Some of the most valuable information I was given before having James was to try to take care of myself too. "Find a time during the day that works best for the both of you, and get clean, dressed and maybe even put on a little makeup." It's definitely easier said than done. I swore that I wouldn't be one of those baby-obsessed moms, but I honestly had NO clue how much I'd love this creature that just came out of my body. We had plenty of help when he was born, but staring at a sleeping baby sounded so much more appealing to me than showering. Despite my extreme baby-watching, non-showering tendencies, here are a few ways I was able to feel like myself again after giving birth.

1. Change out of pajamas.

I wasn't squeezing back into my pre-pregnancy jeans the day after delivery, but it made me feel much better to change clothes in the morning. Even if it was only leggings, a nursing tank and a cozy cardigan. The newborn nights are long, getting up every few hours, but changing into an outfit other than pjs signaled to my sleep-deprived body that it was a new day with a new, clean slate.

2. Shower every day (and maybe even shave your legs!!)

I'm a nighttime shower girl. Even now, I shower at night so I can snooze until the very last minute in the mornings. Washing off the day felt so so good, and a warm shower seemed to restore my sense of normal life. Shaving my legs also made me feel like I "had it together" a bit and helped with #3...

3. Get ready! 

Maybe not every single day, but about 4 times a week, even if I wasn't leaving the house, I'd at least put on a little BB cream, mascara and blush. After laying it all out there during delivery [literally], it was important for me to feel "pretty" again and a little makeup and a curling iron did just that. Throw in a few selfies with a baby, and you're golden!

4. Get together with the girls.

I mentioned before that we had help when James was born. Andrew had a month of paternity leave and both of our moms each came to stay for a week when we first came home. Less than a week after his birth, my mom and Andrew ushered me right out the door to supper club. Having a few sips of wine and a night's worth of girl talk made me feel SO good! I nursed James at 6, went to dinner, and was home by 9 for his next feeding (and an early bedtime!) This move also required me to complete items 1-4 above!

5. Cry a little. 

Childbirth does a number on your hormones, and I was totally not immune. Although I didn't experience the extreme emotions that come with PPD, I did have some baby blues in the first few weeks and sometimes crying a little [or a lot] was the best way for me to cope. Realizing what was happening [hormones/baby blues] and that it's ok and normal to cry made me feel better about shedding some tears when I felt sad, happy or simply scared out of my mind.

These are just a few tips that helped me along the way. In no way, are these tactics to help cope with or overcome postpartum depression. If you are a new mom and you ever have thoughts of hurting yourself or your family, please seek the help of medical professional. There is never a reason to be embarrassed to ask for help - your new baby needs and deserves their mama to feel healthy and her best!

1 comment:

Kelly said...

I love this post!! I was so desperate for things to do to feel like myself of adjust to a new normal when my 1-yo was born; I think this kind of resource is invaluable just so new moms can rest assured they're not alone and remember they'll come into their own again. It truly took me about ten months postpartum to feel like I was thinking clearly and actually fully ADJUSTED (as opposed to "in survival mode" more often than not), but once that point hit I've really felt in my stride and really happy/content. Soak in all those baby snuggles but also know it keeps getting so much better!!!!!! Xoxo!

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