New Parent Survival Guide: Tips for Taking Care of Yourself in the Early Days
As a new parent, taking care of yourself is essential for your own well-being and for the well-being of your family. It can be easy to get caught up in the demands of caring for a newborn and neglect your own needs. However, self-care is crucial for the well-being of new parents, and it is essential to make time for self-care in the midst of the many demands of caring for a new baby.
Here are a few tips for how to take care of yourself as a new parent:
Make time for self-care: It can be easy to get caught up in the demands of caring for a newborn and neglect your own needs. However, it's important to make time for self-care activities, such as exercise, getting enough sleep, and finding time to relax. Set aside a few minutes each day to do something just for you, whether it's taking a warm bath, going for a walk, or reading a book.
Establish a routine: Having a routine can help you and your newborn feel more settled and make the transition to life with a newborn easier. Consider establishing a routine for feeding, sleeping, and diaper changes, and be flexible if your baby's needs change.
Get support: As a new parent, you don't have to go it alone. Reach out to friends, family, or a support group for help and guidance. You can also consider hiring a postpartum doula or night nurse to help with overnight newborn care. If you're struggling with sleep deprivation or finding it challenging to manage overnight care for your newborn, hiring a night nurse can be a valuable option. A night nurse can provide support and care for your baby during the nighttime hours, allowing you to get some much-needed rest. This can be particularly beneficial if you're recovering from childbirth or if you're experiencing difficulties with breastfeeding. We'd be happy to help you with this!
Don't be afraid to ask for help: As a new parent, it's okay to ask for help when you need it. Reach out to friends, family, or a support group for help with tasks like cooking, cleaning, or running errands. You can also consider hiring a postpartum doula or night nurse to help with overnight newborn care. Remember, asking for help is not a sign of weakness but a wise decision to ensure that you and your baby receive the support you need. By reaching out to others, you can alleviate some of the stress and responsibilities associated with caring for a newborn, allowing you to focus on bonding with your baby and taking care of yourself.
Take care of your physical health: As a new parent, it's important to prioritize your physical health. This can include getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, and eating a healthy diet. By taking care of your physical health, you can help ensure that you have the energy and vitality you need to care for your newborn. Engaging in physical activity not only helps to keep your body fit but also releases endorphins, which can boost your mood and reduce stress.
Take care of your mental health: Caring for a newborn can be emotionally draining, and it's important to take care of your mental health as well. Make time for activities that help you relax and recharge, and don't be afraid to seek help if you are feeling overwhelmed or struggling with postpartum depression or anxiety.
Enjoy the moment: The first month with a newborn can be a blur, and it's important to take a moment to appreciate the joy and beauty of this special time. Cherish the small moments and don't be afraid to ask for help when you need it.
Most of all, trust yourself and your instincts and enjoy this special time with your newborn!
Erika Steinbauer is a practicing Physician Assistant and the co-founder of Swaddled Newborn Care.