Priority number one: looking after baby. Next priorities: feeding baby, washing baby, cleaning up after baby… then somewhere down the long list of things to do, you’ll have tacked on checking-in with yourself (and having a wash). But remember, if you’re not looking after yourself properly, looking after someone else is going to be that little bit harder. Here are five self-care tips for new mums we wish we’d been told.
Lower your expectations
Everything isn’t going to go back to normal immediately. We’re all so impatient these days and, frankly, it’s unhealthy. Take it slow and embrace the hours you get to spend lying on your sofa with your newborn: this is part of the recuperation process. Rushing about, pretending as though you haven’t just had a baby is only going to leave you feeling more exhausted.
Sleep when you can
Sleep? What is sleep? Something that your pre-baby self didn’t appreciate enough, that’s what. The best thing you can do is sleep when you can. If you establish your baby’s feeding and sleeping close to hours that you would regularly sleep, this should help. Ride through the first few weeks on the knowledge (our knowledge) that things do get a hell of a lot better once baby has a more established routine.
If we’ve learnt anything from moping about the house, it’s that getting washed and dressed for the day makes all the difference to your mood, confidence and personal hygiene. Pop on a bit of makeup too, even if the only person you’re seeing is yourself in the mirror, it helps a lot. Slip getting dressed into the new routine that’s gradually forming, maybe around the time when baby goes down for his first nap.
Leave the house
No, we’re not talking immediately. If you’re not feeling up to it for a few weeks, that’s okay, but we know it gets harder the longer you leave it. Force yourself to go out, even if it’s just down to the supermarket or a cafe. Your social calendar will hardly be buzzing with a baby in tow but meeting a friend for a walk will do wonders to your mood, we promise.
Treat yourself to something
Sign up to a beauty box, grab a coffee shop coffee or have your favourite takeaway Deliveroo-ed. You’re still the person you always were beyond the nursing and nappies — and that person deserves the odd ASOS splurge, right?