Healthy, happy mum = healthy, happy baby
Welcoming a little one into your family can be all consuming, but we look at why it’s vital for both you and bub that you take some time out for you.
But as hard as it may be to fathom the idea of taking time out for you, studies have shown a direct link between mum’s wellbeing and taking time-out. Women who don’t take regular breaks in the six months after giving birth could be at greater risk of suffering from depression than mothers who take a break at least once a week.
Me time, as if!
While it’s not easy, it’s important for both you and bub to take time-out. Your support network can play a massive role in helping you look after your little one while you’re taking a well-deserved break.
Speak-up and ask your partner, friends and family for help so you can take some time out. They may surprise you, and offer to help before you even ask. If not, they might be trying to be respectful and not step on your toes, so ask for help when you need it.
What do we mean by taking a break?
It doesn’t matter what you do, so long as it’s something you enjoy that recharges your batteries and makes you happy. Why not make a list, and stick it to the fridge and tick them off one by one?
- Sleep: Nothing recharges the batteries quite like a daytime nap. But don’t forget to try and snatch some ‘me time’ while you’re awake as well, even if it’s reading a chapter of a book.
- Exercise: Get out into the fresh air and go for a walk or bike ride. Sign up for a postnatal yoga class or Pilates class. Can’t make it out of the house? Try one of our online yoga classes (link).
- Meditation: Find a quiet spot, make yourself comfortable, and listen to some a guided meditation. Here are some great meditations to choose from (link to meditation page).
- Get creative: Do whatever gets your creative juices flowing - write, knit, paint, colour-in, scrapbook or just potter in the garden.
- Indulge: Book a massage or run a hot bath with candles, and let the tensions and trials of motherhood seep out of your body.
- Phone a friend: Reconnect with friends over lunch or coffee, and enjoy some adult conversation (about something other than babies).
- Catch a movie: Go to the cinema and disappear for a couple of hours in a good film. If you have the house to yourself, curl up on the sofa and catch up on some TV.
- Read: Books can be a wonderful distraction. Lose yourself in a great novel, read your favourite blog or catch up on the week’s news. If you fall asleep, double points!
- Do nothing: Enjoy some solitude - outside, inside, anywhere you can hide. Sit, relax and enjoy a cuppa… while it’s hot.
It is also important for your partner to take some time off as well -- talk about your list, and encourage them to make their own. Or plan time-out together by making a list of the things you both love to do.
If at any time you feel unable to cope with the demands of raising a baby, seek help from your medical professional. You can reach out to local parenting and support groups, and keep track of your emotional wellbeing using Bupa’s mummatters tool.