By contributor, Stephanie Haywood
New mothers often have a lot of stress, and they may feel they don’t have time to take care of themselves. A breastfeeding mother may feel her hormones are all over the place, and she doesn’t know where to begin.
The first few weeks of breastfeeding are confusing for everyone and can be stressful for new mothers. But that doesn’t mean you need to skip self-care.
Self-care is about caring for yourself, and it doesn’t have to be difficult. If you’re a new mother, here are some self-care tips for you.
Don’t Feel Bad About Taking Time for Yourself
Many new mothers feel guilty about taking time for themselves. It’s important to take time for yourself, though. This may be especially true if you also take care of a baby. Nursing, changing diapers, and otherwise caring for your baby can take a lot of time and energy.
It’s important to acknowledge that and not feel bad about taking time for yourself. Your baby needs you, too.
Commit to Some Self-Care
Self-care is important, but you also need to set goals and make plans. It’s important to be realistic. If self-care is more important to you than finding time to do it, you may need to make sacrifices.
You may need to put off certain things or spend less on other things. You may need to prioritize certain things over others.
Every mother needs time for herself. It doesn’t have to be difficult. You just need to make time. You need to schedule time for yourself, and you need to commit to doing it. That’s how you can get the most out of self-care.
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Reduce Stress as You Breastfeed
Breastfeeding is both a challenge and a privilege. It’s a challenge because you’re doing something new and different. It’s a privilege because you get to eat your baby’s food while getting nourishment, too. But it can be stressful.
It can feel like you need to know everything your baby needs at all times. To reduce stress as you breastfeed, you need to acknowledge the stress you feel. Then, you need to take steps to reduce it. If necessary, contact Dr. Carly Snyder for support and guidance.
Prioritize Work-Life Balance for Less Stress
If you’ve returned to work after having a baby, or if your work requires you to work long hours, work-life balance is even more important. Typically, mothers who go back to work after having a baby tend to work fewer hours but work much more overtime.
Work-life balance means being able to have a life outside of work that’s important to you. It means being able to take care of yourself, have time for your family, have time for relaxation, and have time for friends.
Work-life balance is especially important for new mothers because you need time to feed your baby, take care of yourself, and rest. You also need time to decompress and relax.
Learn to Say “No”
If you want to do something but you can’t, you need to tell your partner or caregiver that you can’t do it. You also need to tell your partner or caregiver why you can’t do something.
That may be enough to get what you need to get done but not have to do something you don’t want to do. If you can’t say “no” for whatever reason, you need to make time for yourself. You need to schedule time for yourself, and you need to commit to doing it. That’s how you can get the most out of saying “no.”