Nurturing Yourself After Birth

Updated on October 18, 2013
R.S. asks from Chicago, IL
10 answers

Hi Mom's,

So, I am just curious in what ways you nurture yourself after you have a baby. I am 39 years old, pregnant with our third, and my other two children are ages four and two. The first trimester I was slammed with nausea and fatigue. It disappeard around week 13 and now I am 24 weeks but still feeling sort of off. I have allergies, or a cold/sinus thing that is dragging on and has slowed me down, plus the general child care, housework stuff we all deal with. I know I am not in my 20's anymore so I am going to feel less energetic ( or so I am told), but the lack of energy has sort of got me down. We had always talked about having four kids but perhaps my body is telling me that 3 is plenty. In any case, I am thinking ahead to the birth and how I can really nurture myself afterwards. It will be early February and where we live that generally means damp, rainy days in the 40's, so I plan on being indoors most of the time. So I am wondering what special things you do for yourself? Favorite book, magazine, cozy new pajamas,a favorite snack, etc etc,


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answers from Bloomington on

Ask and accept help. Tell people exactly what you need. I finally accepted & asked for help with my last pregnancy ( 4th)& couple weeks PP. It made a huge difference.

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answers from Los Angeles on

I didn't think ahead in this way. Looking back I wish i had.
-Get books to read.
-Your favorite magazines (You deserve it.).
-Ask for help. Someone to come help take care of the older kids.
-Accept help if someone offers.
-If someone says, "what can I do for you?" ask them to bring a frozen meal.
-Get cozy socks for yourself ahead of time.
-Buy or have delivered your favorite bouquet of flowers that will lift your
spirits every time you catch a glimpse of them.
-Let the housework go for now. Rest, take care of yourself.
-Stock the house with your favorite snacks
-cozy blanket just for yourself
-order something online as a gift for yourself
-Lastly, if 3 children is enough for you, seriously consider stopping at 3. It's your body. Take care of yourself.
-Don't place large expectations on yourself post birth. Think ahead to yourself like this "I have an amazing life with beautiful children. I will take care of myself to 'be there' for my children."
-Start a gratitude journal.
-Make a list of things you want to accomplish over the next year (this will
keep your body still but your mind active but not in the bill paying kind of way so you can still rest).
-Buy yourself a box of decadent chocolates.
-Get your breast feeding/bottle feeding area ready with things you may want at your fingertips (bib, breast feeding pillow etc.).
May you have an easy birth & deliver a healthy child. Best wishes.

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answers from New York on

I ate line a linebacker while nursing. having a near constant supply of my favorite foods was very nurturing. My MIL who used to run a cafe would prep me beautiful snack plates, watermelon sticks, basil and fresh mozzarella sandwich wedges. baguettes with olives and asiago, meatballs, fritatas, a nice curried tomato, poached pears and vanilla ice cream.

The chinese have new mother centers, where the newborn is kept in a nursery, the mother is looked after and fed an assortment of nourishing foods to restore her "bone strength" I think these are brilliant.

getting out daily meant the world to me. meeting friends for a chat was really restorative too.

start pampering yourself now. Heck we all deserve it.

F. B.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

If you can at all afford it (and think about saving some money for this now) you would be doing yourself a huge favor if you hired a mother's helper for the first 2-4 weeks or so after birth. That is the time that your body needs to heal and you will heal faster and with less potential for complications if you rest.
It used to be that the women in a family would huddle around a new mom and help her with her older children, household chores and cooking so that she could focus on healing and bonding with her baby. If you don't have anyone in your family who can or is willing to help out, hire someone to do your laundry, wash your dishes, vacuum and entertain your kids for a few hours every day while you stay in bed with the new arrival and catch up on sleep.

I know it's a bit of a luxury and many people cannot afford this, but if you can... it will make a world of a difference.
Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

I gave myself permission to slack off. Didn't try to be "perfect" let my older kids watch too much TV, made frozen pizza for dinner, stuff like that. Those first few months are a time of healing and bonding with the new baby, I made sure that was my main focus and I didn't beat myself up about it!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Sounds like you are right on schedule for the 24-26 hormone influx that causes anxiety and the blues ;-) It also sounds like you have a pregnancy cold. I had one for almost the whole of my last pregnancy. It is a drag on the body, so it's important you find time to rest.

I had my third, at 41, last Feb. it was the easiest of all my labors, and my then 2 and 4 year old's handled it super easily. The transition to three was a breeze for me, compared to moving to two.

If you aren't already doing it, I suggest that every afternoon --starting now- you put the kids in front of the TV and have nap time (unless they both still nap). I napped throughout my third pregnancy, and it did help. Also, I started cooking more on the weekend, with hubby's help, so I had less to do during the week. I figured out how to get smarter about getting things done. I still try to put 1-2 meals in the freezer a few times a week, so on tired days I can just grab something.

As to nurturing after birth, I treated myself to a bunch of new books to read while nursing ;-) And, at the two month mark, when I returned to my normal weight, I bought myself over 300 in new clothes (something I haven't done in years!). Those new clothes were my ultimate nurturing moment. If I was you, think about what will help you feel your best. I love my new skirts! For the first time in almost 5 years, i actually feel like my old, before mommy self (I bought a bunch of really fun skirts! The best part, they have built in hidden pockets, so I can grab the kids (and no purse) and go to the store!)

And I love early Spring babies. The weather is warm enough that short walks outside are possible. I also take the kids to forest preserve that have short nature trails and indoor interpretative centers. I'm sure there is something like that near you.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New Orleans on

The main thing I did after the third was for the first couple weeks I slipped off by myself to nurse my little guy. I would just excuse myself, go in my bedroom and just hang with my new baby. It wasn't that the other kids couldn't come see me, but my husband or whoever was home that day helping would bring them to say hello and then they'd leave. I would often snooze some in this process and just chill and bond with my new little one. I had never done that before and it was so peaceful.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

After my 3rd, I don't think I did anything to nurture myself. I was in survival mode. I had a newborn plus two older kids to take care of. My husband didn't take much time off work outside of when I was in the hospital. I think I came home on a Friday, and he went back on the following Wednesday. I remember being thrilled if I could take a shower. That's about it. Good luck though!



answers from Chicago on

1-Ask a close friend or family member to set up a meal train for you. Our church does it and knowing dinner was done was awesome. There is a website for it if everyone is savvy or just a list of who has what day will work.
2-Hire someone to clean the house if you don't have help already. The best $100 you can spend.
3-Let people know how you are doing and what you need. Letting someone know you need a nap, shower, groceries is hard to do. But really once you say "hey sister, could you bring over these 5 grocery items on your way to visit, you would save my day?" you'll realize if someone asked you, you would stop on the way without thinking, so will they.
4-When people come to see the baby, let them. Take the time to shower.


answers from Grand Forks on

Find a reason and a way to get out of the house. With my first son I stayed home for the first few weeks because I was so sore from the delivery, I developed an ear infection, I was so sleep deprived and too scared to nurse in public. I thought I was going to go crazy. I started to feel so isolated and detached from the outside world. Certainly take it easy, but don't isolate yourself. Take the baby out to the mall or to visit with friends. Take baby for short walks. You both need fresh air and 40 degeress isn't too cold for that. Maybe go out for a mani/pedi or a massage while your husband watches the baby.

When my first was born it was summer, so there was nothing to watch on tv for all those long hours I spent nursing, and I hadn't quite figured out how to hold a book and a baby at the same time. I wish I had had a couple of tv series on dvd that I had never watched so I could have watched a marathon, or something like Netflix.

One thing I did for myself after the birth of both kids was hire a housekeeper for a one time cleaning. I should have done more than one, but I appreciated it anyway.

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