Source | Canva
We all know at this point that postpartum depression is real. We also know that even if we don’t go through postpartum depression we still face many different changes during this season that affect our mental health. We go from everyone focusing on how you’re feeling, what you need and how they can make you comfortable to everything being about the baby.
Yes, baby has a ton of needs that I’m sure you will make sure you take care of but what about you? I’m here to say that you matter. In fact, this is a time that you matter the most because if we don’t make sure you are taken care of it’s going to be much harder for you to show up for your new baby the way that you want to.
So let’s dive into some must-haves that help your mental well-being during the postpartum season.
1. Be kind to yourself
Embrace the fact that this season will be a roller coaster. You will have good days and you will have bad days. You may struggle to recover from birth, have trouble breastfeeding, or struggle to adjust to the demands of your newborn baby. You may also be going through lots of emotional changes that may result in feelings of overwhelm, resentment towards the baby, and feeling lonely. All of these are normal. Remember to take it one day at a time, one hour at a time, celebrate the small victories, and know that you are doing the best for your baby and that is good enough.
2. Who is your go to person?
Motherhood can be lonely and it’s important that we have a village of people that can help us through this period of our life but it’s even more important that you have that one person that you can call on whenever you need and just let it all out. We need that friend that is the shoulder to cry on, vent, scream, yell, laugh with, etc. Our emotions are running high during this period and having someone that can relate to the struggles of postpartum is crucial to helping us get through this period. So if you are not in the postpartum stage yet, start thinking now who will be my person and maybe have a conversation with them on what you need from them.
3. Build a support system
Yes, we need that one friend that is our emotional support but we also need many other characters in our support system to help us get through this period. Start with your partner. What do you need from them during this time? How can they help? Create a plan for feeding, diaper changes, nighttime needs, etc. This helps with future confusion and takes the assumption off the plate. When we clearly communicate our needs we don’t leave any assumptions on the table which typically leads to misunderstandings and arguments. Next think about the role your parents, siblings, grandparents, neighbors, and friends can play. One thing that you can do is create a postpartum needs list. The list will have things that people can do to help you and your family out. It can be on the fridge or on your phone so that when people come over or ask how they can help you have a list all ready to go. This allows you to one accept help and two allow others to help in a more effective way. Don’t underestimate the power of a good support system. Lastly, make sure you stay connected to your OBGYN or Midwife to make sure you are sharing any concerns that you are having. Yes, they will have checkups for the baby but don’t forget about your needs and the things that are going on with you.
4. Take your breaks
You are not supermom. You don’t have to be supermom. No one is expecting you to be a supermom. Soooooo you can take your cape off and just relax. Remember you can’t show up for your baby the way you want if you don’t fill up your cup. So take a nap, get some rest, take a shower, get a good nourishing meal, get some fresh air. Watch a show on Netflix. Do something enjoyable. Yes, this time might feel like it’s all about the baby and so much of it is but again here is your friendly reminder that you matter too friend. So take your breaks.
Source | Canva
5. Set Boundaries
You just had a baby and the way you want to spend your time with your baby is your business. You have every right to set the tone and the boundaries necessary when it comes to people in your life that want to see and be around your newborn. When you do decide to have visitors you get to decide on what you feel comfortable with. Do you want everyone to wear a mask, wash their hands, not hold the baby, etc? How long do you want them to stay? These are boundaries and rules that you get to set that make you are your partner comfortable.