Written by Emma Grace Brown of emmagracebrown.com
For many new mothers, the first few months of motherhood are even harder than they expected. Postpartum depression can affect anyone, and many women feel guilty about grappling with these problems while trying to care for an infant. Mothers suffering from postpartum depression often need self-care, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, but it can be hard to find ways to care for yourself when your newborn needs you. From reaching out to organizations like the Postpartum Support Center to working with your partner to delegate responsibilities, here are a few self-care tips that can help new mothers.
Delegate with Your Partner
When you feel like you need to handle all of the household responsibilities on your own, your postpartum depression symptoms can feel even more crushing. If you need more support from your partner in order to find time for self-care, it’s time to sit down and have a conversation about delegating responsibilities. Motherly recommends having an honest meeting so that you can decide who will take care of which tasks going forward. Their parenting style might be a bit different from yours, so the key is trusting each other to do what’s right for your baby.
Relaxation Is Key
It can be hard to feel calm in a cluttered space. And if you’ve been spending the majority of your time at home for about a year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it may be time for some tidying up. Redfin recommends cleaning and putting away the clutter in each room — you can wipe down surfaces with an all-natural, homemade cleaning solution. If you know that you don’t have the time to clean on your own, enlist your partner for help.
With a cleaner home, it’s easier to relax and unwind. Don’t aim to fill up your relaxation time with “productive” activities — if you want to take a much-needed nap, call a friend, or pamper yourself with skincare products, it’s up to you!
Make Time for a Hobby
It may feel impossible to pick up a hobby when you’re caring for a newborn. But hobbies don’t have to be time-intensive, and choosing a low-maintenance hobby can help you reconnect with your personal values and maintain your own identity and interests outside of motherhood. For instance, you can listen to audiobooks or educational podcasts, watch interesting documentaries, write in a journal, or try something outdoorsy like gardening. If you occasionally catch yourself feeling like you’re losing yourself to motherhood, a hobby can brighten your days.
Focus on Your Physical Health
Finally, taking good care of your body after giving birth is key. To get a bit more sleep, consider pumping so that your partner can feed the baby. When it comes to your postpartum diet, you may want to incorporate more protein, whole carbohydrates like wheat bread, and healthy fats like avocados and nuts into your diet. And while you may not be ready to work out just yet, a daily walk outside can be refreshing! As you continue to heal, you can talk to your doctor about which workouts would be appropriate — you don’t need to push yourself to do anything too challenging. At-home workouts like yoga are easy choices when your baby is napping
Postpartum depression is all too common, and this condition can be debilitating. With the increased stress of the pandemic, countless women are dealing with postpartum depression. For new mothers, finding time for self-care is essential, and they often need support from others to make time for themselves. With these tips, you’ll be able to incorporate simple self-care strategies into your life.
Are you struggling with postpartum depression? The Postpartum Support Center is here to help. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call or text us today at 415-320-6707 if you need someone to lean on.