Looking After You
Look after your health
Looking after your baby can be a full time job in the early weeks and months, but you need to look after yourself as well. You might not be getting very much sleep at night so try to take a nap during the day when your baby sleeps. Try to eat regularly. Keep stuff in the house for sandwiches, and quick meals like eggs on toast or salads as it may be difficult to get time to cook. It is important to look after yourself as well as your baby.
If your family or friends offer to help say yes. If people offer to look after the baby for an hour or two so you can sleep or have a break, take them up on it. In the beginning you might not want anyone else to do things for your baby, but do try to let them as long as you know and trust them to care properly for your baby. A short break from your baby can help you relax and have more energy and patience to look after it when you come back.
See people when you want
You might find people want to call to see the baby after its born. This can be lovely but it can also be very tiring for you and the baby. Donít cut yourself off from other people but arrange for them to visit or to visit them when it suits you and the baby.
Get out and about
Its easy to stay in the house when you have a baby or small child, as it might seem like such a hassle to get organised to go out. Its good to get out and about for even a walk to the shops, just a change of scenery can cheer you up. Wrap your baby up well if itís cold outside and make sure to bring a rain-cover for the buggy. Its good for you and your baby to get fresh air and the exercise is good for your body and your mind
Talk about it
Sometimes after having a baby or even later when your baby is older you may feel down in the dumps, stressed or find it hard to cope. Maybe things are different to what you thought they would be. Donít keep this all to yourself, do talk to someone, maybe your partner, mum, dad or friend. If this doesnít help do have a chat to your doctor or the public health nurse. Its ok to say that you are finding things tough, talking can help.
Make time for you.
There is less free time when you are a mum but its important to try to make sometime for yourself. If you are in a relationship, try to get out together sometimes, talk or text on the phone often if you donít live together. Small treats like sitting down with a magazine, surfing the net, painting your toenails or watching your favourite tv programme can recharge your batteries. As your baby gets into some sort of a routine (and it may take a while) try to pick out a little time each day thatís just for you.
Remember you are still a person as well as a parent
Itís easy for you and everyone else to talk about and focus on the baby all the time. You might begin to wonder what you did before the baby was born. It is important to remember that you have needs and interests that have nothing to do with the baby. Try to make time for other things too. If you are sharing parenting as a couple make an effort to spend time alone and keep your relationship alive.
Donít Give Up on Your Dreams.
If you did not plan to have a baby at a young age it might seem that your life is not working out the way youíd intended. Maybe you wanted to train to be a hairdresser or a carpenter, go to college, get a job or travel. Having your baby does not mean that you still canít do what you hoped. You might have to slow your plans down or change the way you were going to do things but it does not mean that you have to give them up. You can still do things in your life and be a good mum or dad. Check out if there is a TPSP in your area or go to your local family centre, library or FAS office to see what's on offer, so go for it!