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5 Tips to Managing Stress During the Early Stages of Motherhood

Motherhood is one of the most beautiful, extraordinary and rewarding experiences you’ll ever have. From the moment you find out you’re pregnant, the next ten months are spent preparing for a little person you’ll dream about meeting one day. Every ounce of energy is focused on making sure they are developing well and are cared for once they arrive. It’s what you do as a mother before they make their debut and even more once they are welcomed into the world. 

Your baby is a blessing but can be hard work, especially if you’re a first-time mother. Learning who this little life is and what they require takes time. In the first few weeks, you’re getting to know their personality, deciphering each of their cries and what they mean, developing a routine and it’s all done on very little sleep. 

Keeping up with the everyday needs of your new baby can leave very little time for self-care leading to exhaustion and stress. Neither is good for you or your baby. Here are five ways to manage stress in the early stages of motherhood: 

1. Sleep when your baby is sleeping. This can be hard to do when you are so in love with watching that little face sleep, folding a load of baby clothes or washing dishes. You can always find something to do, but is that the best use of your time? The most important thing you can do for yourself is SLEEP. Don’t see it as a missed opportunity to get ahead on chores. Accept this moment as an opportunity to recharge your body by catching a nap or resting. You’ll be glad you did.

2. Seek help from trusted individuals around you. It takes a village to raise a child is truly an understatement. Trying to do everything yourself will quickly result in burnout. Seeking help from close family or friends you trust to keep your baby on his or her schedule, relieves a big part of the stress. Set a schedule for those select few to come by when you need them the most. Ultimately, these scheduled visits will allot time for a hot shower, relaxing nap or a hot meal. 

3. Have your husband fill in for a midnight feeding or two. Whether you are breastfeeding, pumping for bottle feedings or using formula, your baby has to eat every two hours until they reach and maintain weight. This requires you to be on a strict schedule even throughout the night. Husbands are a big part of your home team and are willing to help out in whatever capacity you need. Help during the day is great but soliciting their help during night feedings is even more beneficial. During this time, give yourself a break to pump milk for storage or get in a few extra winks of sleep. Your baby never misses a feeding and dad gets his own bonding time too.

4. Schedule time outside of the house for a manicure or pedicure. You give so much of your time and energy to caring for your baby, that your basic needs are often neglected. Taking time away from the house and your baby to decompress isn’t a bad thing. Scheduling a nice manicure or pedicure allows you time for self-care and adult conversation you’ve probably been lacking. This type of service will have you in and out before or right at your next feeding. Above all, remember, you’ve entrusted your newborn to reliable, trustworthy individuals. Try not to call home and enjoy your time away. 

5. Have a food service deliver meals to your home. Experienced moms will tell you the most helpful thing for them was not having to wonder where their next meal was coming from. Eating regularly helps with milk production and energy levels. Whether you’ve signed up for an automated food service to deliver fresh meals to your doorstep or your bestie schedules food drop-offs from people you know, you’ve just cleared a huge item off your checklist. 

The bottom line is in order for you to be at your best, self-care should be a priority on your checklist. Making time to assess your current needs, allows you the room to invest in your overall health and present the best version of yourself.


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