Mom Self Care and Jenn M Tips
You Take Care, Now . . .
5 of Our Favorite New Mom Self-Care Tips AND Advice from a Breastfeeding Superstar!
They say it’s the hardest job you’ll ever love and that’s the truth. Being a new mom is one of the most rewarding experiences in the world, but it’s also a lot of work! And giving our all to these helpless little humans sometimes leaves us feeling a little lost. Since you can’t pour from an empty cup, the moms at Simple Wishes are sharing some of their favorite self-care tips for new moms, like:
- Count to five! Find a calm moment during the day, when baby is napping or playing, and take five long, deep breaths. Hold them in for five seconds, and release for five seconds. Then think of five things you’re grateful for – anything that makes you happy, from clean sheets and four hours of uninterrupted sleep to your healthy new baby and loving family, counts.
- Head outside! Fresh air is great for clearing the head and a little sunshine on your face just lifts the soul. Put baby in the stroller or carrier and head out for even a short walk around the block – it’s a great way to relax and reset.
- Take a shower! Even a short shower does wonders for rejuvenating your spirit. Set your little one’s swing or bouncer in the bathroom, turn on some tunes, and take a minute to relax in the steam. Afterall, everything feels better when you’re clean
- Drink your water! Hydration is critical to both physical and mental health, helping you detox, regulating your weight, absorbing nutrients, and keeping your joints and muscles in good shape. So, find a water bottle you love, keep it full, and carry it with you while you do your mommy thing.
- Change your clothes! Ditch the maternity wear and purchase a few staples that fit your post-partum shape. Pick up some cute bottoms and button-down shirts that give you easy access come feeding time, and ditch your dumpy, dingy bra for a comfortable, convenient, and cute nursing bra like the Simple Wishes SuperMom.
We also asked Instagram sensation Jennifer Mancuso for her best advice for breastfeeding moms. This blended-family mom of seven has been pregnant or breastfeeding since July of 2013, sharing super candid photos of her breastfeeding journey with more than 41,000 followers, including real-life pix of her double-duty twin-time nursing sessions. Below she shares some of the challenges she’s faced and her best advice for staying sane and making the most of this wonderful journey we call breastfeeding!
Q. You’re currently nursing your twins, Aria and Asher. What are some of the challenges you’ve encountered breastfeeding two babies at once?
A. Thankfully they were both born full term without any complications and latched on right away. And, since they were my third and fourth nurslings, I had a pretty solid foundation of what to do – and how hard it would be – and nursing them for a year was not only my goal, it was a personal requirement. But they would tag team me at night. And then for several months BOTH of them were completely refusing a bottle so 100% of the responsibility fell on me. And they did not start taking baby food until 8-9 months. So, I was a zombie for a long time, completely irritable, physically sore, emotionally messed up due to lack of sleep and how that affects us mentally.
Q. That’s a lot to handle. How were you able to keep going?
A. One day at a time. I kept my self-expectations low. I did not focus on the tasks that I was too exhausted to accomplish. Instead, I focused on the amazing work that I was doing, keeping two tiny humans nourished and happy. The dirty dishes, laundry, messy bedrooms, dusty floors, etc would be cleaned when I was ready and capable. So, giving myself grace and compassion was a huge help for my mental health. The second thing was not being afraid to accept and/or ask for help. Prior to the twins’ birth, I had several friends and family asking what they may be able to do to help. My automatic answer was to bring us dinner some night. Over the course of the first two weeks we had most dinners covered. This was amazing. Additionally, my mom came over once a week for almost a full day and completed our laundry from start to finish - even putting the folded clothes away! That was the best. When she was there, I also took advantage of a nice, long shower while she kept an eye on the sleeping twins. Lastly, my milk did not fully come in right away for two. My body already knew it needed to produce for a baby, but not enough for two. The first couple weeks, I gave them each a couple ounces of formula at night to help me survive. I have no guilt about this and fully support mamas doing what they need to do to get by, even if that means slipping in some formula once in a while.
Q. You’re pretty much a breastfeeding expert. What’s your best advice for new moms doing this for the first time?
A. Accept help. Do not be afraid to ask for it, either. Friends and family are much happier to help than people realize. When you decide to exclusively breastfeed, especially twins, the chance of getting even 30 minutes to yourself is slim but having extra hands around to at least hold and calm babies so you can take care of yourself a little is extremely important. Enjoy the company of family and friends, but do not feel the need to clean up prior or entertain during. Instead, see it as an opportunity for them to help by holding the baby while you take a shower, or fix you lunch, or even better - do some house chores for you! And don’t have super high expectations of yourself! You will likely not be able to "bounce back" as quickly as you may think. Allow your body to recover as well as your mind and emotions as you go through sleepless nights and roaring hormones. This is normal and it does get better!