By Jeana Lee Tahnk
As amazing as the process of pregnancy and childbirth is, coming
home with a newborn after such a physically demanding event can be
taxing. Elation is mixed with exhaustion, and it's easy to be overcome
with emotion and feeling overwhelmed. The first few months after baby is
born is when it's most important for new moms to take care of
themselves, but ironically, it's also the time when they feel the least
able to do so.
When you think about how much newborns sleep, it seems logical you
would have a lot of time during the day to do things. But anyone with a
new baby knows how hard it can be to find even 10 minutes to take a
shower each day. Between the countless diaper changes and the seemingly
constant cycle of eating, new babies can leave very little mom time.
I remember putting my babies in their bouncy seats and bringing them
into the bathroom with me so I could take a shower that lasted more
than 35 seconds. Between the warmth of the steam and the soothing sounds
of the running water, those 35-second showers turned into four-minute
showers, and were so glorious.
To minimize stress as a new mom, find at least a sliver of time each
day to do something for yourself. Maybe it's sitting with a hot cup of
coffee while the baby is in the swing, or watching a trashy reality show
while you're stationed on the couch nursing. Whatever it is, it's
really important to find those little perks to help you adjust to life
with a newborn.
Relying on those around you is key, too: Enlist a friend to go on a
walk with you while you push the stroller, or just have her around to
hold the baby so you can extend that shower time even more.
There's no doubt having a new baby is a magical time, but it's a
tiring one, too. Taking a few measures for yourself not only will help
minimize any stress from sleep deprivation and lifestyle change, but
also will help make you a better mom in the process.