1. Change your clothes.
Every day. Even if you don’t go anywhere.
Bring a cute cozy outfit to the hospital and as soon as you are able, get yourself cleaned up and out of that hospital gown.
If you only have one pair of favorite yoga pants, go get at least 2 other favorite pairs.
2. Take a shower.
At least every other day.
Even though you aren’t sure if the sun is coming up or going down you need to take care of yourself too.
Baby is crying? That’s okay. Bring the bassinet in the bathroom so they can get some humid air.
3. Brush your teeth.
Every morning. Every night. Even if 11 o’clock at night means the party is just getting started.
The lines between day and night may be blurry, so set an alarm if you need to.
4. Eat on paper plates for at least 3 months.
It’s okay to eliminate chores, so you can spend more time resting and cuddling.
5. Don’t put pressure on yourself to cook.
You need to rest and recover. Don’t eat crap though. Get fresh fruits & veggies.
Drink plenty of water.
Get food that is ready to eat or stick in the oven/microwave – fruit, veggie trays, humus, frozen pizzas, frozen lasagnas, cereal, instant oatmeal, bagel/cream cheese, at least until baby (and you) sleep for a long stretch at night.
If your husband cooks, hooray! If he doesn’t, he surely can put a pizza in the oven.
6. Go outside once a day.
You don’t have to take baby, I mean like check the mail or make sure the sun is still there.
Just to breathe some fresh air.
If the weather is nice, put baby in the stroller and go for a walk.
7. If someone offers to help, take it.
I would love to take a nap in my room with my baby while you sweep, mop, and vacuum my house! Seriously!
People that offer help, want to help.
So let them. Even if it’s picking up dinner for you and dropping it off.
8. A messy bun is beautiful.
Did I mention enough to take care of yourself? Do you need a haircut? Have you shaved your legs?
You don’t have to put on make up, but you are not being selfish if you do something for yourself.
9. It’s okay to not go out in public.
It’s okay to not go to church, the store, or social gatherings. My babies were born small.
Which also means tiny immune systems.
A common cold for an adult is more serious to a newborn.
You don’t know who has a cold sore, who didn’t wash their hands, and who will pinch your baby’s cheek before you can stop them.
I waited 3 weeks, but I would have waited more if it weren’t for social pressure.
But when you do get out it’s okay to say no to your baby getting passed around (aka tell people she’s fussy, getting ready to eat, etc).
The first time you do show up, if you want to prevent an awkward interaction, wear a baby wrap.
I had some crazy anxiety about my babies catching germs. There is a polite way to keep them from being touched.
Put mittens and socks on them, so if anyone does wiggle their toes, it is not skin to skin contact.
People do want to see baby, but not everyone is thinking of germs.
I would rather people think I’m a little too overprotective than risk my newly born baby to get an infection.
(My son still gets fever blisters from a cold sore he got…around Christmas time…at 3 months old).
You also can’t put your baby in a bubble. Get out of the house when you feel ready.
Remember you are recovering too. If by 3-4 weeks you are still healing, just stay home.
10. Don’t isolate yourself.
Get out of the house. Don’t get stuck in the daze of diapers and feedings. Get out even if it’s just to get a drink in the drive thru.
If you are having challenges with your own recovery, call your doctor or another momma who’s been there and can help you out.
You don’t have to invite everyone to your house, but don’t close yourself off if you are feeling overwhelmed.
It’s okay to cry if you are tired. It’s okay to need a 5 minute break.
Talk to your husband about how you are feeling. You are not crazy, it’s just a crazy season.
The first 3 months go by so slow, but when they’re over it’s hard to remember.
If you are going back to work, it’s okay to be sad, but it’s not healthy to be depressed.
Talk to your doctor about how you are feeling. Connect with other moms at work who have been there.
You will figure it out and you will be an amazing momma!
Your baby needs you, so do what you need to do to take care of yourself too.