Finding Relaxation As A New Mom: Tips for Getting The Best Rest Postpartum
As a mom of five, I get it: I know firsthand how hard it can be to find time for rest and relaxation in the postpartum period. With constant feedings, diaper changes, and the general adjustment to life with a newborn, it can feel like there's never a moment to sleep, let alone get good sleep. But getting rest is so important for our physical and mental well-being, and for our ability to take care of our little ones.
Here are some tips I've found helpful for maximizing relaxation as a new mom.
Make sleep a priority
It can be tempting to try to fit in as much as possible during the day, but as a mom, I prioritize sleep. When my babies napped, I napped. As more children came along, naptime for all became a thing. As mothers, it's important for us to be well-rested so that we have the energy and patience to care for our little ones. If I'm having trouble sleeping, I set aside some time in the evening or early morning to catch up on sleep.
Create a comfortable sleep environment
A dark, cool, quiet bedroom helps me rest better as a mom. I invest in a comfortable mattress, pillows with adequate head support, and cozy blankets to create a space that is conducive to sleep. As mothers, it's essential to have a good sleep environment to get the rest we need. I use a fan or white noise machine to block out any unwelcome noises or distractions. I'm a mama who co-sleeps, so this is especially helpful when my babies are sleeping in the same room as me.
Set a bedtime routine
I have to admit...I'm not the greatest at this. But, establishing a dedicated bedtime routine signals to my body that it’s time to wind down and sleep. My routine is pretty loose, but I try to implement repeated practices to encourage sleep nightly. This includes taking warm baths, reading an engaging book, or practicing relaxation techniques like deep breathing or progressive muscle relaxation. Having a routine helps me relax and prepare for sleep, which is especially important as a mom when my days can be so unpredictable. Setting a routine for your baby can also be very helpful in establishing healthy sleep patterns!
Avoid caffeine and alcohol
Ditch the caffeinated coffee and grab a chamomile tea! Caffeine and alcohol can significantly disrupt my sleep quality. I try to avoid consuming these substances in the hours leading up to bedtime to get the best sleep I can.
Get as much natural light as possible
Natural light exposure throughout the day helps regulate my body’s natural sleep-wake cycle. I aim to get outside for a walk or spend some time in a well-lit room during the day to keep my sleep-wake cycle on track.
Moving your body in a gentle and loving way is imperative to quality sleep in the early days of motherhood. I recommend light-impact movement in the early days postpartum (if you feel up to it). Regular physical activity improves my sleep quality. As your body becomes stronger and the intensity of your workouts picks up, be sure to avoid rigorous activity right before bed. Gentle activities like walking or yoga help promote sleep and give me some much-needed physical and mental relaxation after a long day of mom duties.
Eat a healthy diet
A healthy diet contributes to better sleep as a mom. Eliminate processed foods, inflammatory foods (such as conventional dairy and gluten), and sugar and watch your sleep begin to change. In the early postpartum days, the focus should be placed on Foods for Maximum Postpartum Healing. Eating well helps me feel my best and promotes better sleep. I'm confident it will help you to do the same!
P.S.- if you'd love access to my gallery of nutrient-dense recipes ideal for postpartum healing, check out The Postpartum Wellness Revolution. I categorize each recipe according to what's ideal for each postpartum stage. You can view recipes you'd like to try and print them off right then and there!
Dehydration can disrupt sleep, so I make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day. I also love to incorporate nourishing beverages like herbal infusions and teas into my daily routine. Try to avoid drinking a ton before bed as you may find yourself spending those moments of sleep that you desperately crave sitting on the toilet. 😩
Consider using relaxation techniques
Techniques like deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, or mindfulness meditation help calm my mind and body from mom duties, making it easier to fall asleep. Taking a few moments to relax and clear my mind before bed makes a big difference in my sleep quality.
Ask for help
It’s okay for me to ask for help from my partner, family, or friends when taking care of my newborn and getting rest as a mom. Don't be afraid to accept offers of help (OR ASK!), whether with feedings, diaper changes, or having someone tend to your baby so you can gather just a few hours of rest. As a mom, it's important to remember that it's acceptable to ask for help and that it's actually necessary to take care of yourself so that you can be the best mom you can be.
Finding the Time For Self-Care and Rest
Self-care and rest can feel like a luxury when you’re a new mom, but it’s important to make time for them. In my experience, taking the necessary time to care for myself physically and mentally helps me be a better parent and improves my overall well-being. This term is thrown out a lot and sometimes the concept still feels a little abstract. In present and past seasons, self-care has looked like: hot herbal baths in the middle of the day, movie dates with my self, checking in to a hotel for full day to enjoy the things that I love, or Thai food with a friend. The key thing to remember is to treat yourself with patience and don't expect perfection. Your life may not be like the lives of those around you. Don't compare and embrace the things that you need.
Some rest tips and potential strategies I recommend to new moms to make time for self-care include:
• Schedule blocks of time with your partner or family to spend on caregiving and restful activities.
• Take breaks throughout the day and use any sleep opportunities, such as nap time or night-time feedings.
• Take advantage of any offer of help, whether it’s with childcare or household tasks.
• Don’t be shy to request help from your partner, family, or friends.
• Find and engage in activities that bring you joy and relaxation, such as reading, listening to music, or yoga.
• Ask your doctor or midwife for additional support if you have difficulty taking care of yourself or getting enough rest.
Following these new mom tips and strategies, you can make time for self-care and rest. Doing so can help you become the best mother possible and improve your overall well-being.
Find Rest and Relief with A Village for a Day
A Village for a Day is a comprehensive service package offering support for new moms navigating their postpartum rest journey. Our team provides experienced, nurturing caregivers for families in need of extra assistance. It can be a great option to get some much-needed rest in the postpartum period. These services offer comprehensive support for new moms, including:
- House cleaning: A thorough cleaning of your home can help create a comfortable and welcoming environment for rest and relaxation.
- Laundry catch-up: If you’re feeling overwhelmed by piles of dirty laundry, A Village for a Day service can help catch you up on all your laundry needs.
- Grocery shopping: Don’t have time to get to the grocery store? We can handle all your grocery shopping needs.
- Meal prep: From preparing breakfast to packing lunches, the service can take care of all your meal prep needs, giving you one less thing to worry about.
- Running errands: Whether you need to pick up a prescription or drop off dry cleaning, we leave the house and run your errands.
- Childcare: With A Village for a Day service, you’ll have an extra set of hands to help with the kids while you rest or take a break.
- Dinner preparation: If the thought of cooking dinner after a long day with a newborn seems overwhelming, the service can do the cooking for you.
- Organizing: If your home is cluttered and disorganized, A Village for a Day can create a more peaceful and relaxing environment where everything is in order.
By taking care of these tasks for you, A Village for a Day allows you to focus on rest and recovery and can be a massive help in managing the demands of postpartum life with a newborn.
Connect with us today and learn more about how we can help make your postpartum journey easier.
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