Although YOU may have been the “main attraction” during pregnancy, your baby has quickly taken over that title. That doesn’t mean you should completely neglect yourself, however. Below are the Top 10 Self-Care Tips for Postpartum Moms.

  1. Remember to Go to YOUR Doctor’s Appointments (i.e. To Your Follow-Up OB/GYN Appointments and Your Annual Check-Ups). 

2. If Breastfeeding, Continue to Take Your Prenatal Vitamin with Iron. 

PediaTip: Take a daily stool softener (like Colace) to combat the constipation caused by the iron.

3. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate.

4. Sleep When Your Baby Sleeps.

5. Be On the Lookout for Red, Tender Breasts and Fevers. Why? Because these can be signs of mastitis, a common postpartum breast infection.

6. Eat a Healthy Diet (But Don’t Be Too Crazy About It, Especially if You’re Breastfeeding). 

Although you may be itching to get back in fighting shape, the postpartum breastfeeding period is not the time to go on a diet. Healthy eating? Yes.  Restricting calories? No. Nursing moms actually need more calories, not fewer!

The Silver Lining: Breastfeeding burns calories. It’s a dieting loophole!

7. Set Aside Time to Exercise After You Get the Go-Ahead From Your Doc (Probably After 6 Weeks). 

Exercise is good for your mental AND physical health. Remember to listen to your body, though, and don’t go too hard too fast.

8. Ask for Help When You Need It. 

If you find yourself running on fumes and getting mentally and emotionally run down, take a break and have someone else take over (if that’s an option). Recognizing when you’ve hit the wall is a sign of strength (not a sign of weakness). There’s a lot of sacrifice when it comes to parenting, but you don’t have to be a martyr.

9. Do Something Kind for Yourself at Least Once a Day.

10. Don’t Completely Forget About Your Partner (if You Have One). Work as a Team.

The Bottom Line: Parents tend to neglect themselves after their baby is born. However, the postpartum period is actually a time for more self-care. The more you love and care for yourself, the better you’ll be at loving and caring for others.