Prioritizing You: Unleashing the Power of Self-Care for New Moms

Welcome to motherhood!
Being a new mom is a whirlwind. Your whole world has changed, and you're navigating life with a tiny human who relies on you for everything. Trust me when I say that it's easy to get so caught up in caring for your baby that you forget about yourself. Bit guess what… self-care isn't selfish - it's necessary. If you don't take good care of yourself, you won't have the patience, energy or strength to take good care of your baby.
So mama, this one's for you. Make time for yourself however you can, whether it's a quick walk around the block, a long shower, or catching up with girlfriends. Do small things each day that fill your cup. Cook yourself a good meal, read a book, get some fresh air. You deserve it. Your little one needs you at your best. It will make you a happier, healthier mom, and that's what's most important. Take a deep breath and remember that this whirlwind of new motherhood will slow down. For now, be gentle with yourself and make the moments you can. You've got this, mama. To take care of you, we have put together a few ways to jumpstart you on your journey.
First of all, you have to give yourself permission to prioritize self-care. This just means that you have to give yourself permission to make your own self-care a priority. As a new mom, it's easy to put your own needs last, but that will only make you exhausted, overwhelmed, and unable to be the best parent you can be. As a new mom, self-care is essential for your wellbeing and ability to care for your baby. 
Secondly, make time for yourself, mama. Carve out small pockets of time each day just for you. Even 15-20 minutes can help recharge your batteries. Do something you enjoy, like:
- Reading a book
- Taking a bath
- Doing light exercise like yoga
- Journaling
Don't feel guilty about it. Your mental and physical health are just as important as caring for your baby. Another way to enhance your self care is to connect with others. Talk to other moms that need support too. Talking to others in the same stage of life can help combat feelings of isolation. Join an online support group to share advice and experiences. Make dates with friends to get out of the house for a bit. Ask family members to watch the baby so you can do something social. Having a strong support system will help alleviate stress and make the challenges of new motherhood feel more manageable.
You could also take time to practise self-care. Getting enough sleep, eating healthy and exercising are essential to your wellbeing. Try going to bed a bit earlier when you can and take occasional naps if possible. Sleep when the baby sleeps. Take turns with your partner or ask a friend or family member to watch the baby so you can rest. Lack of sleep will only make things harder.
Make easy, nutritious snacks and meals ahead of time. Have easy, nutritious snacks on hand like granola bars, yogurt, fresh fruit and veggies. Staying fueled will give you the energy you need. Ask others to cook meals or do meal prep on weekends.  
Make time for exercise. Even taking the baby for a walk in the stroller can provide exercise and fresh air. Do prenatal yoga or put on a workout video when the baby naps. Exercise releases endorphins that improve your mood and stress levels. 
In the midst of all these, be gentle with yourself. You're adjusting to a whole new life, so give yourself grace. Don't feel bad for not achieving the impossible expectations of a perfect mom you see on social media. Focus on enjoying this precious time with your new baby. You've got this, mama! With self-care and support, you'll find your groove. This all trickles down to establishing a support system and asking for help.
Establishing your support network is one of the most important things you can do as a new mom. Asking for help does not make you weak or incapable—it makes you human. Let people who care about you lend a hand so you can take care of yourself. Reach out to family and friends and be specific about ways they can help. Can someone bring you a meal, watch the baby while you nap, or do some light housework? Don't be afraid to ask. Many people want to help but don't know how. Give them concrete ways to support you.
Don't try to do everything yourself. Asking for and accepting help when you need it will allow you to be the best mom you can be. Make the time to recharge by sleeping, exercising, pursuing hobbies, or other acts of self-care. Staying balanced and connected to yourself during this transition will benefit both you and your baby in the long run.
Now that you've read about some simple ways to practice self-care as a new mom, taking time for yourself may feel impossible or selfish, but you need to make yourself a priority to be the best mom you can be. Start small by doing one thing each day that fills your cup. Whether it's a hot bath, a walk outside, journaling your feelings or calling a friend, do what makes you feel good. Don't feel like you are not giving your baby enough attention. Your baby needs a happy, healthy mama. Motherhood is a marathon, not a sprint, so take it slow and be kind to yourself along the way. You've got this! Make the time for you each and every day. You've got this!