Happy Sunday lovelies! Thanks for tuning into this weeks blog post! I posted a couple days ago across social media asking for y’alls input on topics for this week. It was an overwhelming response (thank you so so much for that) of “self care for new parents”. I would like to preface this topic with the little notion that these thoughts are my own and that of a doula looking in. I am aware that self care looks different for everyone (heck everyone is different for a reason) so by all means do what works best for you! But I do believe that every new parent can benefit from these tips! Whether they chose to take them to heart or pass them along to someone else everyone can benefit. I am going to write my “TOP 10” and most likely follow up with some more in a subsequent blog! Most of these tips are directed towards the mamas, but dads please read too as I did not forget about y’all! So, with that being said let’s get started.
You just birthed a baby (or babies)!!! Congratulations! You’re honestly a rock star goddess (I’ll say that as long as I live) Whether you pushed them out, had them stitched out, had them in a hospital, birth center or even at home, you are a new parent!! You have just begun your journey with your tiny human(s) earth-side. That’s exciting, giddy, emotional and so so happy. BUT it is also, daunting, nerve wrecking, hormonal and overwhelming. I am here to tell you: That is OK. You’re allowed to feel all those things. HECK you should feel all those things. You may be a super woman but you are still human♥️
This brings us to self care Tip #1 : try not to bottle up your emotions and deal with them alone. Talk to your partner. Talk to your mom. Talk to your best friend. Talk to your OB. Talk to a postpartum doula. It doesn’t matter if your talking doesn’t make a darn bit of sense, they love you and they’re going to listen and support you regardless. If they don’t? Give me their address…this doula just wants to chat and I’ll whip them into shape😉 But that’s beside the point, talking will make YOU feel better, and you’re the one who just birthed a human so guess what? It gets to be about you. Just like on any airplane you’ve ever been on? You have to put your oxygen mask on before you can be any use to someone else. This goes for your new bundle(s) especially. They need their mama to be cared for just as much as their mama needs them to be cared for.
That brings me to Tip #2 : ACCEPT HELP!! let me say that again one more time… ACCEPT HELP! The first two weeks alone, at home are going to be BIG. They are going to be some of the best and worst sleepless hours of your life. So guess what? Your church life group wants to make you dinners? Accept them. That person you trust to hold your child so you can shower? Let them. That sweet neighbor you adore wants to do your laundry at her house? Let her. As long as it is not intrusive or from a creepy random supermarket person, accept their help. Enjoy all the alone time with baby and bonding. Because guess what? Stacks of dishes and laundry can be done by anyone. Loving on and bonding with that new earth side tiny human can only best come from you mama (and you dads too, I would never forget about y’all).
In fact speaking of! This next Tip is specially for you new dads! Yes you! The ones who just watched their partners push and stretch giving you your pride and joy. I am talking to you. Directly to you. So listen. Tip #3: Dads, husbands, partners, this is a huge time in your significant others life as well as your own. Be there. Be present. While I know, you don’t have a boob that produces liquid gold (sorry 🤷🏼♀️only moms get that superpower), you do have a loving swaddle, a warm embrace, kind words, and super awesome diaper changing abilities. (Please sense the light hearted nature of this and don’t turn into angry sauce, please and thank you). You were given the superpowers of TEAMWORK and LOVE. Don’t be afraid to use them and conquer being a new dad, because your little human and partner are both counting on it.
Also Dads, here’s another one:
Tip #4: Talk. Talk. Talk. And more Talk. Just like Tip #1 for mamas, self care for y’all involves being open about your feelings and what’s on your mind. The same resources available to new moms are here for dads too. Now is not the time to try to be macho and hide scary or nervous emotions. This is such a BIG transition time, and no one expects you to have it all together. What we do expect is honesty and growth with your other half. So if you need it, do not be afraid ask for help, and do your best. ♥️
Tip #5 : Mama, if you are breastfeeding, please take care of your breasts! Lanolin is a great soothing product and helps with the dryness and cracking . You wouldn’t want to eat off of a dirty plate, and baby is more likely to latch quicker if your breast is clean and soft to their mouth. Also? Cabbage! Warm cabbage on your breasts in between nursing sessions helps to reduce clogged milk ducts and soothes the tenderness. DO NOT ICE THEM!! Please oh please do not ever ice them!! This could potentially lead to other issues and that would not be self care it would be horrible. So please stay away from the ice up there. If you’re into ice or ice is your soothing method of choice?? Check out the next tip but please do not use them on your breasts!
Tip #6: PADSICLES!!! I think padsicles are the best thing and I always recommend them! I’ll post a follow up blog linking DIY instructions and such to make your own! But seriously. Make them. Use them. Feel better down there. Your vagina just birthed a baby, it’s going to be sore, it’s going to be different, and it might hurt. Be careful of hemorrhaging and if anything feels or seems off DO NOT HESITATE to call your caretaker. A just in case phone call is better than a bigger issue later!! Trust me. Your doctor or midwife will thank you.
Tip #7: Sleep when baby sleeps. I know you’ve most likely heard that a million times by now but it’s one of the best tips I can give. If baby is sleeping? Go nap. Don’t worry about anything else. (See Tip #2 for reference) seriously. It will make the sleepless nights a teensy bit more prepared for if you have adapted to the sleep schedule of your newborn.
Tip #8: If your doula offers postpartum services, take her up on them. I’ll go over this in a future post, but trust me. Take her up on them. You will wish you did if you don’t.
Tip #9: Please do not worry about being a “perfect mom or dad”. You will never be a perfect parent BUT you will be the perfect parents for your tiny human. Remember that. Be gentle with yourself.
Last but not surely not least,
Tip #10: Take time for each other. Your partner is truly the only one who fully knows what you’re going through in these moments of becoming a new parent. They’re the ones experiencing it with you for the first time. Love each other. Affirm each other. Offer up reassurance. Don’t worry about fights right now. Nothing is more important than the safe and loving environment your baby needs. Heck you’ve had all these years earth side! Your nugget is just getting the hang of it. Have patience. Give hugs. Love on each other. (Please follow doctor or midwives instructions when physically loving on each other…they give you the guidelines for a reason)
Well there you have it! My “Top 10” tips of self care for new parents!! I hope you enjoyed it. I appreciate you reading it. If you have any questions whatsoever or any feedback please please please leave a comment or contact me through the tab on the menu page!!