Postpartum Tips For New Moms

September 29, 2016

Over the last few weeks I’ve been cleaning up this here blog. I don’t think the job is ever done, especially when you have almost 400 posts (!). But, my goal is to make this site more user-friendly for people on their wellness journey. Part of this includes making content easier to find and writing more and more about topics that fall under the wellness umbrella. That said, for those of you who haven’t seen the change already, I’ve created a menu in the header for quicker navigation. There is now a wellness tab for posts on fitness, yoga, meditation and more. There is a parenthood tab, where I’m linking to truthful parenting tidbits, past pregnancy rambles and Noe’s month updates. And there is, of course, the recipes tab where you can find all of my recipes.

I think these three areas: wellness, parenthood and recipes feel like the right focus. But, if there are specifics you’d like covered or something you want to know more about that you think I might be able to help you with, please, please, please drop me a line. I am always open to suggestions and love hearing from you. No seriously, sometimes I feel like I’m writing into a vacuum, I welcome the comments 🙂

In the spirit of these topics, today I’m tackling something I have been thinking about a lot as I seem to be attending a plethora of baby showers lately…postpartum tips for new moms.

postpartum-tips-for-new-moms

postpartum-tips-for-new-moms

You get a lot of advice when you announce you’re pregnant. How to calm a colicky baby, how to change a diaper in the dark, when to call the doctor, lots and lots of stories about other people’s kids who: slept through the night, did not sleep through the night, were angels, were terrors, were breastfeeders, were bottle-fed, were tiny, were huge and on and on. The advice is plentiful but 99% of the time the advice is about the baby.

What about the mom?

As I surfed the web looking at what others wrote about the postpartum period, I realized there was very little for the new mom especially in these first few months. Most of the blog posts and articles I found were about the first few postpartum days in the hospital. I don’t want to talk about those days. There is enough going on, everything is a blur and frankly, you’re going to forget any tip I give you for the first few days.

No, these postpartum tips for new moms are for the weeks after the hospital. The weeks following the house full of people and your spouse’s leave. For those first few days when the front door clicks closed at 7:45am and it’s just you and your baby and hours ahead of you, and you’re not sure what just happened and you’re a sleep deprived bag of emotions and hormones just trying to adjust to your new normal. Yes, these tips are for that tender space. The space so many of my friends and acquaintances are in or heading into. These are just a few of my favorite postpartum tips for new moms, use them, ignore them, but either way, know that everything you are feeling is completely normal.

Get outside for 5-10 minutes everyday

One of the best pieces of advise I got was from the nurse who came to our house to do a postpartum check on day 3. She simply said, every day, go outside for 5 minutes and put your face to the sun.

New mamas need fresh air, and sunshine, and a change of scenery. New babies do too but this is all about you today. This can be a walk around the block, sitting in your backyard, a trip to the grocery store, a stroll to get coffee. It honestly doesn’t matter, as long as it entails getting outside and feeling the sun and wind on your face. Do not underestimate the importance of this. As the weeks turn to months and you find yourself feeling stronger and more confident, the time outside may get longer and you will eventually feel up for postpartum exercise, but in the very beginning, start with 5-10 minutes.

Do one part of your personal self-care routine, everyday

postpartum-tips-for-new-moms

What makes you feel the most like you? A little makeup? Blowdrying your hair? Wearing fabulous earrings? Do it! And make sure you do it everyday for the first few months. You don’t have to do the whole routine, heck, you don’t even need to take a shower (though I highly recommend that everyday too). Just do one piece that gives you some semblance of feeling like the old you. In the beginning I made sure I put on mascara every morning, just mascara. That way when those bleary eyes looked back at me in the mirror at least I felt good about them. It might be vain, it might feel like a waste of time but looking good and feeling good go hand-in-hand. As a side bar on this: don’t fall into the misconception that you don’t have time to brush your teeth now that you’re caring for a newborn. I promise that you have time to brush your teeth every morning and every night. It takes a minute. Wear the baby on your chest or let them cry for that single minute but believe me, you will feel so much more like a human being if you start and end your day with a fresh smile.

Say yes to the help

You may feel like you need to be the number one caregiver right now and likely this is true. But let other people do things for you. My best girlfriends came to visit when Noe was 2 months old. They all but pushed me into the shower one afternoon and it felt so decadent to take an extra long shower, shave my legs and regroup. If someone offers to bring you food, hold your baby, let you nap, do it! Don’t be a martyr, it takes a village, just tuck it away in the back of your mind that someday you’ll return the favor and then do.

Give yourself a break

This is not the time to start new projects, to reprimand yourself for not organizing the linen closet. This is not the time to feel guilty for eating frozen dinners or for letting emails and mail pile up. I guarantee that sooner than later you will feel a burst of energy to start organizing, cooking, dealing with life stuff again. It doesn’t need to be today or tomorrow. We lived on frozen pizzas for the first 3 months. No one died, no one gained 20 pounds, but we were blissfully unshackled from needing to cook. Which was worth it’s weight in gold when we were sleep deprived and fussy. So whatever it is you think you need to be doing, tell yourself you’ll get to it (and you will) then give yourself a break. There are more important things to attend to right now than a sink full of dirty dishes.

Today’s Makings Of Small Step: Do you have any postpartum tips for new moms that you’d like to share? Please leave a comment, it might just help someone else out.

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10 Comments

  • Reply Kelsey Stapp September 29, 2016 at 11:39 am

    I love everything about this! Doing one part of your normal routine, is genius! And going outside. I will be re-reading this in about a month! Always love your posts!

    • Reply Lisa September 29, 2016 at 1:22 pm

      Kels, I wrote this totally with you in mind. I can’t wait for you to become a mom but I also want to make sure you’re taking care of you too! Love you!

  • Reply Elizabeth Ann September 30, 2016 at 2:30 pm

    I love these! I am going through my third pregnancy and it has been tough. My first pregnancy went perfectly, I had no complications really. The second one I miscarried and the third one came very shortly after. He is actually our rainbow baby 🙂 So emotionally it has been hard plus two trips to the hospital for “normal” pregnancy things. I will be sure to put these into practice when our little gift comes in December. Thanks for posting this!

    • Reply Lisa October 1, 2016 at 9:48 pm

      Elizabeth thank you! I’m so happy for your rainbow baby. I hope these tips do come in handy and best of luck with your last months of pregnancy!

  • Reply Chelsea @ the Johnsons plus dog October 1, 2016 at 9:49 am

    This post was so great! I’m almost 5 mo pp and feel like I’m just getting out of that fog. Those first few weeks and months are so daunting. One more piece of advice that I have is find a support group. I go to a weekly breastfeeding mommy and me group and it is amazing what talking to other moms in the same boat can do for your soul (& it forced us to get out of the house at least once a week and we usually went for a long walk in the park afterwards). Thanks for sharing your tips.

    • Reply Lisa October 3, 2016 at 10:35 am

      Hi Chelsea, Thank you so much for reaching out! I completely agree with your advice on finding a support group. Having a “tribe” to rely on and remind you that you’re not alone is so pivotal at this time that came be really isolating. Thanks again for reading (and commenting)!

  • Reply Sharon October 1, 2016 at 12:31 pm

    LOVE that you are talking to the new MOMS and NO you are not writing into a vacuum! Keep up the great work 🙂

    • Reply Lisa October 3, 2016 at 10:34 am

      Sharon thank you so much for the comment, it really means more than you know. I will definitely keep it up!

  • Reply Maggs October 8, 2016 at 10:01 am

    I really liked your post, it’s scary for me the transition to being mom, but your words make sense to me as a reminder that I’m not just mom, I’m still me.

    • Reply Lisa October 9, 2016 at 10:42 am

      Maggs, you’re speaking to my heart! The leap into motherhood is definitely scary but I’ve found that I’m such a better mom, wife, friend, when I find time to do things for myself, to nourish my own soul. People feel the difference when mama is happy. I’m so glad you found the post helpful!

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