mom in a living room listening to music while dancing

Self-care for First-time Mom: How to Treat Yourself When Caring for a Baby

You can always trust moms for knowing the best self-care tips out there. While motherhood can be pretty hectic, our moms always find time to look after themselves whenever they can. Self-care for them can be any treat-yourself activity, such as taking a spa retreat, going to a waxing salon, or having a luxurious bubble bath.

But when it comes to first-time moms, self-care may seem a tall order. The transition to motherhood can be filled with challenges, especially if you’re starting to lose time for yourself. To help you protect your health and well-being as a new mom, here are ways to practice self-care:

Rest or Sleep at the Same Time as Your Baby

Moms are one of the busiest beings out there. They do everything all at once and devote most of their time looking after their family members. More often, they end up losing time for themselves, which can significantly affect their health and well-being.

The problem is, most moms find it difficult to spare some time for sleep. Even if they have extra time to do it, they end up not feeling well-rested since many things are going on in their mind. That’s why experts suggest resting is the best way to help your body recover from the day-to-day demands of motherhood.

Most moms think their inability to sleep means they should go on a cleaning spree instead. But when you’re nursing a baby, it’s important to grab every chance you get for resting. There are plenty of ways to rest if you don’t feel like sleeping. You can simply read a book, watch TV, meditate, crochet, listen to music, or do any activity you find relaxing.

Join a Community

New moms share the common struggle of being lonely and isolated by staying at home the entire day. This is where joining groups or small communities becomes extremely important to keep you occupied and enrich your mental health. Local communities give members their much-needed support to help them transition successfully into motherhood.

Members are also moms themselves, which helps promote a sense of belongingness and validation in the community. This is particularly beneficial for first-time mothers who are having a hard time navigating the challenges of motherhood. They can provide advice, recommendation, or just a listening ear.

You can search for local mom groups in churches, local hospitals, neighborhood associations, or online social networks.

Squeeze in Time for Meditation

mother meditating in the garden

Meditation is one of the proven mental health strategies to lower stress and anxiety levels, improve concentration, focus, self-esteem, self-awareness, and foster kindness. Despite its countless benefits, most moms underestimate the power of meditation because of their inability to carve out time for meditation exercises in between childcare.

The good news is, there are alternative ways to practice mindfulness and meditation even if you don’t have to attend a yoga class or meditation retreat. Examples include taking deep breaths and focusing your attention on your surroundings. What sounds does your baby make when asleep? What do you feel while holding them? Do you smell their usual sweet baby scent? What do you feel when you’re lying in bed? These activities may seem ordinary, but they can go a long way in supporting your mental health.

Seek Help

One of the best self-care advice for moms out there is to learn how to seek help when you need it. Motherhood doesn’t necessarily mean you have to go through it alone. You can always turn to your spouse, friends, neighbors, or family members to watch your baby while you’re resting.

Postpartum depression is quite prevalent among new moms or those who recently experienced childbirth. Even moms who have given birth before can also experience common symptoms, such as anxiety, crying spells, difficulty sleeping, and mood swings. The symptoms can last up to two weeks or even longer. Still, it’s important to remember postpartum depression isn’t a weakness or a character flaw. It can simply be a complication of giving birth.

If you’re experiencing any signs of postpartum depression after giving birth, make sure to get immediate treatment to help you manage your symptoms and be in a better state to care for your baby.

Motherhood is one of the most fulfilling yet the most challenging phases of human life. You may think you have lost time for yourself, but it’s important to squeeze in brief moments of self-care from time to time. Remember, making time for self-care won’t only benefit you but also your baby. In the end, whatever self-care activity you pick, make sure it will really pay off in terms of your physical and mental health.


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