Having a baby is no joke. And all of those changing hormones, lack of sleep and a major upheaval to life as you once knew it can leave even the most seasoned mom feeling... well, exhausted, isolated and disconnected from her 'true self' -- or at least the self she knew before the baby came along.
So, because I am living through the postpartum stage for the second time around (week 6 over here), I thought it would be helpful to break-down what I am doing to side-step those pesky baby blues, and get back to feeling like myself again! *Please note, this post is not about postpartum depression. PPD needs to be diagnosed and treated by a medical professional.
Okay, so let's jump in!
1) Shower. Every single day.
Okay okay this may seem obvious to some, but with round-the-clock feedings and late nights that turn into early mornings, it is very easy to let a day slip. DON'T DO IT. Wash your hair. Shave your legs. Heck, do a facemask while you're in there. Then put on your best body lotion or oil, a fresh nursing tank and get back out there! It will make a world of difference.
2) Make the Bed
Another one that might sound silly -- but keeping this routine in place brings a sense of normalcy to weeks that feel far from normal. It also feels SO nice to walk into your room and see a freshly made bed.
3) Eat that Placenta
I've talked about this on social media, but I swear by my "happy pills" that I get from encapsulating my placenta. I did this with both pregnancies and it has helped even-out my hormones during those early months. Since I have never *not* taken them, I don't know how I would feel without them. But what I do know is that $250 is a relatively small price to pay for a boat load of health benefits... or one hell of a placebo effect. Either way, I'm a satisfied customer!
4) Call on your Village
They say it takes a village and it couldn't be more true. Take friends up on offers to bring dinner and text mom-friends during those SOS, what-the-heck-am-I-doing-moments. Just last week, I was feeling worried about my milk-supply so I texted my friend/neighbor to see what natural supplements she suggested. Within 15 minutes she was at my door with a huge bag full of tried and true supplements she no longer needed, mother's milk tea, and even a wireless breast pump. I felt so grateful, and also so happy that I made the decision to reach out for help rather than troubleshooting on my own.
5) Do Something for You
Whether it's getting a quick mani-pedi on the weekend, or running out for an iced tea and new lipstick at Sephora -- be sure to get out of the house to do something YOU want to do -- without the baby. This isn't so much about having nice looking nails or a fun new lip shade, but more about doing something that takes you out of the house, off of your strict feeding schedule and allows you to focus on yourself for a couple of hours.
6) Say YES to help
This goes hand-in-hand with #4 but I think so often, us moms take on all the burden, and say no to help offered because we don't want to put others out and we think we can handle everything on our own.
Look mama. I have NO doubt that you can. Buy why do it? If the grocery store cashier sees your fussy baby, stir-crazy toddler, and 15 overflowing bags in your grocery cart, and asks if you need help out to the car... Just. Say. Yes. If your mother-in-law offers to take your toddler for a week so you can get a little break, push that mom-guilt to the side and say YES PLEASE. You will thank yourself later.
7) Follow your Passions
Maybe not all of them... but at least pick one. Something you love that brings you joy. If you love photography, bust out that 50mm lens and take some newborn pictures of your new addition. If you love crafting, find a small project you can work on while the baby naps. It's so important not to lose sight of the things that make you "tick" because, ultimately, those are things that bring you happiness and make you feel like YOU!
*all photos by Francesca Marchese Photography