Self-care tips for new mums

Once it’s spelled out, it’s clear to see that there are impossibly high expectations set for new mothers to bounce back, and that is exactly why postpartum self-care is of paramount importance.

It’s safe to say that giving birth to a child is extremely challenging. Then, immediately postpartum, there is a completely new person relying on you for the essentials of love, food and shelter. Meanwhile, you are only beginning the long process of recovering from labour. You may feel pressured into getting back on your feet and juggling all of your responsibilities as a mother, a partner and a friend, as well as jumping back into your career without missing a beat.

At times, even self-care can feel like work, so try to focus on building it piece by piece and don’t feel guilty if you haven’t established the ideal routine right from the get-go. The truth is that ideas of ‘perfect’ or ‘ideal’ are impossible to achieve and trying to do so will only really result in disappointment. Simply try your best and incorporate what you can. Above all, make space for yourself to be imperfect as you become accustomed to living with your new arrival!

Pillars of self-care

Self-care is not just limited to treating yourself to a spa day or a delicious brunch out. For new mums, it’s often much more fundamental than that. Proper nutrition, sleep, mindfulness and exercise help to build a base from which you can gently get back into the swing of everyday life. While the more extravagant treatments shouldn’t be overlooked, getting the basics right will stand to you in the long-term. Here are some tips to set you in the right direction.


Good nutrition is a pillar of health. After giving birth, your body is working hard to repair everything and to help you back on your feet. It’s crucial to provide it with healthy meals full of the nutrients, vitamins and minerals that it requires. With that being said, feel free to incorporate a few treats here and there. For most mothers, the cravings they experience during pregnancy disappear after giving birth. However, that doesn’t mean you don’t deserve a snack here or a dessert there. Trying to eat cleanly the majority of the time will give your body the fuel it needs.


Once the newborn arrives, it can feel like you’re saying goodbye to a good night’s sleep forever. Your baby will almost certainly wake you up in the middle of the night, every night for the first few months at least. Given that this is the case, there are some things you can try, to mitigate against losing out on sleep. For example, give yourself far longer in bed than you would normally need. You’ll probably be getting your night’s sleep in multiple parts, so giving yourself a ten hour window in which to get seven hours sleep can work quite well. It may take a little getting used to but getting sufficient sleep is crucial to giving yourself (and your new bundle of joy!) whatever is needed.


Newborns tend not to be quiet beings, and who can blame them? They’ve just arrived into this new, scary world and are trying to come to terms with it all. Silence is a rare commodity postpartum and it’s worth seeking out. Whether it’s while your baby is napping or nursing, consider taking a few moments to sit in silence with yourself and to just be. Close your eyes and try to become aware of each part of your body, starting at your feet and moving up towards your head. Feel the pain in your back, the strain in your arms and the lovely, soft cushion beneath you. Gaining this awareness of how you’re truly feeling can help you to welcome in some stillness and take the rest that you need.


New mothers can easily become isolated socially. It can feel like you haven’t had a conversation with an adult in days, if not weeks. Going for dinner with the girls simply isn’t as straightforward as it used to be. Finding a way to reconnect with your friends, whether it’s by getting a babysitter in or socialising with other ladies who also have newborns, can help to inject some joy and stimulation into your day that may just be too full with changing nappies and feeding time.


Exercise may be the last thing on your mind after giving birth and, to a certain extent, rightly so.

In fact, many new mothers experience pelvic issues, including pain or incontinence. To address these, consider seeing a pelvic floor therapist. They will be able to help you to rehabilitate the muscles that may have become strained during pregnancy and childbirth.

Once you are ready, getting out for a daily walk can benefit you in countless ways. The air, the light and the movement can help to alleviate some of the physical and mental stress that you may be experiencing. Ease into exercise and take it very gently.

Ask for support

Arguably the best thing that you can do after giving birth is to rely on your support network. Don’t be afraid to ask others for help when it comes to minding your baby, preparing food, or even just calling over to your home to lend a hand. It has been said that ‘It takes a village to raise a child’, and there is a lot of truth in it. Lean on your family and friends as an act of self-care, and you may find that everything becomes a little more manageable.

Image Credit: Shutterstock

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