Guest blog today by Emily Graham, Enjoy!
Photo by Unsplash
How New Moms Can Accommodate Their Own
Comfort and Needs When Breastfeeding
As a new mother, most likely you’re knee-deep navigating sleepless nights, constant breastfeeding or pumping, and generally giving everything you have to your new bundle of joy. But what about yourself? Are your needs being met? The likely answer to that question is no, since most mothers will sacrifice their needs for the sake of their child’s. However, the American Psychological Association notes that this is a recipe for stress and burnout, which will not only affect you but also your little one.
Finding balance is important, and taking care of yourself is essential to be the best mom possible. Today, Jessica Raymond Photography shares the following tips to help new moms incorporate more self-care in their lives.
For a new mother, it’s easy to get caught up in your newfound responsibilities and ignore your own needs. Be mindful of your mental health, as reduced sleep, trouble with latching, and even clinical postpartum depression are common byproducts of caring for a newborn. Carve out time to decompress, and seek professional help if you feel unable to cope.
Stylist suggests making it a point to treat yourself occasionally. Arrange childcare for a night alone or with your partner, stock the house with some of your favorite foods, or set aside dedicated time to work on a hobby. You can even order yourself flowers online, either in stock combinations or custom bouquets. This can add a sense of beauty and calm in an otherwise chaotic time. Giving yourself deliberate opportunities to relax and unwind will give you the energy to meet the demands of motherhood.
For nursing moms, it can be especially challenging to carve out time and create a relaxing space in the home. To get the most out of a calming environment, introduce natural elements like earthy décor or houseplants, add comfortable furniture and extra pillows for nursing needs, set up dimmers for lighting if possible, and include ambient sounds such as a sound machine or white noise app.
Have soothing scents that can be released through diffusers for essential oils to give you an added layer of serenity. Lastly, personalize this designated area with items that are meaningful and unique to you so that you can truly feel at home each time you sit down for nursing sessions.
Water exercise can be an ideal workout for expecting or nursing mothers as it allows you to exercise in a buoyant, weightless environment with less strain on the joints and back. Water exercise has been shown to help strengthen the muscles used during labor and delivery, reduce leg swelling and water retention, boost mood and help regulate body temperature.
It’s also a great way to stay active without over exerting yourself or putting unnecessary strain on your pre- and postnatal body. With the help of water exercise, expecting mothers can feel the benefits of physical activity without having to worry about damaging their bodies or putting too much strain on their ligaments.
To make breastfeeding more comfortable and convenient, it helps to have certain supplies at the ready. When it comes to clothing, loose t-shirts and button-down shirts will allow you to easily breastfeed while giving any sensitive areas room to breathe. For added discretion, specialized bras and shirts are available with slots that can be opened and closed, allowing you to breastfeed without feeling too exposed.
Leaking is common when you’re lactating, so it’s not a bad idea to keep additional shirts and bras on hand when you go out. Nursing pads are a must-have as well. Placed over your nipple between your breast and bra, these pads offer extra cushioning to sensitive spots and absorb milk both and sweat. Nursing pads come in many materials, and can typically be purchased alongside diapers and other baby supplies when shopping at your favorite online marketplace.
Your Life Beyond Your Baby
Remember that the rest of your life doesn’t stop on account of your new addition. If you have other children, be sure you’re setting aside time to prioritize them. Tucking them in at night, taking them out for fun activities on occasion, or even enlisting their help for household chores are great ways to make them feel included and a part of your life. This can help keep them from feeling jealous or forgotten in response to the attention your newborn requires.
Perhaps most importantly, take every opportunity to rest. Raising a newborn doesn’t leave much time for sleep, so find childcare occasionally when you need to recharge. Making it a point to nap at the same time as your baby is another way to steal a little more sleep throughout the day. Sleep deprivation severely limits your cognitive function, which can add to your stress and discomfort.
Nursing and raising a newborn is as stressful as it is fulfilling. Make sure you’re planning around your own needs and comfort so you’re equipped to handle the responsibilities of motherhood. Find ways to incorporate regular self-care, spend quality time with your other kids and keep nursing essentials close by to make this time less of a struggle so you can focus on the good stuff.