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New moms are faced with the round the clock job of caring for their child. This blog by Theralogix provides advice for new moms on caring for themselves with a new baby.

From the moment you find out you are pregnant, you’re consumed with thoughts about your new baby – wondering how your life is going to change, brainstorming ways to keep them safe and healthy, and imagining the person they’ll become. . And once your baby arrives, you’re consumed with tasks for your new baby – feeding them, changing them, rocking them to sleep, and so much more. Caring for a newborn is an around-the-clock job, requiring what seems to be endless amounts of energy. How can you continue to take care of yourself while you take care of them?    

It all starts with saying, “YES!” When a spouse, grandparent, friend, or neighbor offers help, make your default answer “yes.” There’s absolutely nothing wrong with accepting help – and there’s nothing wrong with asking for it either. Reach out to your support system for help when you feel overwhelmed – you’re not in this alone.  

Having a strong support circle is only one small piece of self-care advice. Here are five more tips to help you keep your cup full – even overflowing – with energy for you and your baby.  

Self-Care Tip for Moms #1  

Sleep often (again, take advantage of offers of help!) 

Sleep can be a challenge for a woman even before she gives birth. According to the National Sleep Foundation, women need more sleep than men (mostly because of hormone fluctuations) and are more likely to report difficulty sleeping. Most babies sleep for only a few hours at a time. This can make for a tired mama, especially if you are breastfeeding. Pumping and storing breast milk so that someone else can help you with night feedings is a great way to get a few extra hours of sleep. Sleeping when your baby is sleeping and practicing good sleep hygiene, like turning off phones, televisions, and other distractions can help as well.   

Self-Care Tip for Moms #2  

Fuel your body well.  

Nutrition is important during pregnancy because you’re nourishing your little one from within. But remember: nutrition doesn’t become any less important once you welcome your baby to the outside world. Your body still needs fuel to keep you feeling your best as you take on your daily activities. And if you’re breastfeeding, your body needs about 500 extra calories per day to support healthy breast milk production. Focus on including a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats in your diet. And don’t forget plenty of water to keep you hydrated!  

You may be thinking, “But HOW? I’m so busy!” Consider making meals in larger batches so you can have plenty of leftovers, meal prepping freezer meals for quick dinners on particularly busy evenings, and preparing baggies of pre-portioned snacks so you can grab them on the go. 

You may also think about adding a high-quality postnatal vitamin to make sure you meet your post-baby nutrient needs.  

Self-Care Tip for Moms #3  

Move as often as you can.  

Be sure to ask your healthcare provider about when you can safely resume exercise. But once you’ve got the green light, moving your body can help support a healthy postpartum weight, bone health, mental health, and healthy sleep patterns.  

If you were an avid exerciser before pregnancy, it may take some time to get back to your pre-baby exercise routine. Go easy on yourself and respect limits – you’ll be hitting new personal records in no time.     

Not a fan of traditional exercise? That’s okay. Just focus on moving your body in ways that you enjoy. Take a walk around your neighborhood with your baby in their stroller, join a mommy and me exercise class, or dance in the living room to your favorite music.  

Self-Care Tip for Moms #4  

Seek serenity.   

As you welcome your little one home and integrate them into your routine, life gets a little chaotic. You’re exhausted – up at all hours of the night to lull your baby back to sleep. You proudly display spit-up stains on all your t-shirts, and you’re becoming quite the speedy diaper changer. But remember – you’re more than just a mom. You deserve time for yourself to unwind and enjoy your hobbies. Communicate your needs with your partner and your support system so they can help you set aside time for self-care.   

Self-Care Tip for Moms #5  

Make your health a priority.  

Your baby has regular healthcare appointments after they’re born – and so should you. Ask your OB-GYN how often you should visit their office so they can check in on your physical, mental, and emotional health. Be mindful of how you feel in the fourth trimester, and lean on your support system if you begin to feel overwhelmed.

It’s hard to pour from an empty cup. The better you’re able to care for yourself, the better you’re able to care for your little one. So, keep these tips handy to help you transition into your role as a new mom.  

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