Mothers make the impossible happen. While tending to a needy newborn doesn’t allow new mamas much time to tend to themselves, maintaining a sense of self-care is essential. You can’t fill up the cup of another if yours is empty. Figuring out how is a whole other story.
Mindful mama of two boys and a brand new baby girl, Sophie Jaffe is currently re-acclimating to life after the birth of baby Noa. This time around she already knows what she needs to stay grounded, present and most importantly sane. We asked the Philosophie founder how she handles self-care. She’s sharing a few tips every new mom should read…
I am a mother to three beautiful children and with them, my life feels complete. Being a mama is the most rewarding aspect of my life — it’s what fills me up completely. That’s not to say motherhood isn’t challenging. Entering life with another newborn has been a true test of what I can handle physically, mentally and emotionally in every way.
Bringing a newborn into this world is a beautiful thing. You spend months preparing for the arrival — creating space for baby in every aspect of your life. Months spent growing, months making a plan for when baby is earth-side and everything you have to do to make sure baby grows up in a safe, secure, nourishing and loving space. It takes real work — and all the while baby is growing inside you.
By the time baby actually arrives, and then when the new baby glow has dispersed, you’re drained and depleted.
It’s important to remember that yes, this new baby matters so, so much — and you’re here to care for her in every way — but you, as a mama, are recovering. Your body just birthed a human being, and it needs time to heal. You are in the midst of changing your entire way of life to make space for this tiny person, one that can’t even hold their own head up at first! So whether you’re getting ready to have your first child, second or sixth, here is my list of mindfulness, mental health and self-care tips for a more loving and gentle postpartum recovery. Truly, I could not have survived without creating the space and time to fully care for myself (in addition to little Noa) in those first few months.
Postpartum Advice For New Mamas
Rest, Rest + More rest | Sleep as often when you can and when you can. Most new mamas forget that when baby is sleeping you, mom, should be sleeping or resting, too. You don’t have to conquer the million other things on your to-do list. Use this time to reconnect and check in with yourself. What do you need in order to find calm and serenity? Being well-rested means you can provide more energy for your babe, and also be a much more calm and balanced person. You’ll be able to give all you can to your baby — once you get your own fill of sleep.
Ask for help + support | I am so supported. I’m honestly amazed at the incredible circle of human souls that fill my life and help me whenever I need it. It’s so important. Remember to reach out and ask for help. You can’t do it all and nor should you have to. It’s okay to have a babysitter come while you get a message or have a bath. Fill your life with people that support you through it all. Let them help celebrate the little bundle you brought to this world by helping you.
Get outside, often | Fresh air and movement is medicine for your mind and soul. Plus, easing your body back into exercise is very good for you. A gentle stroll is healing and is a great option for stress relief when you and the little one have been cooped up inside for far too long. Grab your trusty stroller and take a walk!
Eat, drink + nourish | Caring for a newborn means also caring for yourself. You are your little babe’s sole provider for all nutrients and vitamins. So, you have to pay extra special attention to what you’re fueling your body with. I worked with an amazing doula and together we created a 40-day postpartum meal plan which included a delicious stew and all the foods (and superfoods) that helped my energy and nutrient levels, as well as support lactation. You also need to drink as much water as you can to keep yourself well hydrated. I created amazing herbal infusions that saved me during the first two months postpartum. They are nutrient dense and supportive — more on this on the Philosophie blog.
Express your needs + set boundaries | The new baby phase is intense. You’re giving all you can to your new babe and anything left over goes to other kids, your career, friends and husband. Remember, this is a humbling period. This is where you truly learn what matters in life and what no longer serves you. It’s up to you, mama. You’re the one that gets to call the shots and ask when you’re in need of help or space. This also means setting boundaries. If life feels a little too chaotic it’s okay to say no to events and instead stay home with your baby. Or maybe you’re in need of time to reconnect with your partner or friends — do it, all of this is good for you.
Be kind to yourself | There’s no need to do it all — and no one is asking you to. Invest in self-care and remember you’re only human. We’re some crazy fierce goddess women for being able to birth a human being, but it’s okay to set realistic expectations on what happens from there. Go slow. Your body is healing, give it space and time. Opt for soothing baths or a healing massage. Treat yourself, you’ve earned it.
This love is truly like nothing else in this life. You can’t fully understand it or experience it until you’re in it. Then that’s it, there’s no going back — and in the very best way possible.