If you’re feeling inundated by postpartum advice, you’re not the only one. There’s so much information out there, and sometimes you just want to know: What is life going to be like once I have this baby (or, these babies?)
Sadly, no one can really answer that big question. There are so many variables to the pregnancy/birth/postpartum cycle. But one thing is pretty universal--you will be in survival mode as you recover. We can’t tell you how long survival mode will last. It’s different for all women. But when it happens, you realize that the sleeplessness, the messy buns, the long stretches without bathing weren’t just a motherhood joke--it’s real life. To help you adapt--and you will--we want to simplify your To-Do list with these five essentials for postpartum survival mode:
- Be Kind to Yourself. Some days all you do is keep the baby alive, and that is a success! Some days you don’t leave the house, that’s okay! Try it again tomorrow. At the end of the day, try to congratulate yourself on the tiny victories, they are still victories.
- Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. We all know how much of an impact hydration has on our health, but postpartum women especially need to keep up on their water intake. If you are breastfeeding/pumping, you will feel especially depleted. If you’re just home from the hospital and and dealing with bloat, drinking water can help! And, if you’re feeling exhausted (you probably are), drinking water can help boost your energy levels.
- Keep visitors to a minimum, and ask them for help! Some new moms relish having guests over when they are home with the baby. These women probably have friends who do their dishes, or hold the baby so they can nap, or shower. It is beneficial to surround yourself with people who make you feel good, and especially, people who will help you out when you ask. Don’t be afraid to kick them out, too!
- Don’t forget to eat. Here’s the thing. When you’re pregnant, you focus so much on keeping yourself healthy for the baby, that when the baby is born, you forget that you need to keep yourself healthy for yourself! And that means eating. Don’t stress over cooking--take out is great, frozen foods are your friends, and whatever casserole your neighbor brought over is just fine. Make sure you’re keeping up your protein, and get some fresh, whole foods in there, too.
- Exercise a daily affirmation or mindfulness. It can be hard to maintain a practice of self-care when you’re in the thick of it. But, beginning a simple routine of a daily affirmation or even just five minutes of mindfulness meditation can help ground you in a world that seems very different from the life you knew before. Choose whatever speaks to you, and let it be a special thing you do for yourself to help you thrive in your new role.
You got this, Mama!