Self-care with a new baby

Self-care with a new baby

My ‘baby’ is almost two now and I’m still very unsure if a baby number three will ever be on the cards so this is really a reflective post on self-care I wish I had implemented with a new baby. My daughter is now almost five and son was two a few weeks ago and my experiences were completely different, with my first I took to it easily and was back up in no time, whilst with my son I had terrible postnatal depression which I think was contributed to my lack of self-care in the early days post delivery.

If I do ever become a mother again this is how I would self-care better.

  1. I’m a pretty determined person if I put my mind to it and I was desperate to get out and about with the new baby and prove that again I was this perfect earth mother second time around. I was naive to think that two children wouldn’t be much harder and that I would heal in the same way. I was emotional and physically drained and I should have slowed down.
  2. I was pretty strict with my first with visitors and my second I let things slip. It was overwhelming not just for me but for my oldest. Miss J needed time to adjust to a new baby and we didn’t give her the chance.
  3. I wish I had treated my body better. I was so focused on keeping everybody else happy that I neglected myself. I had very low iron in pregnancy and required an iron transfusion after giving birth second time. I wish I had taken Spatone Iron earlier to help with my iron levels. If a third ever does happen I will be taking it throughout my pregnancy.
  4. My first labour was a real struggle and required a fair amount of stitches. The time it took to heal was long and using the toilet was a very scary experience. When Mr T came along I luckily only grazed, but second time I was clued up and had a jug of warm water ready for toilet trips and I took many salt baths which I really think helped make me recover so quickly.
  5. Breastfeeding first time was tough and I spent a fair amount of time crying through the pain.  With my first child I remember desperately waiting for our local shop to open on a Sunday morning so I could send hubby to buy some formula, whilst I was waiting for my milk to come in. I know some people are really against it, but it helped me carry on breastfeeding when I was struggling so much. With my second I had a carton just in case and never had to use it.
  6. Do your reasearch on a good breast pump. First time I went for a brand I knew and it was rubbish, second time I really looked into it and found a great Medela Swing pump which enabled me to pump and store milk.
  7. Close the curtains and air your breasts if they hurt and stock up on lanolin cream, Lansinoh seemed to work best for me.
  8. First time around I was desperate to get back into my clothes and I was ‘fortunate’ enough that I actually lost 20 Ibs in the first five months of pregnancy, so after delivery I was skinnier than before. Second time around I wasn’t so lucky and still haven’t lost it two years on. If there is a next time I will not got hung up on this and will embrace the leggings post delivery.
  9. Accept help if offered and ask for help when needed. I really wish I would have asked for help and accepted in more in the early days with baby number two. Miss J probably would have benefited from some time away from the new baby and I needed time to bond with my new baby.
  10. Make the most of box sets. I loved box sets with my first child, but with my second it was mostly spent watching kids TV. I wish instead of going insane watching Paw Patrol whilst I had a baby stuck to my boob that I had got out my tablet. There is no harm in watching TV and just staying awake.
  11. For some reason with my second I felt that I shouldn’t nap and as soon as my hands were free I would attempt to clean, I wish I had just laid my head down on the sofa and just rested my eyes for five minutes whilst my oldest watched some TV.
  12. With both children as I breastfed I felt like I had to be with them every moment of the day. I wish I had taken the time when hubby was home to pop out for an hour on my own between feeds or even go for a walk. Having a baby is all-consuming and sometimes you just alone time.
  13. I wish I would have expressed how I really felt. I bottled it up and I wish I would have been honest with myself and say how it really was. I didn’t feel confident enough to really start expressing my thoughts until Mr T was 16 months old and I started to write it down in this blog. Once I started to express how I felt, I then could make sense of it and let go of guilt.
  14. I really wish I had known about mindfulness earlier and took time out to mediate, relax and be present in the moment. It’s done wonders for my mental wellbeing and it really is one of the best self-care tools you can use.
  15. Own your parenting decisions and don’t let people make you feel guilt. Do what works for you and your baby and don’t let anyone else try to make you feel guilty. We are all trying to do the best by our children so don’t let someone limited perspective make you feel bad.

Having a new baby whether it’s your first or fifth is difficult and a big transition for you all. Be kind to yourself and remember unless you look after yourself first you can’t look after your baby to the best of you abilities. If anyone has any other self-care tips to add please let me know in the comments.

A special moment with both my children

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20 thoughts on “Self-care with a new baby

  1. I do remember that all consuming feeling and wanting some time to myself. I think I used to bundle the triplets into a pram and go for a walk as semi me time! Lovely tips and easy traps we all fall into. #BigPinkLink

  2. This is a great post! I can relate to all of it but from the first time not the second. First time was awful, I let too many people visit, didn’t look after myself, was too keen to prove I had it all under control. Second time I was much better. I said no to visitors or at least wasn’t afraid to cut their visit short. I didn’t worry about going outside and when we did it was for a very short walk just to get a little air. New babies really rock the boat don’t they!
    #BigPinkLink

  3. I can absolutely relate to so many things that you have said here. I felt even more compelled to be Supermum second time around as I was determined that my eldest would not be neglected or made to stay home any more than before just because of her new baby brother. We were out and about all over the place within a couple of days of me giving birth second time around as I was subconsciously trying to over-compensate with our little girl and fill her days with fun, when really we should all have been at home resting and bonding with our new arrival. We got through it, but I would set more realistic expectations all round if we were to ever do it again. Thanks for sharing with #DreamTeam lovely x

    1. It’s hard when you have a older one at home, especially when they’ve been used to going out and doing all these things. I felt so guilty all the time that I couldn’t juggle my older daughter and new baby better. I know now I did the best I could do at the time. x

  4. I really felt as though I had written this!! I was nodding along to all of it-I try not to be full of regrets, and think of it like this, as more of a reflection of what could’ve been improved-but it’s really hard not to be a bit regretful. I also wanted to be out and about within days of having the new baby-mainly because everyone had told me that a 14 month gap was going to be hard, and I wanted to prove everyone wrong! When the eldest was napping, I used to spend all that time holding the new baby, because of all the guilt I had at not having enough time for him. I should’ve put him down, and slept myself. I also put everyone’s needs before mine-everyone was eating healthy nutritious meals, apart from me-I was mainly dehydrated and probably undernourished from looking after myself so badly! I agree with everything you’ve put here. I don’t think we will be having a third, but I’m going to be so mindful of this if we do xx
    #bigpinklink
    This Mum’s Life recently posted…The Big Pink Link Week 63!My Profile

    1. It’s so tough and I really felt I wanted to prove to everyone that I could handle it all. Hindsight is a pointless though and if we have a next time i’ll be taking my own advice.

  5. Great post! I was also very domestic when 2nd slept in the day, I wouldn’t nap id run around like a crazy person with the hoover!!

    #familyfunlinky

  6. These are brilliant and all so very true. We definitely don’t make enough time for ourselves, especially after the arrival of a new baby, let a lone a second but if we can be mindful of our needs too we should. I also watched all the box sets day and night, I actually miss that chance to sit and watch episode after episode with a baby snuggling on me, now like you say it’s all peppa pig and Mr Tumble whilst they lean on your not so tight stomach, fun huh. Thanks for joining us at #familyfun
    tammymum recently posted…Perhaps I should Have Read More BooksMy Profile

  7. I can’t tell you how much I love this post and just how much I needed to read it! It’s been a crazy 5 weeks with my newborn and the guilt that I have felt has been overwhelming! Thank you for making me feel normal! Each and every one of your points hit home! Every mom with a new baby should read this! #globalblogging
    One Messy Mama recently posted…Global Blogging #30My Profile

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