The Importance Of Self Love When Your Baby Arrives
During your pregnancy, many people will encourage you to be kind to yourself and to treat yourself as often as possible. You will be encouraged to enjoy extra calories, get your nails done and people will even carry your bags and offer up their seat to you on public transport.
A pregnant woman is considered a goddess because she is creating new life within her and what a powerful role to have.
In many ways, this sense of honour is lost as soon as the baby arrives. The baby is now the novelty and topic of interest and you’ve done the job of getting them here safely.
This can be a very difficult realization because the post-partum stage is arguably when a woman needs that love and attention more than ever. Her surging hormones and aching body can make the world seem quite hazy.
On the one hand, she’s fuelled by Oxytocin and the pure beautiful love for her baby. However, on the other hand, it can feel incredibly lonely and overwhelming to simply begin your life with a new baby.
Self-care and self-love is so unbelievably important when your baby arrives and it is something to really consider and plan for while you are still pregnant. Pregnancy is a great time to put plans in place to make sure that you are not forgotten about in the aftermath of such a life-affirming experience. When your baby arrives you will possibly struggle to articulate what you need from people and you may not even know what that is yourself.
When your baby arrives you really can be your own best friend. By making your own rules and prioritizing your own care you become your greatest advocate and this will actually benefit and serve your baby in so many ways too. By looking after yourself and showing yourself an abundance of love you will aid the healing process and be more emotionally and physically available to that tiny baby that needs you so much.
Some of the more conventional ways of caring for yourself might involve planning some of your favourite food, having fresh new pyjamas to wear and feel comfortable in and asking for the time and space to have a shower and use the toilet in peace. These things can be quite uncomfortable and scary in those first couple of days so it is important to feel as comfortable as possible.
However, some of the greater elements of love might just come from speaking up about what you need from people. Remember that it is OK to not want many (or any) visitors and it is absolutely your right to demand that. It may be something that lessens your level of stress and anxiety and leaves you more time to soak up all those love hormones and bond with your baby.
Another important thing to remember is that you will have just given birth and your body has undergone a huge physical and emotional experience. Love yourself enough to not put any pressure on yourself to do anything that feels difficult. You don’t have to leave the house, wear normal clothes or feel a certain way. Give yourself permission to feel exactly how you feel as you feel it.
And as a number one priority, make sure someone is feeding you because labour is hungry work and food will never taste as good as it does during those first post-partum weeks.
Tracey is mammy to five-year-old Billy and newborn Willow. She is a breastfeeder, gentle parent and has recently lost five stone so healthy family eating is her passion! You can follow her on Instagram.