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Self-Care for New Mothers

The transition into parenthood is a wonderful and joyous time, but it can be overwhelming and stressful. While self-care includes everyday activities you find enjoyable such as reading a book or taking a bath, it is important to participate in activities which promote wellbeing and positive thoughts about yourself. Self-care is about doing anything that will calm you both physically and mentally.

Here are a few suggestions on how to improve your wellbeing through self-care:

  1. Remind yourself you will not have all the answers. This is completely normal! You don’t need to have all the answers and many parents need to reach out to family members or their pediatrician for help. Not having all of the answers doesn’t make you a bad parent, it means you are human.
  2. When you feel overwhelmed or frustrated, remember it is normal to experience these emotions. Every mother and father will feel frustrated or angry at times. Remember you can reach out for support, walk away and take a few deep breaths.
  3. Try to not go to a place of blame when things aren’t going well. It is really easy to blame ourselves during this difficult time. Please try to say something reassuring to yourself such as “I am doing my best” and “I am enough.”
  4. Try to participate in activities which will calm your mind when it starts to go to a negative, anxious or depressed place. For instance, take a walk or turn on a favorite song. These activities will take your mind to a more relaxed and positive space. These are things you can do at home and with your baby.
  5. Book a babysitter! SitterTree was created to be a stress-free way for moms to be able to take time for themselves!  Request a babysitter to come your house so you can completely relax and participate in activities you enjoy such as showering in peace or getting out of the house. Getting help will allow you to fully enjoy the moments you have with your baby.
  6. Reach out for support. This is very important. Self-care will sometimes require relying on others for support. If you are emotionally overwhelmed, please reach out to your friends, family, or a professional. Also, if you are wondering if you might be experiencing mental health issues such as postpartum depression or anxiety, please call a psychologist who can help you determine if therapy will be helpful. Don’t struggle alone.

A note about the author:

Dr. Jessica Bauer, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist and owner of Aspen Hills Psychology (Brookhaven, GA) who offers both individual and couples counseling. She specializes in providing pregnancy and postpartum support and more specifically, treating perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. 

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