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How To Care For Yourself After Baby

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The day after I came home from hospital, just three days after giving birth to Luella, I had a little party at home. It was small, and just family, but I organised salads, chickens, quiches and a fruit platter… so that family could come around and meet our new addition.

Looking back now, it was a ridiculous notion. A party? A newborn? It just didn’t mix. I would pop into the bathroom every little bit and so, and sob because I was knee deep in the baby blues {that thing that kicks in around day 3 where you cry and you don’t really know why}. From that moment forward I tried to take it a little bit easier. I spent most of my day hanging out in bed with Luella, feeding and trying to adapt to being a mum to two kids, and life with a newborn baby.

Navigating those First Thousand Days of parenting {pregnancy until two years} is not easy. I thought having done if once before I’d be a pro at it, but it’s still hard {good hard most of the time, but still… HARD}. A friend and I were talking about it recently, and she said that if you’d had major surgery you’d give yourself time to rest and recover, but with having a baby we often don’t rest as much as we should. It’s a juggle. Saying that though, I’d go back and do it again in a heartbeat… because it’s beautiful. You know I love babies!

While the First Thousand Days can be beautifully challenging, they are crucial to the health of the baby and of your family. They matter. They’re the time that counts, so we need to make sure we’re looking after ourselves as well as the baby.

I’m not brilliant at taking care of myself in those early months though, so I asked you guys over on Facebook and Instagram what the best ways are to practice self-care and look after yourself. And you delivered! Boy, did you deliver. There were hundreds of great tips and advice. Here are just some that I really loved, but I encourage you to click over to the posts on social media to read more and add yours.

Rebel says, “When people want to help you with laundry, meals, the other kids TAKE IT. It’s not a failure to not do everything yourself.”

Before kids I would have thought this one would have been obvious, of COURSE I was going to shower every day… but with a baby, it can suddenly be 4pm and you haven’t made it out of PJs or showered. Taking time to shower and get dressed definitely changes the way you feel, and gives you space for yourself.

Cat says, “Accept help when people offer, and ask for help when your hands are full. For example, a grandmother will actually love being able to help out by folding some washing. She isn’t judging you – she has been there too.  When visitors come around, ask if they want a cup of tea – then point them to the kitchen and put in your order whilst they’re there!”

I love this one. It’s not always easy to put yourself first, but it is important.

I love this advice from Emma. It’s a bit of a game-changer to get outside in that beautiful sunshine, and fresh air.

So, now I want to hear from you. What advice would you give to new mums? How can we take better care of ourselves after birth?