February 26, 2015

5 Things you can do to feel normal after birth

Birth.  It’s gross, messy, exciting, painful, crazy, and beautiful.  Absolutely beautiful.  And then there’s the postpartum period.  More grossness (if you think it ends with the birth, you’re in for a surprise), more pain (again, doesn’t end with the birth), sometimes crazy (hello hormones), and often beautiful (hello baby!)

I had a really rough post-partum period with Jay, partially due to a heavy case of post-partum baby blues, partially due to a very colicky baby.  I lived in my pajamas, I binge-ate Oreos (breastfeeding hunger is a beast!), and there were so many days I remember asking myself “Deodorant or brushing my teeth?  Because only one of them is happening today”.  Oh, and showers?  They literally felt like going on vacation (both in rarity and wonderfulness).

I knew with Elle that I wanted to do things differently.  There’s only so much you can do to combat the postpartum hormones, but I wanted to intentionally do things that would make me feel normal…to feel good.  So I made a plan.

5 things you can do to feel normal after birth www.bestofbabylady.com

1.) HAVE A GOOD BIRTH

Ok, this isn’t exactly postpartum, nor is it something you can entirely control, but I fully believe that one of the biggest reasons I had such a great postpartum period with Elle was because I had a wonderful birth experience.  While you can’t ever predict how your birth will go, there are certainly steps you can take to increase your chances of a positive birth experience — read every book you can, hire a doula, find a health care provider that respects you and shares your birth vision….DO WHATEVER YOU CAN, because a good birth really does make a difference.

2.) TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF

This means flossing, showering, deodorant, makeup, etc., even if it means waking up earlier or going to bed later.  Yes, sleep is a prized commodity when you have a newborn, but it has made so much difference in how I feel about myself.  Besides, you’re more likely to smile if you’re not concerned about the fuzz on your teeth.

3.) GET OUT OF YOUR PAJAMAS…SERIOUSLY

When you spend most of the day at home with a toddler and a newborn (usually with a few breast milk stains and a faint aroma of spit-up), it’s hard to find the motivation to get out of pjs. But for me, it goes a long way in helping me feel normal…because normal people don’t hang out in their pajamas all day!  At least not every day.  Sure, my daily wardrobe mostly consists of yoga pants and a nursing-friendly shirt, but hey…I didn’t sleep in them!

4.) GO ON WALKS

Strap the baby to your chest, buckle in the toddler, and go! Sunshine, fresh air, and a shot of exercise endorphins are incredible mood boosters.  As a bonus, you might run into a neighbor and have a conversation with someone without using the words (potty, blankie, or shhhhhh!) 

5.) HAND THE KIDS OVER

If your situation allows, hand the kids over to daddy when he gets home…after all, he should enjoy the fruits of his labor (or your labor?) too.  Take some time to yourself and don’t feel guilty about it…even if that means putting off mopping the floor or folding the laundry.  A rejuvenated mom is a better mom, even with a dirty floor.

What did you do to help yourself feel “normal” postpartum?

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Iulia is a former educator turned stay-at-home mama of a spunky toddler and a squishy infant. With a touch of sass and a good dose of self-deprecating humor, she has an ever-expanding repertoire of bloopers, insights, stories, and impassioned opinions to share. Iulia likes to think she has this parenting gig figured out, but her littles remind her daily just how far from the truth that is.

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29 Comments

  • lbp@lifebreathpresent.com'
    Reply Life Breath Present February 26, 2015 at 9:02 am

    These are great tips for postpartum. Heck, they’re really great just for daily SAHM-ing!

    I had a bit of a rough time with Baby Boy, but I’m sure hoping about doing things a bit differently when #2 comes!

    I’d add, if possible, have something done with the placenta (encapsulation, tincture, cooking…). It really can help poatpartum, not only with mood, but breastfeeding, too. 🙂
    Life Breath Present recently posted…Peppermint & Sweet Orange Bath SaltsMy Profile

  • poppysays15@gmail.com'
    Reply Ashleigh @SimplyWright February 26, 2015 at 12:25 pm

    Thank you for sharing, this is important for new moms to know! Have a great day…stopping by form the #shinebloghop! xxAshleigh @SimplyWright

  • erin@itallmattersmom.com'
    Reply Erin | It All Matters Mom February 26, 2015 at 3:40 pm

    Amen! I have a 3 year old and an 18 month old, and yes, just putting on something other than pajamas changes how I feel during the day. When it’s nice out, we go for runs with the jogging stroller or walks. It’s great for everyone — fresh air, movement, sanity. Great tips!
    Erin | It All Matters Mom recently posted…The joys and challenges of having two kidsMy Profile

    • Reply Bestofbaby February 28, 2015 at 12:01 am

      Do you have a favorite double jogging stroller? Weather permitting, we do walks, but I’m wearing the baby and pushing the toddler in a stroller. I’d love to get back into running…

  • mrsjschon@hotmail.com'
    Reply Jennifer S. February 26, 2015 at 8:48 pm

    This is a great plan. I always get dressed and make my bed. I may not do anything else outside of caring for the baby that day, but those two things make me feel like I’ve conquered the world.
    Jennifer S. recently posted…Quiet, Unquestioning TrustMy Profile

    • Reply Bestofbaby February 28, 2015 at 12:00 am

      Sadly, I rarely ever make our bed nowadays…but mostly because my toddler loves to tear it apart in his make-believe games (which I’m totally ok with) so I don’t bother 🙂

  • jmolson53@gmail.com'
    Reply Jann Olson February 27, 2015 at 10:26 pm

    Really great tips! I always felt phenomenal after having my kids. Getting dressed really does make a difference! If you look like a lounger, you will be one. lol! Thanks for sharing with SYC.
    hugs,
    Jann

    • Reply Bestofbaby February 27, 2015 at 11:58 pm

      Yes to the lounger comment! What a great way to put it!

  • eucalyptica@hotmail.com'
    Reply Jenny @ Unremarkable Files February 28, 2015 at 3:01 pm

    Yes especially to #4! When we had our first, I put so many miles on the stroller I’m surprised it didn’t fall apart. We took hour-long walks every single day. I’m glad I was able to get out so much, and that it was a season of the year and a place in the country where we could do that.

    I’d also add – join a playgroup! I never did because I felt silly (“She’s just a baby, she doesn’t play!”) but all moms know that playgroup is more for them than the kids. No one would have thought I was silly.
    Jenny @ Unremarkable Files recently posted…7 Quick Takes about Conquering the Deathly Cold, Viral Awesomeness, and Carrots of Questionable Moral CharacterMy Profile

    • Reply Bestofbaby March 1, 2015 at 5:48 pm

      Jenny that sounds like us! With the first baby, we took hour long walks almost every single day…it kept me sane 🙂 It’s been harder this time around to get out for walks since she was born in October, but I’m so looking forward to regular walking once the weather warms up! And absolutely to the playgroups…I totally forgot about that, but you’re right, it’s so great to hang out with other moms!

  • tawnyanmac@gmail.com'
    Reply Tawnya Faust February 28, 2015 at 4:36 pm

    I love this post and couldn’t agree more with all of the above. I remember wanting to just sit around home, binge on peanut M&M’s and lounge in my PJs but the moment I ate a nutritious meal and dressed in normal clothes I felt SO much better. The baby blues are such a struggle but there are definitely steps you can take to help ward them off.

    Thanks for sharing on the Saturday Spotlight! xo
    Tawnya Faust recently posted…Saturday Spotlight #9My Profile

    • Reply Bestofbaby March 1, 2015 at 5:49 pm

      Definitely! But now you have me craving peanut M&M’s…

  • aj@glowinghappy.com'
    Reply Ana March 2, 2015 at 5:29 am

    Stopping by for Monday Madness. Your post definatelly resonated. These are great tips and I’ll sadly admit that before giving birth to my 1st 3 months ago, I did not realize how important they are. Especially taking care if yourself … just find time to do it! Period. The other thing that helped me feel better is when I started eating a bit better at about 2 months. During the first 2 months it was pure survival mode and put together whatever meal I could in under 5 min. Once I started making healthier lunches and dinners my mood and energy improved greatly. Thanks for sharing!

    • Reply Bestofbaby March 2, 2015 at 10:04 pm

      I agree that the first 2 months are sheer survival. I remember coming home from a doctor’s appointment feeling like I would starve if I didn’t eat RIGHT NOW (breastfeeding hunger)…so I ate 13 Oreos in one sitting. It was bad.

  • kim@proteanmom.com'
    Reply Kim March 2, 2015 at 11:14 am

    Great reminders! *looks down sheepishly to realize she’s still in jammies* Guess I better go get dressed!
    Kim recently posted…Women Standing Together: Charity never FailsMy Profile

    • Reply Bestofbaby March 2, 2015 at 10:02 pm

      Hahaha no judgment from this end…I wore sweats most of the day 🙂

  • ejoyalways@gmail.com'
    Reply elizabeth March 2, 2015 at 12:43 pm

    What great advice!
    elizabeth recently posted…Week’s EndMy Profile

  • juliecookies@gmail.com'
    Reply Julie S. March 2, 2015 at 2:47 pm

    Taking care of yourself is sooo important. Great list 🙂
    Julie S. recently posted…Pumping Tricks and Shortcuts for the New MomMy Profile

  • michelle.ruth.brown@gmail.com'
    Reply Michelle March 2, 2015 at 8:52 pm

    I did a terrible job of “feeling normal” after giving birth… my world was turned upside down in a wonderful way, but I had no clue how to make time for me or take care of my needs while still taking care of my baby. Two things that helped were making time to write, which I have always loved doing, and spending time with her father in the evening after she went to bed. Of course I couldn’t do either of these things the first couple weeks, but after I got my feet on the ground, they helped me feel like I still had time for the things I loved.

    • michelle.ruth.brown@gmail.com'
      Reply Michelle March 2, 2015 at 8:53 pm

      forgot to add… #mommymeetupmondays !

    • Reply Bestofbaby March 2, 2015 at 9:56 pm

      Yes it took MONTHS before my hubby and I got to hang out together after the baby went down, but when it finally happened, it was so sweet and so good for my spirit!

  • oneruudmom@gmail.com'
    Reply Jules Ruud March 2, 2015 at 9:22 pm

    I’m glad you mentioned to hand over the kids. I had such a hard time leaving my son Caleb and I wish I would have sooner so that I could have seen how okay it really is. What a great list. #MommyMeetupMondays
    Jules Ruud recently posted…Mommy Meetup Mondays Week ThirteenMy Profile

    • Reply Bestofbaby March 2, 2015 at 9:55 pm

      I still have a hard time letting other people watch my kids…but when daddy gets home I have NO hesitation in handing them over 🙂

  • bblaze87@gmail.com'
    Reply Brandyn March 2, 2015 at 10:05 pm

    I love this list! I wish I would have run across this two years ago when I was struggling with my adjustment to motherhood!

    #MommyMeetupMondays
    Brandyn recently posted…Mommy Meetup Mondays Week #13My Profile

    • Reply Bestofbaby March 2, 2015 at 10:08 pm

      Me too Brandyn…I was a mess.

  • scglinn@gmail.com'
    Reply Stephanie March 6, 2015 at 1:24 pm

    Getting out of the house was big for me whether it was going for a walk with the baby and dogs in tow or going to the grocery store. Stepping out of the house changed my mindset so much!
    Stephanie recently posted…The Worst JobMy Profile

    • Reply Bestofbaby March 7, 2015 at 10:11 pm

      Me too! I’m not that good at it this time around though…cold and flu season had me too scared to leave the house with a baby!

  • Reply Saturday Spotlight Link Up #10 March 7, 2015 at 1:53 am

    […] 5 Things You Can Do To Feel Good After Birth by Best of Baby  DIY Toddler Placemats by Polka Dotty Place 8 Ways To Own Your Life by Pig and Dac To The Mom Who Thinks She’s Not Enough by Deliberate Mom  Thank you to everyone who linked up this week! For those who were featured feel free to grab some bling for your blog […]

  • sreyengsom@gmail.com'
    Reply Top6pro October 17, 2017 at 12:49 pm

    Amazing article! It motivate me so much. I’m really happy when I come here to read it and get helpful idea! I deeply thanks.

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