Taking care of you when you have a baby
Taking care of a new born baby can be all consuming, making it difficult to complete even the simplest of day to day tasks. As these tasks mount up, you can feel stressed and overwhelmed by everything you have to do.
When that happens, it can be hard to think about you. But just as airline passengers are told to put their own oxygen masks on before assisting others, a new parent has to make time for themselves so that they are rested (at least for a little bit), making you better equipped to take care of others.
If your resources are depleted, everything will feel more difficult. Putting time for you on you ‘to do’ list is not selfish, it’s important. Think about something that will help you relax, wind down or feel cared for and make it an essential part of your day.
Watch this short video for more tips on how to take care of you when you’ve had a baby:
Ever feel like with a new baby, it’s impossible to complete even the simplest of tasks?
You can spend the whole day trying to get a single job done.
And the more your tasks add up, the more overwhelmed you begin to feel.
When that happens, it can be hard to think about you.
But remember it’s okay to stop and it’s okay to take some time out.
Put ‘time for yourself’ on your to do list.
Choose something you enjoy doing that will help you unwind, whether it’s watching TV, having a bath or snuggling up with someone you love, and do it every day.
If you take care of yourself, you will be better able to take care of your baby.
And if it feels too much, and these feelings don’t seem to be going away, it is important to tell someone such as your GP or Health Visitor. Reach out to friends and family for support and accept help.
- This video features Janine Harris, Volunteer Manager at Home-Start Hertfordshire.
- Download the NHS accredited baby buddy app for bite-sized guidance through pregnancy until your baby is 6 months old.
- Read the NHS coping with stress after having a baby webpage.
- Sometimes just being with your baby and slowing down to wonder at the world with them will help you unwind, tune in and know that even if it feels like ‘doing nothing’ with them, what you are doing is the most important job of all. BBC Tiny Happy People gives details of each stage of your baby’s development throughout their first year and may help you to tune in.
For every parent, the transition to parenthood, whether for a first baby, or for subsequent births, brings with it a range of feelings – excitement and hopes, as well as fears and worries, about what might lie ahead.
The practical and psychological adjustments take time to navigate, and these important changes in our lives can stir up powerful emotions from a parents own early experiences.
Research tells us that more than 1 in 10 mums and around 1 in 10 dads will experience a mental health problem during pregnancy or in the first years. Many of these difficulties go unseen, undiagnosed, or untreated. It is important to seek help and support if you or your partner is struggling.
You can speak to your GP or Health Visitor.
You can also find some additional information, advice and further signposting from these organisations:
- AIMH – The Association for Infant Mental Health
- Maternal Mental Health Alliance – good links to resources and support.
- The Parent Infant Foundation may have a team near you (39 UK locations)
If you or someone you care about is in crisis, or feeling suicidal and needs urgent help you can access support in the following ways:
- Go to A&E at your local hospital
- Phone emergency services on 999
- Call Samaritans on 116 123 (free to call and will not appear on your phone bill), or email firstname.lastname@example.org