Self-care tips for expectant and new parents
Taking care of your emotional wellbeing is just as important as your physical wellbeing during pregnancy and early parenthood.
Self-care is not selfish, we hope that you find something in our list of tips that will nurture your emotional wellbeing.
When you have a baby, it can be a time of mixed emotions and not always happy ones! It is common to feel overwhelmed, isolated, low in mood, exhausted with little or no deep sleep, irritable andother forms of emotional distress. Practical help can lighten your load. Can you arrange some help with the cleaning, household work such as gardening, shopping and washing? If you have friends and family asking how they can help, no matter how uncomfortable it might feel, gracefully accept their offers and allow them to provide some support.
Opening up the conversation and sharing your feelings as an expectant or new parent is the most important first step in reaching out. It can also be the most difficult, so be gentle with yourself andreach out to someone you know well and trust. If you are experiencing any emotional distress, it is especially important to share this and to access support. Relationships too are key but can go off course after a baby. Talking, as well as sharing your distress, lessens the isolation and could bring you closer to someone as you share how you really are. You can find out more about accessing support here: https://gidgetfoundation.org.au/getsupport/
In our world, the temptation to compare is always at your fingertips. Remember that you know your baby best. Social media can be a wonderfully supportive place to connect with other expectant and new parents. Any time you spend time scrolling, we encourage you to do it mindfully. How is it making you feel? Do you need to limit your time, or look at who you are connecting with to ensure that it is a healthy space?
It’s amazing how a dose of fresh air and sunshine can impact on your emotional wellbeing! A small amount of safe sun exposure, a short walk, a picnic on the grass or even in your own backyard can all give you a little energetic lift. During those long, intense days as a new parent this is especially important.
This is one of our favourite tips! Kindness towards yourself and others is a game changer for expectant and new parents. Be careful with the way you speak to and think about yourself; would you speak to or think of a close friend the same way? Does your language need a little softening? Remember that you are doing the best you can in each parenting moment. Small gestures ofkindness towards other parents can also really boost your own mood. Smile or even chat with another parent when you are out next or leave a kind comment online. Engaging with life when youcan and being kind to yourself is really important.