Self Care for Survival and Wellbeing
Are you taking care of your needs or just your baby’s?
When you give birth, your first feelings toward your infant are to love and protect. Then, as you fall in love more and more deeply with every passing day, you realize how deep love can be.
To be a good mother involves more than feelings. Self-care is important. Sleep is important. To function well and remain healthy you must eat a healthy diet (you hear a lot about this) and you must SLEEP a certain number of hours each day. We don’t hear too much about the needs of new mothers around sleep, but we do hear a lot about how nursing mothers should eat. Doctors just say, sleep when baby sleeps. But, my experience is that today’s moms are social and very busy outside of the home, and don’t always put themselves first with sleep needs.
To preserve your mental and physical health, and be a good mom (and dad), you do need to sleep a certain number of hours a day. Health professionals recommend 7-8 hours of sleep as minimal in a 24hour period. The first 4 hours of sleep are especially important to mental sanity. Are you getting your required number of sleep hours? While your young infant may sleep 14-16 hours a day, how about mom and dad? It has been proven that mothers who don’t get enough sleep are more likely to suffer postpartum depression and other health problems. To be there for your infant, you should strive to be your best. Put yourself first. Besides eating well, exercise and SLEEP are also important needs.
On an airplane in an emergency, flight attendants instruct parents to put oxygen on themselves first, then, put your child’s mask on second. WHY? Because parents need to be breathing well to help their children! One needs to take care of oneself first in order to be there for their children.
I know this is an extreme example, but it makes my point…don’t forget yourself!