3 Tiny Tips For Staying Afloat Postpartum
Let’s face it, there’s no magical fix for the demands of life with a newborn/infant/toddler, and there’s no one-size-fits-all advice that can make the role of a new parent easy! But occasionally a random insight helps make daily life along the way a just little bit less crushing. So just in case they might be useful, here are a few simple tips.
1. Mental Tip
Thoughts scatter to the winds each time baby cries for your attention, and writing them down to read later can provide a trail of breadcrumbs back to your own needs. To this end, it’s great to keep a journal handy to use as an external brain.
Include a few running lists to turn to when you unexpectedly find yourself with a few minutes free, little random bits that might get lost in the mix otherwise: “things I’ve been wanting to do for myself,” “little tasks requiring both hands and/or undivided attention” or “people I’d like to thank or reconnect with.”
If you’re sure you’ll misplace a physical book, you could keep a note on an app in your phone or a draft of an email. The key is having all the little bits in one place so you’ll revisit what you’ve written regularly.
2. Physical Tip
Adequate hydration is so elusive for a nursing mom! Your emotions and energy levels will be steadier if you don’t let yourself get to the point of desperate thirst.
You probably have a water bottle you use daily, but here’s the extra-credit secret: having water handy each time you wake at night to nurse will keep you from undoing your daily hydration efforts overnight. For optimal ease of use, you should be able to grab it within arm’s reach when half asleep, drink from it while lying down and trust it not to leak when left horizontal on the bed. A great one is the CamelBak Eddy Insulated .6L Water Bottle
3. Perhaps Too Obvious Tip
With all the stuff we end up lugging around when leaving the house with a baby, there’s still a tendency to forget items that support mom personally (and honestly, all the baby really needs is a functional you).
The habit of packing a selection of easy snacks every time you leave the house—an apple, some nuts, an energy bar or muffin—will keep you from the dilemma of choosing between going full-on hangry Hulk-mom or resorting to some heinous drive-thru fix. (Super-duper obvious: don’t forget that water bottle too!)
Tossing in a clean t-shirt and pair of yoga pants along with baby’s extra outfit will also come in handy many times. Pack them in a Ziploc bag so they stay clean and dry no matter what happens to the diaper bag and so you have somewhere to put the messy things for the way home.
You’ll surely collect your own tips and tricks as you trial-and-error your way through new motherhood. Be sure to pass them on when new moms ask you for advice!
Hannah Ford is a massage therapist and massage therapy instructor who is passionate about helping women awaken to our innate power. She specializes in the Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy for fertility, pregnancy, postpartum and general women’s health.