Becoming a mother is a life-altering experience. Of course, it changes you physically, but it also has several psychological impacts on your mind. The labor pain and delivery is just one aspect of the journey. And trust me, that is still the easier part.
The post-pregnancy period is one of the most exhausting phases of a young mom’s life. Your days revolve around the little one. But amidst all the feeding, cleaning and diaper changes, your career goes in for a toss.
The data collected by Pew Research Centre tells us that about 70% of mother’s are working moms, extremely satisfied with their profession. However, juggling your domestic and workplace responsibilities can get a little overwhelming.
Don’t ignore your mental and physical health amidst all this tumult. Here are some useful self-care tips that you can follow to make motherhood an enriching experience.
Pregnancy cravings are common, but what postnatal indulgence? Self-care is about treating your body right. New moms have to be very careful with their diet as it has a direct impact on the baby.
Nursing your baby is not an easy task. The infant gets its nutrition from the mother’s breast milk. Eating spicy oily food changes the consistency of the fluid causing indigestion and gas problems. Also, hogging on unhealthy food makes you sluggish and prone to ailments.
Consult your doctor and religiously follow the diet chart they prescribe. Fresh fruits, green veggies, lentils, protein and dairy products are suitable for your body. It’s also important to make sure you get the vitamins you need every day, whether from oral supplements or an IV Myers Cocktail in Las Vegas. These vitamins can make sure you feel your best to handle the daily challenges of balancing your life and your newborn.
According to this nursing case study from Australia, prepared by experts in nursing assignments, aboriginal women tend to have pre-term births more frequently when compared to Australian national averages. It underlines the potential risk factors related to termination of pregnancy and stresses on the importance of a nutritious balanced diet during the pregnancy period.
Work on your body
You put on significant weight during pregnancy and it’s very difficult to shed those extra kilos. Young mothers might experience body insecurity in the post-pregnancy months. Getting back in shape is not a way to seek validation from others.
Instead, it is a form of self-love where you learn to appreciate and value your body. Don’t try to lose weight only to impress other people. Do it to reclaim your desirability.
Follow an exercise routine, practice meditation and yoga. It is a holistic way to empower yourself and feel more confident in your skin. Speaking of which, you might also find yourself dealing with acne and varicose veins. In this case, a clinic of varicose vein located in Fort Worth suggests to immediately seek medical checkup to overcome pain with your legs.. You can also check lifeasmama.com for tips on losing baby weight.
Learn a new skill
Motherhood barely leaves you with any time on your hands. With age, however, the child’s dependence on the mother lessens considerably. Why not learn a new skill in these hours that you have to spare?
I understand that it is not easy to manage academic pressure and household chores. Young mothers in B-schools and other institutions often struggle to find time for their presentations and projects. Some working women also outsource their marketing assignments to professional writers when they find it difficult to juggle their life and deadlines at the same time.
Complete an online course, get a diploma, apply for a part-time job, becoming a mother should never hold you back. Get back to building your career. There are multiple online portals where you can get affordable, credible courses and certifications. You are never too old to learn something new!
Journal your experience
Keeping a journal is one of the best ways to battle stress and stay organised, more so when one is a student. Record all your day to day experiences and feelings in a diary.
If you have a creative streak, then express your emotions via painting or poetry. Creating a narrative blog to journal your own story is a great way to capture your struggles, day to day small-wins and mood-swings. It definitely helps to share all you have to say about your own life in a narrative story format in first person, for you to hear yourself back at a later date in future. It is a great way to unwind after a hectic day. Plus, keeping a journal also keeps you more grounded. You can manage your time in a much better way than before. Set practical goals and reward yourself with every accomplishment.
This is one of the essential pieces of advice that I can give you. Young mothers get so busy with their babies and their familial responsibilities that they forget about the other bonds.
Reach out to your close friends and loved ones. Stay connected with people who support you when things get tough. Positive relationships are rare, hold on to them. Make consistent efforts to cherish these bonds. You have a life outside of household chores as well.
Also, think about ways to rebuild your career. Enrol for online classes, get certificate courses, apply for part-time jobs. There are multiple remote earning opportunities for young women fresh out of university.
Young mothers can look up for part-time jobs online or even work as independent freelancers. Financial independence is empowering. Just because you have a child doesn’t mean you cannot step out of the house anymore.
Cut some slack
It is important to cut some slack and let your hair down every once a while. Go out on romantic dates, have sleepovers, splurge- you deserve it! You are not battling against the world. Stop trying to please everyone.
Also, learn when to say no and block out the criticisms. Everyone out there will try to tell you how to do things. There are several who would find faults with whatever you do.
Learn to ignore the negativity in your life and go about your day. Practicing self-love is easier said than done. But over time, you learn to accept and appreciate yourself.
Ask for help
As a young mother, you have little to no experience of taking care of the baby. And your motherly instincts can only get you so far. It is always better to ask for help when things get a bit too much to handle. This is where your friends and family come into the picture.
There is nothing wrong in asking for a little help when things get hectic for you. Reach out to a professional if you’re feeling down in the dumps. Reach out to the mental health helplines set up by the government health departments or search for them online for your city. If you are a student, reach out to your student support teams, to see if they have a self help group for young mothers in your University. Reach out to assignment experts and tutors, to help you with your career planning and academic problems you might face in your course.
If you are married and have a partner to talk to, then learn to rely on your partner to take charge of some responsibilities as well. Where possible, raising the child can be a shared responsibility. You don’t have to do everything by yourself. You can always have your partner, family or friends to help you out as and when necessary.
Talk it out
Young mothers rarely have the time to think about their mental well-being. Taking care of the baby takes most of its energy. Postpartum depression, PTSD and other psychological disorders are more common than you think.
The pain of labour is so traumatic for some women that they cannot feel the joys of motherhood later. Some mothers are unable to develop maternal feelings for their baby right away. This leads to a tremendous amount of guilt and pressure on their psyche.
If you are suffering from anxiety or know someone who’s battling depression, then get help ASAP. Vulnerability is never a weakness.
Have some me-time
Make it a point to spend an hour or two every day in your own company. Taking care of the baby is a tiring job. There will be times when you have to compromise on your comfort and desires. However, don’t make it a regular habit.
It is not selfish to want some privacy and space in the house. It can be something as mundane as reading a book in a quiet corner or watching a late-night chick flick.
Spend a day at the spa, head out for a walk, go party if you want to! Hire a nanny or a babysitter. You don’t have to confine yourself inside the house all day.
The bottom line
It is entirely natural for young mothers to feel scared. You don’t want your little one to come to any harm. However, you need to understand that there is no checklist to be a good mother. You won’t find a rulebook that has all the instructions to deal with an emergency.
You try, make mistakes and learn from them. Don’t be too hard on yourself, and you’re doing the best you can. And it is okay to want a break. It is okay if you’re going to be in bed all day and eat junk food. You deserve a break.