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Vetted by Gokul Ratakonda, MSc, PhD (Counseling Psychology) on 10 Jun, 2022
A Critical Checklist: 9 Valuable Tips to manage mental health as New Moms

A Critical Checklist: 9 Valuable Tips to manage mental health as New Moms

Welcoming a new baby is exciting, but it can quickly become very tiring for new moms. Adjusting to your baby’s sleep schedule, feeding times, poop times, and playtime is an intense, energy-consuming process that can wear you out, affecting a new mom's mental health. As much as you want to spend time with and cater to the needs of your little one, you also need to take care of yourself and keep yourself happy.

Choose your battles

Parenting is rewarding, but tiring as well. Moms' mental health matters too, and here’s what you can do to ensure that the spark in you stays alive despite the gruelling routine:
  • Try to get enough sleep. Avoid taking too much caffeine since it can interfere with your sleep cycle. Do not use electronic gadgets or go on social media right before going to bed. Make the best use of your baby’s nap time to take a rest.
  • Skip the unnecessary household stuff. It is okay to prioritize yourself over chores that can be done later. Don’t shy away from asking your friends and family for help with necessary chores like grocery shopping and cleaning. What are friends and family for, after all?
  • Share your night-time baby duties, such as changing or feeding your baby, with your partner. This will improve the father-baby bonding as well. You can pump your milk if needed for nighttime feedings.

Tips for self-care and maintaining a new mom's mental health

New mothers can feel hopelessness, tiredness, guilt, or sadness for weeks or months after having a baby. This new mom's mental health checklist, if followed, could help you feel better physically as well as emotionally.
  • Get enough sleep. Babies sleep for about 14–17 hours in one day, with 3–4 hours at a stretch at night. So, take a nap as and when the baby sleeps.
  • Go for walks or do light exercises. If you have had a C-section delivery, exercise after 6-8 weeks of prenatal checkup.
  • Keep yourself hydrated. Drink about 16 cups of water every day.
  • Eat nutritious food to help you recover quickly.
  • After your baby is born, you may not be able to spend as much time with your partner as you did earlier. Setting aside some time to spend with your partner, even if it is just for a meal, will make both of you feel good.
  • Dress up to help build your self-confidence. Go for a haircut, brush your hair or apply a little bit of makeup once in a while to look good and feel better.
  • Take some time away from the baby and invest in self-care. Do the things that you enjoyed earlier; be it reading a book or indulging in a bubble bath.
  • Reduce the time spent on social media. Social media can connect you with people from all over the world. However, most of the time, you may end up comparing yourself to other moms with their perfect lives, making you feel inadequate. Instead, you can spend that time taking care of yourself and resting. If you are looking for social interaction, you can meet a friend with a baby or join a new mom’s club and interact with other moms like you.
  • Engage in positive self-talk. Show yourself more compassion and understanding. You can make your own positive mantra like “I am doing my best for my baby.” or “My baby is doing well and I am a good mom." You can write down positive quotes and read them on a daily basis, or you can read happy articles. This will help you combat the negative feelings that moms sometimes get when they are stressed or overwhelmed.

Join support groups for moms to get assistance and share your experiences and the difficulties you face. Understand that a healthy body and a peaceful mind will help you to take care of your baby more responsibly. Stay positive and happy for your little one!

 

References:

  1. Johns Hopkins Medicine. New parents: tips for quality rest. 
  2. Tommy’s. Your mental health after the birth. [2019]
  3. NCT. 10 self-care tips for new mums
  4. Kidshealth. Sleep and newborn. [2019] 
  5. Tommy’s. When and how to exercise after a c-section.
  6. Geisinger. Postpartum care for mom: Tips for healing and comfort.
  7. Eatright. Nursing your baby
  8. Rtor. 5 tips to maintain your mental health as a new mom. [2020] 

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