*This is a guest article*
Whether it’s your first bundle of joy or you’ve just given birth to a sibling, having a baby is both the most wonderful and the most stressful life-altering experience. With hormones coursing through your body and a tiny human to look after, it’s no wonder that one in seven women experience postpartum depression in the year after giving birth.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, here are some ways you can manage stress after having a baby.
Accept and ask for help
Asking for help doesn’t mean you’ve failed at being a mom. Far from it. You need to take care of yourself in order to take care of your little one. Whether it’s a neighbor dropping off a homemade meal or your parents volunteering to babysit, accept the help.
And don’t be afraid to ask for help – especially from your partner.
It can be daunting to step out into the real world and leave your baby bubble, but showering, getting dressed, and getting outside every day can have a massive positive impact on your mental health.
We all know the healing power of nature can have a transformative effect, so whether you just go for a walk around the block or meet up with girlfriends for a coffee, you’ll instantly feel better.
Get into a routine
Getting into a routine is vital, not only for you but for your baby too. By setting nap times, feed times, and play times, you’ll be better able to pick up the non-verbal cues your new baby gives you.
The structure will also help present you with a bit more normalcy and can help you feel less stressed.
Make sleep a priority
Four consecutive hours of sleep is essential for your sense of well-being, so building a sleep ritual into your routine can really help you and your baby get some much-needed sleep.
Start with a warm bubble bath together, followed by a baby massage with lavender-infused baby oil. Choose baby pajamas made from natural breathable materials that help regulate temperature. For your bedtimes (and naptimes) invest in a pillow spray and eye mask.
Accept there is no such thing as perfect
We all know that Instagram isn’t reality. While it can be tempting to compare yourself to all the #blessedmoms and #mommybloggers out there, just remember that it’s a carefully curated snapshot – and that they too will have their own insecurities and worries.
Ultimately accept there is no such thing as the perfect parent – and we’re all just doing the best we can.
Thank you for reading.