Ashley Taylor is a freelance writer, photographer, and advocate for people with disabilities. She created DisabledParents.org to provide information and resources to other parents with disabilities. When she isn’t working, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two children.
Newborns, naps, and nutrition
In addition to sleep, many new moms tend to neglect their nutritional needs in the early stages of parenthood. This is the worst time to skip meals, however. If you are breastfeeding, you need around 500 extra calories each day to maintain your milk supply. Lactation consultant Kelly Bonyata notes that breastfeeding mothers should also stay hydrated, which is accomplished by simply drinking when you are thirsty. Keep a bottle of water with your baby gear and spend an afternoon each week preparing meals and snacks, so you always have a source of nutrition readily available.
Making time for yourself and your partner
Your other relationships can also be something you nurture during this time, and you will benefit from social interaction. Doula Carrie Murphy asserts that visiting with friends and family is a great way to receive emotional support. Keep in mind that no one can do it alone, and bringing in help and support is one of the best ways to fit self-care on to your list of obligations.
Even though your attention is focused on your bouncing baby boy or girl, if you don’t prioritize your own well-being, you may find you don’t have the energy to focus on theirs. Eat well, ask for help, and wear your badge of self-care proudly, and you will set an example for your family and the other moms who will follow in your footsteps.
If you haven’t already read the book, it’s a great place to start - Relationship Reboot: Break free from the bad habits in your relationship.
David B. Younger, Ph.D. is the creator of Love After Kids, for couples that have grown apart since having children. He is a clinical psychologist and couples therapist with a web-based private practice and lives in Austin, Texas with his wife, 14-year-old son, 4-year-old daughter and 6-year-old toy poodle.