Postpartum is among the most challenging times in a familys life. Your body is healing, hormones are running wild, you’re more exhausted than you knew was possible, and in the midst of it all, you’re learning how to be a caregiver to the amazing little human you created. Even if you have not physically given birth, the early days of a new baby can be exhausting and scary, and finding time to care for yourself isn't easy.
Basically — it’s a lot. At Balanced Birth Support our postpartum doulas provide guidance and support to new parents at a time when most of the focus is on the baby. Because while a healthy baby is important, your well-being matters just as much. Postpartum doulas are a helping hand, a listening ear, and a gentle teacher during this precious and sensitive time. Postpartum doulas are not just for those who have physically given birth, but for any and all families that need extra support after welcoming a new child (or children!)
Besides finding your postpartum doula, what can new parents do to feel their best in the weeks and months after welcoming a child?
Make Sleep & Rest A Priority
Sleep deprivation increases your risk of postpartum depression and anxiety. While eight hours a night may be off the table for a while, it’s important to get as much sleep as you can. That may mean letting your house get messier than you’d prefer or letting other responsibilities lapse. Let go of everything you think you “should” be doing and focus on resting and healing. There will be plenty of time for your to-do list later.
Practice Body Acceptance
The postpartum period brings a lot of physical changes, some of which can be difficult to accept. Remind yourself that your body looks different because it did something incredible and don’t put unreasonable expectations on your postpartum body. Gentle exercise, pelvic floor care, and retinoid creams can aid physical healing, but there’s no substitute for time. Be patient with your body and practice positive affirmations to overcome body image struggles and embrace your postpartum body.
Wear Clothes that Fit (and are Comfortable!)
It’s easier to practice body acceptance when you’re not trying to squeeze into pre-pregnancy clothes. Update your wardrobe with clothes that make you feel confident in the body you have now. High-waisted pants, oversized tops, and structured sweaters and blazers are wardrobe pieces that postpartum mamas swear by. Don’t underestimate the power of accessories! We love gemstone jewelry like these ammolite pendants and earrings because the dazzling colors make everyday outfits feel special. Plus, unlike other postpartum pieces, accessories are guaranteed to fit for years to come.
Don't Skip Meals
It’s normal to want to lose weight after having a baby, but don’t rush it. Your body needs nutrition to heal itself and nourish your baby. Eat small, frequent meals and healthy snacks if you have little appetite in the days after giving birth and drink plenty of water to avoid constipation. Your postpartum meal plan should include foods rich in iron, calcium, and fiber along with a wide variety of fruits and vegetables to ensure you and your baby get the nutrients you need.
This tip is especially important if you have a history of disordered eating. The pressure to “bounce back” after birth can trigger eating disorders. Maintain a healthy mindset towards eating by focusing on what you can add to your diet to support well-being rather than worrying about what to avoid.
Ask For, (and Accept!) Help
Finally, remember that you don’t have to do it all alone. Adjusting to parenthood is hard and asking for help is normal and good, not something to be ashamed of. Lean on your Balanced Birth Support postpartum doula to create space for healing and bonding with your baby and when loved ones offer help, accept it gladly. Letting someone else do the laundry, wash the dishes, or run errands allows you to focus on what’s most important right now — a healthy baby, and a healthy you.