s overwhelming. When it starts to feel like that, put yourself first for a bit and don’t feel guilty about it. Get the guilt in check and everything starts falling into place.
When mums come to my newborn photography sessions in Shropshire, they can totally relax in my studio for a while. Read, sleep, drink coffee, eat biscuits, even take some fresh air outside. I will take care of the baby, safely posing him and capturing some beautiful moments and memories. This is the perfect time for you to practice some self-care – sleep when your baby sleeps, have ten minutes to yourself, accept the help and do it all guilt free!