Whether you are nursing or not, you will need nutritious food to help you body recover from childbirth. Stay present to your body when you are eating. Listen to hunger and satiety cues. Pay attention to when it's time to eat and when to stop. Drink lots of water. Rest when you are tired. It's true, you will need sleep more than you ever imagined. Let others help you with the baby in any way that feels right to you. Physical self-care also means gradually beginning to exercise when you get the ok to resume. Even just light stretching on the floor with your newborn by your side is a perfect way to start to feel your body as your own again.
Stay in touch with people who support you. Talk to a friend who understands what you are going through as you try to get ground under your feet. Ask for help finding a therapist when you need someone to listen more objectively. It also helps your well-being to laugh. Watch a funny movie that has nothing to do with your present circumstances.
Find a quiet spot at home to recenter while the baby is napping or when someone is there to help. Introduce yourself to meditation (many YouTube videos are out there-one of my favorites is on Yoga Nidra-all you have to do is lie down, close your eyes and let yourself follow the voice) or start a journal about what is happening to you right now. Self-reflection is powerful form of prayer and inner connection that can help you feel calmer and more centered during challenging times or anytime at all. Above all, forgive yourself for anything that isn't turning out the way you planned. Life has a way of throwing new parents the unexpected. So much of what happens will be easier to manage if you just remember that you get a fresh start to begin again tomorrow. You can do this, Momma.
Let me know if I can help.
Stefanie C. Barthmare M.Ed., LPC
Houston, TX 77005