You’re glowing, nesting, and eagerly awaiting the arrival of your little one!
But between preparing the nursery and planning your maternity leave, it’s easy to forget about yourself. Now is the time to establish a self-care routine to keep you feeling your best during and after pregnancy.
Here are a few essential tips to nourish your body and spirit pre and post-delivery.
Pamper Yourself Pre-Delivery: Relaxation and Indulgence
Pampering yourself during pregnancy is so important. Your body is working hard to grow a little life, so take the time to unwind and de-stress.
Indulge in a spa day
Treat yourself to a prenatal massage to ease those aches and pains. Get a manicure and pedicure – your feet and hands will thank you! A facial can nourish your skin and leave you glowing. You deserve to feel pampered.
Take a childbirth class
Educating yourself about what to expect during labor and delivery will help put you at ease. Connecting with other expectant mothers in your class is a bonus.
Do some light exercise
Go for walks, swim, or do prenatal yoga. Exercise releases endorphins to boost your mood and make you feel good. Staying active will also help your stamina for labor and recovery. But don’t overdo it, especially in the third trimester. Listen to your body.
Get plenty of rest
Growing a baby is exhausting work! Nap when you’re tired and turn in early. Your energy levels may dip, so rest as much as possible before the baby comes.
Connect with your partner
Make time to do things together like going out for a nice dinner, seeing a movie, or just talking. Discuss your hopes, fears, and expectations about the baby. This can help bring you closer together during this transition to parenthood.
Cherish this special time of anticipation. Take good care of yourself – you deserve to blossom during your pregnancy. Staying relaxed and content will have you glowing as you welcome your little bundle of joy.
Stock Up on Postpartum Essentials Before Baby Arrives
The days leading up to delivery and the weeks after bringing the baby home are exhausting, emotional, and challenging. But with the right self-care essentials on hand, you can blossom during this new season of life.
Stock Up on Postpartum Essentials Before Baby Arrives
Before your little one makes their debut, stock up on postpartum necessities. Things like:
- High-waisted underwear and comfortable pajamas: Your body will appreciate loose, breathable clothing as it heals.
- Padsicles: Homemade or store-bought padsicles provide cooling relief from hemorrhoids and swelling.
- Nursing pads: Disposable or reusable pads prevent embarrassing leaks as your milk comes in.
- Peri bottle: A squeeze bottle filled with warm water helps keep the area clean when using the bathroom.
- Nipple cream: Soothing creams provide relief as your nipples adjust to breastfeeding.
Once the baby arrives, a few more essentials to have on hand include:
- Nursing pillow: A pillow designed for breastfeeding provides support and helps you find the right position to latch the baby.
- Burp cloths: Thick cloths are ideal for wiping up spit-up, protecting your shoulders during burping, and more. You can never have too many!
- Nursing bras and tanks: Supportive and accessible bras and tanks make breastfeeding and pumping more comfortable.
- Nursing cover: For discreet breastfeeding on the go, a nursing cover allows you to feed the baby while staying covered up.
With these essentials stocked up, you’ll be equipped to focus on resting, bonding with your new baby, and blossoming into motherhood. Take it slow, be gentle with yourself, and remember that this sweet newborn season will be over in the blink of an eye. Savor each moment!
Ease Into Postpartum with Gentle Movement and Stretching
Easing into movement after giving birth is essential for your body and mind. While rest is important, gentle exercise releases endorphins that boost your mood and help your body heal. When you feel up to it, start with some simple stretches.
Pelvic floor exercises
Your pelvic floor took a beating during delivery, so start doing kegels as soon as you can. Contract and release your pelvic floor muscles in quick pulses. Aim for 3 sets of 10-15 reps, a few times per day. This helps improve muscle tone, prevents incontinence, and can increase pleasure during sex after recovery.
Simple yoga poses
Some simple yoga poses are perfect for new moms. Cat-cow pose gently flexes and extends your spine. Come onto your hands and knees, then arch your back upward, pushing your stomach toward the floor. Next, lower your back downward while lifting your head upward. Slowly move back and forth.
When you’re ready, go for short walks. Start with just 10-15 minutes a day and build up from there. Walking boosts your mood and circulation, while the fresh air does you good. Be kind to yourself—your body just did an incredible thing. Stay hydrated, accept help from loved ones, and give yourself plenty of time to heal. The postpartum period is challenging, but also fleeting—try to soak in the sweet moments with your new baby.
Nourish Your Body During Postpartum Recovery
After delivery, focus on rebuilding your strength through healthy foods. Stock up on nutritious snacks like nuts, yogurt, granola bars, and fresh fruits you can easily grab when a crying baby only gives you one hand free! Smoothies are also great for quick, balanced meals. Throw in Greek yogurt, leafy greens, berries, and nut butter for lots of protein, fiber, and vitamin-rich nutrition.
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Drink plenty of water and herbal tea to aid postpartum recovery and breastfeeding. Coconut water, fruit-infused water or ginger tea are refreshing options with extra benefits. Staying hydrated will boost your energy and help with constipation, a common issue for new moms.
The first weeks after childbirth may be exhausting, but also exhilarating. Nourishing your body with healthy, comforting foods will provide the energy you need to care for your new baby during this amazing stage of life. Take it slow, be kind to yourself, and enjoy every moment with your little one.
Recharge Your Mind and Spirit with Self-Care
Recharging your mind and spirit with self-care is so important after having a baby. Your world has just changed in monumental ways, and taking time for yourself will help you adjust to this new normal.
Find small moments of calm
The early days with a newborn are chaotic, exhausting, and filled with dirty diapers and crying jags. Look for little windows of time for self-care, even if just 15-20 minutes. Do some light stretching, read a book, and take a warm bath. These micro-breaks will rejuvenate your mind and body.
New mothers often feel like they should instantly be parenting pros, even though it’s a learned skill that takes time. Give yourself grace as you navigate this transition. Speak to yourself with kindness and patience, as you would a close friend. You’re doing great, mama! Appreciate how far you’ve come and be gentle with yourself for the challenging moments.
Ask for help when you need it
Don’t fall into the “supermom” trap of thinking you need to do it all yourself. Ask family and friends for help with chores like cleaning, cooking meals, or running errands. Let your partner take the baby so you can rest. Delegate when possible at work. Learn to ask for and accept help—it will make this time so much easier.
So, there you have it. Self-care is a non-negotiable during pregnancy and post-birth. You owe it to yourself and your baby to make yourself a priority. The weeks and months after welcoming your little one will be a whirlwind of diapers, feedings, and sleepless nights.
Now is the time to build up your strength and fill your cup. Take a prenatal yoga class, get a massage, and read an inspiring book. Connecting with other mamas-to-be will create a built-in support system. Once the baby arrives, accept help when offered, and don’t be afraid to ask for what you need. Your village wants to see you thrive.
Indeed, motherhood is a magical, messy, exhausting, and exhilarating journey. Give yourself grace and enjoy this fleeting season of life. You’ve got this! Now go take a bubble bath – you deserve it.