One can never truly prepare you for what the transition to motherhood is going to be like. And after 9 months of full attention and preparation on how to care for baby, we sometimes forget how important it is to care for the new mom who has now turned all of her focus on her newborn.
As a new mom, your ultimate responsibility is to attend to your baby’s every need, but taking some time to yourself, no matter how small, for some pampering will only make you a happier and confident parent.
Short little naps between feeds (or non at all), forgetting to shower, or having dry hands from washing bottles all day are all part of the new-mom joys. You deserve some special attention to remind yourself that you are still you.
Sometimes, little pleasures, like a manicure or pedicure, or both, can make you feel like a new woman. When someone asks if there’s anything they can do to help, have them babysit for an hour and get your hair done or book a visit to your massage therapist. A gift certificate to a spa for either you or you and your partner will not only help you recharge and reconnect, it will you give you the permission to nurture yourself.
As a birth doula, I often tell my clients how important breathing, relaxation and focusing within will help to progress in labour. These same techniques are also great preparation for life as a tired new parent. Although, you won’t be going through the same intensities of labour, taking the time to stop, take a deep breath, do something that allows you to relax, and enjoy some guilt-free “me” time and unwind, can prevent postpartum burn-out.
So go and get your nails done, have a massage, practice hot yoga, blow out your hair, whatever you choose to do to pamper yourself, always remember that your baby is happy to have such a loving parent and you deserve it.