I learned a lot of things about myself and motherhood that wasn’t discussed in the prenatal classes I took and amongst the discussions I experienced with my friends and family.
I hope to share the lessons I learned with other expecting mothers and fathers before the reality of parenthood strikes on your child’s birthing day to give a sense of confidence and peace during the first three to five challenging months.
1. Pamper Yourself
Get a new haircut, a facial, nails done, etc. It’s important to take care of yourself and get a bit of pampering after all of the long nights, breast feeding fatigue, and the general tiredness that comes with being a parent and spouse.
Do whatever it takes to make you feel relaxed and pampered – it could be a warm bath, getting a massage chair to ease the aching back muscles, or going out and treating yourself. No matter what you do, make sure you get a spot of the high-priority list of love and tender loving care.
2. Get Some Me-Time
You’re already busy taking care of your newborn, but this could also mean taking care of your other children and responsibilities. I never understood the importance of getting out until I experienced the overwhelming feeling of being cooped up with my baby and housework.
So, if you can put your baby in a stroller and go for a long walk or give your baby to your trusted caregiver and get a break for yourself – even if it’s 30 minutes to get groceries, an hour reading a book at your favorite coffee shop, or visiting a girlfriend. Getting out can calm the nerves, give you a moment of autonomy, and make you feel refreshed. You don’t love your child any less when by getting a break for yourself. As some of my closest friends and family members told me once my baby arrived, “You’re being a better mother when you take care of yourself.”
3. Work on Those Perineum Muscles
Those perineum muscles went through what seemed to be a marathon throughout your pregnancy and delivery, yet it seems these muscles go ignored after your baby is born. Failing to reeducate the perineum muscles could lead to stress incontinence, prolapsed organs and even a perineoplasty, a surgery to correct the damage done to the perineum.
Work with your mid-wife or physical therapist beginning at six weeks after delivery to re-educate your. This is especially important if you eventually want to restart strong physical fitness routines such as running, tennis, and other high impact activities.
Being alone with your newborn and children can suck away all of the adult thoughts right out of your brain. Take some time to socialize with some friends and family to talk about whatever you like – baby or non-baby subjects. Just by getting with other adults and feeling like you’re being heard can decompress and energize the mind and spirit.