Whether you're a
first-time parent or a seasoned veteran, consider these 5 tips to keep postpartum stress
Ride the roller coaster of emotions.
You will go from kissing your baby’s tiny fingers and toes to grieving the loss of your old life (no one really talks about this!) and worrying about how you will ever figure “it all” out, all in the space of a single diaper change! You and your partner will be tired and anxious. To help you stay connected, talk about what's bothering you, and try as hard as you can to schedule a date night so the two of you can take a few deep breaths together. Talking about the ups and downs with your mate will surely bring on a few good laughs too!
Relax yo' standards.
Hide the broom. Clean the bathroom with a fresh baby wipe. Check out groupon or amazon local for house cleaning deals and treat yourself. Serve cold cereal and peanut butter toast for dinner when you're too tired to prepare a meal. This particular stage in life is temporary, so take a deep breath and don’t be hard on yourself.
If you're going stir-crazy with a fussy newborn, take the baby out for a walk. If you can, let someone you trust take over for a while. Getting out to take a breath all by yourself will feel weird and delicious. Your role on this planet has just severely shifted and it’s vital to create space to process that. For me, taking a walk was usually exactly what I needed.
It starts with you.
1. Staying hydrated will be a game changer for you and your partner. Drink 16- 30 ounces of water upon waking every single day to help boost your energy and avoid headaches. 2. Don’t read too many books that focus on a strict plan for you and your baby. I’ve witnessed so many first time parents who just want the answers and solutions to the issues that are going to come up. Parenting and baby books are almost like diet books. There are many ways to do this job. You and your baby are unique and will find your own patterns and norms. 3. Get some fresh air. 4. Sleep when the baby sleeps — and work out a nighttime schedule with your partner that allows both of you to rest and care for the baby. 5. Make sure you have lots of colors (from fruits and veggies) in your diet. I like to cut up a bunch of “grabable” veggies that will last me for 3-4 days. 6. Don't be afraid to set aside your social graces, either! Let trusted visitors care for the baby while you get some much needed rest. 7. Do something you enjoy every day, either with the baby or on your own. Good habits will help you find the energy you need to care for your baby.
Keep it light and seek a helping hand.
When you need to head out, give yourself extra time to pack up and change the inevitable out-the-door dirty diaper. I mean WAY more extra time than you think. Like, an hour. Trust me. Parenting in the beginning is a challenge, even on a good day. Feeling depressed or having trouble adjusting to life with a newborn is normal. Practice deep breathing, and don’t be afraid to ask for help. There are so many people who would LOVE to help you in this time. Learning to handle the new stress in your life can help you enjoy and celebrate being a parent even more!
Kiss those baby toes for me!