What does postpartum rest look like to you?
You may be hearing a lot about self care these days, whether it’s via an ad for fragrant bath bombs or an internet PSA about mental health. Self care is just as important for the postpartum parent as it is for anyone else; even more so, since both caregiver and baby’s lives have changed so dramatically.
Even if you had an easy birth, your body has still undergone massive work bringing your baby into the world! You deserve rest. While it may not be possible to lounge around, skin-to-skin with baby for days on end, taking care of yourself is incredibly important.
Here are three easy ways you can get some rest during the fourth trimester:
Hire a postpartum doula
Doulas aren’t just for pregnancy and birth! Beyond your first few hours in the hospital, postpartum doulas can fill the great void that was left when our society began to focus more on individualism above communalism. Postpartum doulas can prepare meals in your home, help watch older children while you nap, provide lactation and babywearing guidance, and refer you out to any help outside the doula’s scope of practice. If hiring both a birth and postpartum doula seems too heavy a financial burden, consider adding the request to your baby registry, or asking your doula for payment plans or bundle discounts. Some doulas even barter services in exchange for your time or talent!
If it seems like everything rests on your shoulders after baby is born, it probably does! Now is the perfect time to hand off tasks to other helpers. You could ask your older children to fold and put away laundry, your partner to prepare meals, or neighbors to walk the dog. Anything you do not absolutely have to do yourself can be delegated to another person.
Let. It. Go.
If all else fails, let it go. Is there a floor that needs sweeping, or an errand to run? Unless it’s an emergency, it can often wait. Go lay down and snuggle that baby! After all, the floor will still be dirty tomorrow, but your baby won’t be this new again.
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