Bringing a little one into the world is an overwhelming experience, wonderful in so many ways, but it can also make you forget how important you are.
You have this precious little person you've created and any care and attention for yourself can fly out the window. You spend every waking hour thinking and doing for someone else, but your wellbeing is probably at its utmost importance at this time as well.
There will be sleepless nights, forgetting to eat or shovelling in what you can when you do remember. When you've got baby off to sleep, you may often feel you've got to finish all the chores you didn't get done rather than taking time for yourself. When you do finally get some time to yourself, you may just want to slump in front of the TV to wind down.
However, your body has been through a major change and it needs now more than ever for you to look after it. So here are some simple tips to help you find your feet again after giving birth...
1. Remember you're not alone
There are many new mums going through the same experiences, feelings and emotions as you, so what better way to handle these new challenges than to share them with like-minded people?
Joining groups, whether it be on social media or in person, is a great place to start. Attending a mum and baby exercise class can help you to socialise with other mums whilst getting those endorphins going as well. You can find out more about Primal Postnatal classes here.
2. Do one small thing for yourself each day
Finding time for yourself is bound to be much more challenging at this stage. That's why finding something small thing you can do for yourself each day is ideal.
It can be anything from getting out for a walk, meditating for 5-10 minutes, having a bath or even getting the chance to wash and blow-dry your hair! Decide what your "one thing" is going to be when you get up in the morning, then aim to get it completed by the end of the day.
This is probably a big change of pace to your usual level of achievement, but if you aim for one thing each day you can gradually build on it from there.
Remember the support you have around you, this can be from family, friends or even online services. Certain jobs can be done by someone else, giving you more time to focus on your baby and yourself.
Cooking can become quite the task, but not having time doesn't mean you need to survive on toast and crisps. Try a “home cooked" food delivery service such as Cook. Meals are reasonably priced and can be heated in the oven from frozen so you don’t even need to remember to take something out of the freezer!
Supermarket shopping with a baby might not be your favourite thing to do. It's busy, noisy and can become even more stressful if baby has a meltdown. So make it a little easier for yourself! Getting your shopping delivered to your door can help alleviate a lot of pressure.
Don't be afraid to accept help or ask for it. When friends ask you if you need any help, say yes! Ask them to pick up essentials for you before they come for a visit. It’ll save you a job and make them feel like they’ve done something useful.
4. Get moving again
Exercise after birth can feel daunting, but prioritising this alongside getting as much sleep as possible and feeding your body with the nutrients it needs is very important at this stage.
Not only does it give you an incredible rush of endorphins, lifting your mood for the rest of the day, exercising regularly actually gives you more energy, as well as increasing your strength and stamina, enabling you to be at your best for your baby.
On top of this, your habits become your baby's habits. If you want your LO to be an active, healthy child - be an active, healthy mum! Setting them a great example of how to look after yourself will give them the right mindset for looking after themselves as they grow up.
5. Don't beat yourself up!
We're only human, even though you're expected to be superwoman, you can only do and give so much. But you'll be able to give a lot more if you have time to tune in to how you're feeling.
If you can't make it to the exercise class that day, don't feel like you have to give up altogether - try again next time! On those days where you wanted to have a home cooked, nourishing meal, but you ended up going for something easy and convenient - try again next time! On those nights where you planned to relax with a book after baby went to sleep, but ended up staying up til the wee hours - try again next time.
There is always time to try and try again.
At Primal we have specialised Postnatal classes, where you and baby can come along and meet other new mums, whilst getting yourself moving. We offer TWO free taster sessions to all new members, so why not do something for yourself and get booked in...