10 Secrets to a positive & healing Postpartum
1. Ask for help ahead of time.
This may be a hard one. At least it was for me. My immediate family doesn‘t live close by and we don’t have super close friends that I wanted to ask to help me around the house and with my kids. It is an incredibly hard task to manage in our modern society. Unless you have family or friends that absolutely want to support and help you, which makes things a lot easier. It is so helpful to have someone spend some time eith your other kids or even holding the baby on your couch for a while so that you can take a shower or eat something, and just take a deep breathe. Not to mention an helping hand to do some laundry or cook dinner. The rule should be this: Every person that comes by to visit you and the baby should do at least one of these things, because that is really the only thing you need right now, not more work from visitors but a helping hand instead. I think most friends and family understand that this is a challenging time and would love to help out if they take the time to come see you.
2. Do not host every single person that shows up to your house
Meaning that you have to entertain and cook and clean up while they hold the baby. Taking care of a newborn can be very exhausting, so you are in no way obligated to do it. You need to rest and help your body do it’s thing: which is slowly but surely get back to normal. If you must have company, make sure to communicate when you need to take a break.
3.If possible have your spouse with you for the first couple of days
This helps with emotional support and also bonding with the baby. Now I know that in our fast-paced and busy lives we have a hard time breaking away from our daily schedules and work routines. But do it, even just for 1 or 2 days. You won’t regret the benefit of starting this new chapter together.There is nothing wrong with the need to stop your busy life to enjoy the newness of parenthood!
4. Don’t put yourself under pressure, but take it easy in these first days.
You must let go of some perfectionist standards, even from the get-go. Instead learn to embrace and enjoy this new chapter of life. This way it will be healing, this way it will be positive. Don’t think of all the things that you want to do or want to be. Especially physically it takes time to get things back to normal so don’t be hard to yourself by judging your after-birth body, starting rigorous exercise routines and diets and so forth. You are allowed to let your body rest for a couple of weeks and not expect that you be the very best version of yourself. This is what it means to be a parent, be gentle to yourself and gentle to your baby!
5. Make self-care a priority
Such things as short naps, showers, massages, eating and drinking, recovering and simply
hanging out with your baby and other kids. It is essential to not neglect your own physical and emotional needs, if you want to care for your baby well. This can prevent more serious issues such as postpartum depression. So take your vitamins, drink water, eat well and find ways to relax physically and mentally such as reading, mediating, even watching a movie or going for a short walk outside (but not too far).
6. Take as many pictures and videos as you can
These days are not for working but they are for being present with your baby and family. Get to know your baby, enjoy some
7. Don’t make too many plans.
Alright I get it. It’s ok to have an outing once you feel up for it but it should be short and sweet. No big shopping trips, appointments or even big events. Give yourself a few weeks, it will be ok.
Just cuddle up with baby and tune out that noisy world around you for a short while.
8. Don’t go back to things as usual to quickly
You may feel the urge to get going and get busy around the house and have everything in orde like you usually do, but resist it! This is a special magical time. It won’t be like this for long so soak it in. Let someone else do something that is really pressing or bothers you if it doesn’t get done!
9. Don't let in any guilt or feeling of inadequacy
It may come as a big shock to you. Here you are the intelligent and capable woman of your best years and you might feel all down on yourself for sitting at home in your bed or on your couch, trying to get those puzzle pieces of your new life together. It is normal to feel emotional because of the hormonal transition that you are going through and they will pass. Also not having time for the things that you usually do is ok.You don’t need to overachieve right now, no matter if it is in business or personal development. You have just reached a huge accomplishment, which is bringing your brand new baby earth side. Be happy and proud of yourself and what you have done!
10. And lastly: once you are ready for it: go and meet up in a local mom group.
Some doulas or midwives and their organizations might offer these. You might have to look around but let me tell you: the social bonding between moms can not be underestimated! It is so relieving to have a sounding board and a listening ear of someone who can relate to your daily struggles and being able to be offered a shoulder to cry on. This is what these groups exist for. Everyone seeks emotional and interpersonal relationships for reassurance and support in this season of life. You should take opportunity of this as soon as you feel you want to get our those four walls and have some social interaction.