10 Tips for Postpartum Self Care

I’m writing this blog post from my glider on my phone as I’m nursing my newborn with one arm while keeping the toddler at bay with the other. I had frantically cleaned the night before instead of going to bed early/on-time because we have guests staying with us this weekend. I’m also reminding myself to put a grocery list together so that my husband can make a run to Kroger as he heads home from work. I yawn and think, “Wait, did I brush my teeth today?”

Sound familiar? As mothers, we are typically the Chief Operations Officers of our households and are constantly taking care of the people and the administrivia in our lives. One thing we often forget to take care of is ourselves. In the perfect world, we could push the pause button on life so that we can have a moment to catch our breaths before diving in head first into the transition with a new baby, but, alas, the world continues to turn. Who’s got time to take a breath?

Well, it’s about making the time. Look at the streaming list of to-dos. What’s the common denominator of those things? YOU, Mom. Sure, you are busy, and time is more desirable than that recent Powerball jackpot {ha! Who am I kidding?!}. But if you aren’t going to take care of yourself, who will?

Postpartum is a particularly important time for self care :: hormones and growing/birthing a human have done some crazy things to your body and mind, and it’s an opportune time to start the virtuous cycle towards the new normal. By proactively participating in self care, it feels like some sort of control is in your hands rather than an imposition later when the importance of your health also becomes urgent.

Here are some tips for postpartum self care…

10 Tips for Postpartum Self Care | Houston Moms Blog

Sleep

Lack of sleep can have some adverse physical effects {susceptibility for mastitis, elevated blood pressure, etc} as well as psychological. I’m not even going to bother saying, “Sleep when the baby sleeps” because we all know that is a big fat lie 73.6% of the time. However, make milk available {expressed or formula… I’m not looking to start a war here, friends!}, and enlist the help of a loved one to snuggle that newborn while you catch some Zs.

Eat

You’re still figuratively eating for 2 if you’re nursing. But, really, it does you no good to be hangry while soothing a fussy baby.

Resources :: DoorDash, No Time 2 Cook 

Massage

Loosening up those muscles, especially in the hips and back, can make such a difference in how you feel. If you’re not ready to part with your newborn yet, ask your massage therapist if they’re willing to treat you with the newborn on the table with you. That way, you can cuddle your babe and also nurse them if they wake during your massage.

Resources :: Houston Pregnancy Massage {perfect for in-house visits}, West University Wellness, The Motherhood Center {babysitting available}

Chiropractic Adjustments

Relaxin, the hormone that makes your joints and ligaments loosey goosey in preparation for child birth, still lingers in your body for several weeks. This is an optimal time to take advantage of the presence of relaxin and encourage your joints back into place with the help of chiropractic care. If you’re new to chiropractics, each treatment is approximately 10 minutes where you lay on a table {clothed} and the chiropractor uses their hands or a hammer-like tool to adjust your spine. Some insurance companies might provide some level of coverage.

Resource :West University Wellness, The Axelrad Clinic

Physical Therapy

After my first born, I finally accepted that I needed physical therapy when I tried to get out of bed and could not put any weight on my feet without shooting pain in my hips and back. I wish I had gone sooner as the physical therapists teach you behaviors and exercises that immediately start to alleviate the pain. A referral from your physician may be needed. Check your insurance for coverage.

Resources :: Texas Women’s Hospital {they validate parking!}, TCH Pavilion for Women

Dental Hygiene

The hormones can do some wonky things to your gums. Floss well and see your dentist!

Resources :: BLVD Dentistry

Accepting Help

Don’t be afraid to ask for help or accept it. Yes, you are Superwoman, but even God rested on the 7th day.

Alone Time

It’s amazing how rejuvenating it is to be in silence and alone. Even a solo run to the store to buy diapers can be refreshing.

Look Good, Feel Good

Get yourself a fresh haircut. {Bangs hide that postpartum hair loss well!} Allow yourself to buy clothes that fit now. Sure, they may not fit in a few months. Maybe they will. But there’s something about looking good that will make you feel good.

Connect With Your Partner

Don’t forget about the original bae. They are going through a huge transformation too. You don’t necessarily need to plan an elaborate date night to connect. Taking a moment to ask what a highlight of their day and truly listening actually makes a big difference.

We’re looking out for you, Momma. What do you do for self care?

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Kristine grew up in Houston where she met her husband Richard. The high school sweethearts welcomed their daughter Kara {2014} after naturally overcoming infertility. Sixteen months later, their son Ray {2015} joined their family. She balances the allergy mom life as well as a full-time job at an oil & gas supermajor where she is the queen of PowerPoint. Her Houston roots run deep with her Bachelors degree from the University of Houston and MBA from Rice University. Kristine loves traveling, good food, and experiencing all things H-town with family and friends, especially drinks {bars, breweries, boutique coffee shops!}, museums, and of course, BEYONCÉ. You can follow her adventures on vu hu life, Instagram and Twitter {@vuhulife}.

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