Self Care is everywhere right now, and it sometimes gets a bad rap. Often painted as indulgent experiences, postpartum self care is actually creating space to take care of you. But when you're only a few days, weeks, or months postpartum, self care can feel impossible. However, postpartum self care is crucial to your wellbeing, especially as a new mom or a new parent.
Let’s paint a picture: you’re a first time mom, freshly postpartum, haven’t had time for a shower today (or this week) and sleep is just not a thing anymore. Your life (and your home) is filled with cloth (or disposable) diapers, pump parts, swaddles, 12 different types of pacifiers, and way too many onesies in all the wrong sizes. Postpartum self care doesn't just seem impossible; it seems like a joke. Were you a reader in your pre-baby life? Good luck, because the only thing you’re reading now are instagram posts from @takingcarababies and @legendairymilk. Postpartum self care just isn't a possibility.
Then it makes sense that postpartum self care might not be at the top of your list, but this is when it is most important. Reframing self care by creating space for yourself will help you thrive, not just survive, during your Fourth Trimester. Remember, you need to put on your oxygen mask before you help others with theirs.
With that said, here are 5 easy tips for how to carve out postpartum self care:
- Take a shower. I promise, you can do it. Bring your monitor into the bathroom during a nap, or have baby hang out in the bouncer in clear view. Even if your shower is only a few minutes long, you will feel better. I promise.
- Try a nettle infusion. Boil some water in an electric kettle, pour around a cup of fresh nettle in a mason jar, add the water, let cool, and place in the fridge to steep for between 4 and 24 hours. Strain the nettle and drink within 72 hours. Benefits of nettle? It’s an amazing source of vitamin A, C, & K, iron, and potassium (read more about the benefits here). Basically, a nettle infusion fills in the blanks when you’re not always able to meet all of your nutritional needs! One-handed snacks are so helpful for breastfeeding postpartum, but not always the most nourishing. Nettle to the rescue for all your postpartum self care needs!
- Baby wearing is another example of postpartum self care. Do you have a velcro baby? Try babywearing for when you just can’t hang out on the couch any longer. Ring slings, wraps, and carriers! Take your pick! Plus enjoying all those baby snuggles is so good for the soul. Get your cuddles in and the laundry done. Sounds like a win to me!
- Take a nap or at least, lie down. If your baby refuses to nap anywhere but with you, read up on safe bed sharing practices from La Leche League. Side-lying nursing is a great way to relax while baby eats as well. Naps are the ultimate postpartum self care!
- Get outside. Relax with baby in your wrap with short walk or enjoy your nettle infusion while baby naps in your sling while you lounge outdoors.
Try one (or more) of these tips this week. As a parent and postpartum doula, I understand how difficult it is to make time for postpartum self care when you have a little one around. Do what you can, even if it is a 2 minute shower. I promise you will feel better for it.
Need help making postpartum self care happen? Let’s connect! I offer in-person packages if you are local to Orange County, California, as well as short virtual doula sessions for those of you all over the rest of the US.