The first few months of your newborn’s life are among the most hectic and exciting times you’ll experience. As you rush to get them settled into your home, your mind is solely focused on them—as it should be. However, it’s easy to let your own self-care needs fall by the wayside during this time, which can leave you looking just as tired as you feel. Use these tips for post-pregnancy skin care to bring back your youthful glow and fit some “me time” into your day while you’re at it.
Protect Yourself from the Sun
The sun is the leading cause of many skin issues—and this includes those that develop postpartum. In fact, pregnancy-specific skin conditions such as melasma and dark, irregular patches on the face can worsen with heightened sun exposure. So, make sure you’re protecting yourself by wearing an SPF-30 sunscreen and sticking to the shade as much as possible.
Thoroughly Cleanse and Moisturize
It’s also important that you regularly wash your face and apply a moisturizer afterwards. At the end of a long day, new moms often skip this part of their routines in exchange for a few more precious minutes of sleep. However, this leaves harmful bacteria on their skin, which can quickly clog their pores and turn into acne. Stop this battle before it starts by washing your face twice a day and keeping it hydrated.
Another crucial tip for post-pregnancy skin care is to fit an exfoliation step into your routine. Exfoliation allows you to gently buff away all the oil, dirt, and dead skin cells that are making your complexion appear dull. It also works to dissolve any debris clogging your pores and, as a result, prevent future breakouts. Best of all, there are a couple different types of exfoliation products for you to choose from, so it’s always possible to find a product that fits your specific needs.
Get Enough Rest
Most importantly, make sure you’re always getting enough sleep. We know this is easier said than done when your baby frequently needs you in the middle of the night. But sleep is what allows the skin to repair itself and reenergize its cells. Without it, your skin is at risk for premature drooping and sagging. Because of this, getting a little extra sleep when you can is vital.
Christina Duron is a writer living in the Chicagoland area. Her passion for writing and mental health help create thought provoking and engaging pieces and hopes to use them to empower mothers and women to embrace the beauty of motherhood.
2020 has been such a crazy and challenging year for many. As it comes to an end, the opportunity to push reset arises and becomes the perfect time to focus on self-care. Take this time to move on from this tough year and pamper yourself with some self-care activities by following this 31-day self-care calendar. Plus the wallpapers and Insta-story stickers included will help you stay motivated and on-track throughout the journey! From meditating to giving yourself a spa day at home, this self-care calendar is packed with attainable and fun ways to help give yourself some well-deserved TLC.
Day 1: Eat Clean
Eating clean is a great way to start off the first day of your self-care journey! Make a day out of it and take a trip to your local farmers market.
Day 2: Listen to a Podcast or Read
Take the time to read that book you’ve been making to get to or start that new podcast your friend recommended!
Day 3: Meditate
If you need to compress, use this day in the self care calendar to meditate and recharge your batteries. Since this year has been stressful, there’s no better way of relaxing and getting rid of the bad energies. Download this wallpaper to motivate you get your meditation on:
Day 4: Declutter Your Space
Go through your old clothes today and get rid of things you don’t need. Hopefully this will also help you cleanse and declutter your mind in the process!
Day 5: FaceTime With a Friend
Reconnect with a friend today – old or new! That way you can chat about everything that’s happened this year, and maybe even over a glass of wine!
Day 6: Host Wine Night
Hosting a wine night, whether it’s by yourself or with friends, serves as a great and fun way to destress and close out a long week.
Day 7: Spa Day
Give yourself a bubble bath, use your favorite candle and make your own DIY spa day! Make sure to share your self-care day with this spa Insta-story sticker!
Day 8: Start a New Skill
Take on a skill that you haven’t tried before, like baking a new recipe, learning a new language, or how to paint something.
Day 9: Buy Some Flowers
Send a friend some flowers to brighten their day. You can even send some to yourself!
Start off the morning by practicing gratitude. You can do this by thinking about something you’re grateful for — focus on the positives! Download this wallpaper for your phone! It can help remind you of all the things you’re grateful for!
Day 12: Stay Hydrated
Remember to drink water today! Fill up your water bottle and take this day to stay hydrated.
Day 13: Compliment Someone
Find a way to compliment someone today, whether it be by texting someone or leaving a friendly comment on social media.
Day 14: Cuddle a Pet or Human
Cuddle your pet or loved one today! Cuddling has many benefits like lowering stress which makes it a great addition to your self-care routine.
Day 15: Coffee In Bed
There’s nothing quite like spending a cozy morning with coffee in bed. Take a photo of your cozy morning and be sure to add this cute Insta story sticker!
Take some time today to turn off the electronics and do something like read a book.
Day 18: Throw a Dance Party
When was the last time you busted out those dance moves? Be sure to throw yourself a mini dance party today to get your spirits up.
Day 19: Cook a New Recipe
Try out a new recipe today. Make yourself something decadent to treat yourself for everything you’ve accomplished this year!
Day 20: Write Down Some Goals
Sometimes self-care is doing what’s best for you, which includes planning for your life in the long run. Today, write down your top three goals that you want to achieve in the New Year. Take that paper with your goals and tape it somewhere you can see it each day, like your bathroom mirror!
Day 21: Try Yoga
Go take a yoga class today. Yoga is great for de-stressing and is perfect for boosting your mood! Use this Insta-story sticker the next time you do yoga to motivate your friends to try out this awesome form of self-care!
Day 22: Breathe
Remember to take a deep breath today. Be sure to breathe in and breathe out to release that bad energy.
Day 23: Say Yes
Say yes to something fun today that you’ve never done before! This is a great way to step out of your comfort zone and try out a new activity.
Day 24: Pick Out Your Favorite Flick
Snuggle up on the couch and watch your favorite movie today — this great for escaping the real world for a while.
Make some time to catch up with family members today and share your new self-care habits!
Day 27: Incorporate Hygge Into Your Home
Add some Hygge decor into your home and add some warmth with some fuzzy textures and twinkly lights.
Day 28: Shopping Spree
Treat yo’self is today’s motto. Put on a cute outfit and get yourself something nice. Make a day out of it by going to the mall with your girlfriends, or just chill in the comfort of your own home and do some online shopping. Use this Insta-story sticker to show off your fun day!
Day 29: Make a New Friend
Try to make a new friend today, or reconnect with an old one!
Day 30: Garden
Spruce up your yard today with some new flowers or plants! If you don’t have a garden, go shopping and pick up some plant babies of your own. Download this wallpaper to help you get inspired to garden:
Day 31: Take a Nap
You’re finished with your self-care calendar now, so take a nap! You deserve it after this crazy year.
Makenzie Pohl is a content creator who develops helpful and compelling stories. Her passion for digital marketing and creative writing has led her to cover unique topics ranging from travel to lifestyle. She calls San Diego, CA home and enjoys dining out, photography and traveling in her spare time.
Navigating your life after birth is a rollercoaster ride. Not only do you have to deal with taking care of a baby, but you also have to deal with your own changes, such as that of your body and mind.
Managing a post-pregnancy body is something that a large section of women struggle with. The kind of clothes you wear postpartum has to change, at least for a while, which is something that a lot of people find very difficult to navigate. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Even after pregnancy, you can look your best and be comfortable while dressing according to your new shape. You don’t have to sacrifice comfort and utility for beauty. You can have it all.
If you want to know about the best postpartum clothes and outfits, keep reading to know our suggestions. For more ideas about what to wear after giving birth, you can consult reviews and blogs as well.
The first article of clothing that we suggest is sweatpants. Now, you might be thinking that sweatpants make you look like a slob. So why should you wear them, right? Well, you’re wrong. When styled correctly, something as simple as grey sweatpants can look great. One of the best and trendiest ways to style sweatpants are pairing them with a solid-colored hoodie and a pair of white sneakers. Wear a couple of thin gold chains or golden hoops for some added oomph. Sweatpants are the latest trend in athleisure and they flatter all body shapes. They are the perfect clothes for a postpartum mom.
As we all know, undergarments are essential to a good outfit. If you’re not wearing the right kind of undergarments, you’ll just not be comfortable regardless of what you’re wearing outside. That is why another essential piece that you must have is a nursing bra. A nursing bra is similar to a sports bra, but the difference is that there usually aren’t any finicky hooks and the cups are easily removable for breastfeeding. They’re generally made of comfortable and breathable jersey material as well. Remember that before you purchase a nursing bra, make sure to check your cup and chest size.
People might tell you otherwise, but the truth is, sweaters are a magical garment. It’s one of the few pieces of clothing which looks better when worn slightly loose and oversized, which makes it perfect for a post-pregnancy outfit. Sweaters come in various materials as well. So even if you’re in a hotter climate, or it’s still summer where you’re living, you can wear some type of sweater without sweating buckets. Styling sweaters is a piece of cake, and you can elevate your outfit with a few pieces of jewelry or a nice bag. For the perfect comfy and casual yet chic look, wear your sweater with a pair of leggings, sneakers, golden hoops, and put your hair in a sleek, slicked-back bun.
Speaking of leggings, there was no way we could skip out from putting leggings on our list, right? Leggings are a godsend, and they are the epitome of comfort with style. Make sure that you have a good range of flexible leggings on hand. Now, although most women prefer low waisted leggings as it keeps pressure off the stomach, you can opt for high waisted as well. Especially if you’re looking for a bit of a “Spanx” effect and you want to cinch in your tummy and waist. Pairing the leggings with a strappy top and sandals will give you the perfect summer fit. On the other hand, you can match them up with a plain sweatshirt or sweater for a fall look.
An amazing piece of clothing that hardly gets the love it deserves is wrap tops, and they are perfect for the postpartum body. Wrap tops, as the name implies, are two-part tops that you can wrap on your torso with a belt. The reason as to why they’re perfect for the postpartum period is because it allows for easy breastfeeding. These tops are also made in flexible materials, so you don’t have to struggle with tight straps or clothing that doesn’t give you any breathing space. Coincidentally, wrap tops are very much “in” right now and you can wear them with a loose mid-length skirt and low heeled sandals for a super chic but extremely comfortable look.
Our final pick is a nice pair of pajamas. There is no mistaking that a large chunk of your postpartum period will be spent at home, recovering and resting. That is why you need a pair of comfy pajamas that give you ample space to breathe and do not make you feel constricted. Although you can make do with ordinary pajamas, purchasing maternity pajamas are better because, again, it allows for easy breastfeeding. Nowadays, maternity pajamas are available in a variety of beautiful and elegant designs which will make you look great even with your jammies on. Make sure that regardless of whichever pair you buy, they should be lightweight and soft.
Finding the right clothes for the postpartum period doesn’t need to be difficult. With comfort as your first priority, you shouldn’t have to be frumpy all the time either. Feeling confident in your postpartum body can help boost your mood and improve your confidence, which is especially important for new moms. Looking good can help you feel good and that’s what’s most important.
I’m Diana Forest, a working mother and a writer, who likes to share her journey as a mom. I have been working with the healthcare industry for a decade.
It’s not always easy being a mother. Actually, forget that, it’s never easy. There’s always something to be done, and when there’s not, you’re left there wondering what you’ve forgotten to do — or worrying that all your children are happy and healthy. Because being a mother is just about the most stressful job in the world, it’s important to remember to treat yourself from time to time. If you don’t, then the hectic nature of parenting will only turn into stress, and who needs that? Life is hard enough. In this blog, we’ll take a look at some of the best ways to treat yourself. You deserve it!
If there’s one thing that’s guaranteed to bring you back to life, it’s a day at the spa. This will tick all the boxes that sorely need to be ticked. Your body will feel amazing, your skin will look fresh, and you’ll simply leave feeling as if you’ve been on a two-week break. It’s a way to feel completely amazing, and all you need is a few hours — and perhaps a friend or two to join you.
Update Your Style
Remember when you were younger, and you were always wearing the latest fashions? Once you have a child, your priorities will likely change. Now, it’s less likely that you’ll dedicate time to getting that perfect outfit. However, it’s worthwhile putting some effort into your style from time to time, for no other reason than it’ll help you to feel good! If it’s been some time since you upgraded your look, then think about making some changes. There are many things you can do. If you’re unhappy with your current glasses, then visit this website, and invest in a high-quality pair. If your clothes are looking a bit dated, then hit the stores, and engage in some retail therapy. In most cases, simply getting rid of your old and faded clothing and investing in new pieces will do a world of good.
Go Out On the Town
Just as with your style, your evenings out on the town also probably feel like a thing of the past. You don’t get too many opportunities to grab your friends and hit a restaurant or bar when you’ve got kids. But that doesn’t mean you should never head out; you absolutely should, at least once in a while. Hand over parenting duties to your partner or family member, call up your friends, and enjoy some laughter and good times, just like the old days.
Give Yourself a Break!
Finally, what about simply giving yourself a break without feeling guilty? You can draw a lot of pleasure from simply spending a few hours on the couch, reading a book, or playing an online game, or whatever it is you like to do unwind. You’ll be doing an excellent job as a parent; it’s fine to take a couple of hours for yourself. It’s absolutely fine to put yourself first every once in a while; you deserve it, you really do.
Parenting is a beautiful journey that we can pretty much compare to a roller coaster ride – filled with ups and downs that does not seem to end. Unfortunately, there are times when parents can feel excessively tired, cranky, unproductive, useless, and not enough. Have you felt the same way too? Then this means that you are suffering from parental burnout.
What is Parental Burnout?
Parental burnout exists and is becoming more prevalent lately. It is a term that describes resentment, physical and emotional fatigue, de-motivation, and even depression in some parents who are overly stressed with parenting and a pile of other obligations.
According to studies and research, the changes in our society and culture are huge contributing factors that brought about the rise of this syndrome. So how do you know if you have parental burnout? These are the signs that you need to watch out for:
Emotionally distancing from child
Lack of motivation to go on
Feeling useless as a parent
Easily angered by the child even for simplest and smallest reasons
The bad thing is that not only parents are affected by parental burnout. This can take a toll on your child, too and the effects can last for a long time. For this reason, moms and dads should partake in activities that allow them to “recharge” and prevent fatigue.
Having said that, I decided to ask other parents for practical solutions on how to cope with parental burnout.
How to Cope
If you feel like you can no longer take it all, here are some of the many suggestions from parents like you and I to avoid falling prey to parental burnout:
I shop for my son to de-stress. I usually do this with a mom friend so I have a chance to talk to another adult (and keep my sanity lol). This technique is like hitting two birds with one stone – shopping for things that my kid needs while socializing with other moms without feeling guilty of leaving my husband and kid behind. I feel invigorated after doing this kind of errand. You should try it, too.
Have a Vent Buddy
It is really frustrating for me every time my 3-year old son and I argue. I always remind myself that I need to understand his context because he does not always get my point of view… and shouting at him does not help at all.
Whenever I feel like I am about to explode, I take a break from arguing with my son and call or text a friend. I whine, and nag, and even swear if need be just to let everything out of my system. After this, I feel a bit better and all my anger has simmered. By the time I go back to my son, my head is already clear and I can better “hear” what he is saying. This way, we can better communicate with each other.
If I can’t reach anyone, I simply send an email to myself – the same thing I want to tell my vent buddy during a phone call or text message.
Relax and Watch a Movie
I feel overwhelmed with all the responsibilities – imagine another human being is fully dependent on me for everything. As a result, I worry almost every time even when I am near my kiddo. This is where parental burnout comes creeping in.
When this happens, I watch a movie – more than once a month. I choose movies that do not last for more than two hours. As I am engrossed with the characters in the movie, I temporarily forget about my woes and worries. This, honestly, feels like a mini-vacation for me. As soon as I go out, I feel like a different person.
Go for a Run
This is the same thing as having a vent buddy as this helps keep my head clear. Before I go to work, I run for 15 minutes to decompress and work on things that are stressing me out.
This 15-minute run might not be much but it helps me work something out on my head while keeping my body healthy and active. By the time I get home, I feel happier and, surprisingly, more patient.
Let Your Partner Take Over
Parenting on your own is hard. Plus, it makes you crazy as you incessantly want to control everything. Sometimes, I decide to take a step back. I tell myself to bail on some activities and let my husband handle it.
For instance, I let my husband take my son to the park so I can stay at home. I can clean, read a book, catch on my favorite series, or just sit down and relax. This rewards us both – my husband gets to bond with my son and I get some time to reboot.
Remember that parenting is not like a job wherein you can just resign anytime you want. You cannot give up or quit on your kids. But if you take note of the practical tips in this post that are proven effective by other parents, I am sure that you will feel happy. You will never fall prey to parental burnout ever again.
Author Bio: Elkyra Park is a first-time mom who can no longer count how many baby products she has reviewed for her sanity and her son’s sake. She discusses about the realities of parenthood and how to gracefully cope with the struggles over at www.easyparentinghacks.com
If you are a parent then you might feel as though at times, your work is never done. You may find that you are being constantly torn between homework, dentist appointments, soccer practices and more. If you want to help yourself, then you need to practice self-care. This will help you to become way less stressed in the day and it will also help you to recharge too.
Find Ways to Recharge
As a parent, you may feel as though you need to put other people’s needs before your own. You need to start focusing on yourself more and you also need to set some money aside so that you can pamper yourself too. Of course, the way that you do this will depend on your circumstances and your budget. If you are stuck for ideas then get a manicure, buy yourself a new item of clothing or even go for that haircut you’ve been meaning to get. This will help you to stay focused and it will also give you the chance to truly unwind.
Children and their Bedtime
If your children have a bedtime, then don’t be afraid to take advantage of it. Children are often deprived ofsleep, even if they don’t know it themselves. If you set an earlier bedtime, then you may have to face a bit of a battle but if you are able to push through, then it will benefit everyone involved. Your kids will be more alert, and they may even do better in school as a result. If finding your children a school that they can attend next year is on your agenda then you can find outinformation on Montessorri schools here.
Mindfulness is the practice that helps you to be in the current moment. If you are able to do this then you will lower your stress levels and you may even find that you are able to enjoy your day to day tasks more. If you are driving, then don’t let your mind race ahead. Instead, just focus on your hands being on the wheel. Mindfulness will take time to master but if you are able to do it then you will soon find that you can reap the benefits far more than you realize.
Carve out Time for Yourself
Designate two or even three 15-minute intervals per day to focus on yourself. If you have a schedule or a planner then do this in a way that you would everything else. When you do, you will soon find that you are much more likely to stick to your plans and this can really work in your favor. You may be tempted to avoid doing anything in your alone time, and this is understandable, but you have to avoid it as much as possible.
Prioritize Partner Time
If you have a partner, then you need to do everything you can to spend time with them when you can. This could involve putting the kids to bed early or it may even mean trying to book the day off work from time to time. Either way, if you don’t make time for each other then you may find that you never have it, and this is the last thing that you need.
Keep in Touch
Keeping in touch with your friends or even your family can be a way for you to recharge your batteries. If you want to do this then try and hire a babysitter or even have a special afternoon out. You can also plan some afternoon activities at home if you want, either way, if they have kids then there’s a chance that they’ll need a break as well and the more you can give them this, the better you’ll all feel.
Have a Good Diet
If you don’t have a good diet then this won’t work in your favor at all. You may feel that you are far more tired during the day and that you struggle to get through the day without having a nap. If you want to get around this then you need to try and make sure that you are eating plenty of fruit and vegetables, and that you are also staying away from caffeine. After all, caffeine may give you a short-term fix, but it won’t do you any good in the long-term so do keep that in mind. If you don’t have time to have a good diet then making meals ahead of time is certainly the way to go, not to mention that you can get the kids involved too!
When it comes to winter fashion, expectant moms often struggle. Any mother can tell you that, while pregnant, there’s a whole separate set of fashion challenges to face. Simply put, your body is changing, and this can leave even the most confident of fashionistas uncertain about how to dress. This is especially true during the winter, when it can seem that all maternity clothing consists of bulky outerwear and unflattering sweaters, without too many stylish options mixed in.
Thankfully, there are so many comfortable pieces that can be found outside of the maternity section that will keep you stylish and warm, and fit just fine.
So here are five chic, cozy winter fashion staples for moms-to-be!
A figure-hugging turtleneck dress is a great way to show off your adorable baby bump without really feeling confined or compressed. There are actually a lot of good options for this kind of garment making the rounds this winter season, though we’d have to say Elizabeth and James’ latest turtleneck dress is a particularly festive choice. The Clementine Space-Dye Wool Turtleneck Dress from the brand looks like something straight out of a 1970s fashion magazine – which, with vintage looks trendier than ever, is always a major bonus!
Fleece Lined Footless Tights
Even when you aren’t pregnant, fleece lined footless tights can be life savers when temperatures drop. They’re also quite handy, given that they’re fairly versatile and can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. For instance, some of these tights paired with a jersey top and tennis shoes is an adorable look when you have to head out on some holiday errands – but you’d also look incredible rocking the tights with a sequined silver sweater and a pair of chunky black boots at your next festive get-together. The main draw of these pieces for expecting mothers specifically, though, is that they’re super stretchy, meaning they can adjust and last through the duration of your pregnancy.
Wool-Blend Long Plaid Coat
A plaid wool coat is arguably one of the classiest types of winter fashion outerwear you can buy. Typically though, some pregnant women may feel that wool coats can be too restrictive (especially during the last trimester). A long, more relaxed version of the coat, however, can be just the thing. The brand Woman Within presents a number of coats and jackets suitable for all sizes, and happens to have a Wool-Blend Long Plaid Coat that perfectly combines the chic quality of the garment with the inclusive fit so many moms-to-be will appreciate. Its flattering cut will suit any body type, and it can even be worn open if it’s not too cold outside.
A good pair of blue jeans is always a winter fashion essential (if not a year-’round one) but wearing denim can be somewhat tricky during pregnancy. It’s not the most forgiving fabric, particularly with a new pair, and so it can be difficult to find a pair of jeans that is both comfortable and fashionable. But this is where boyfriend jeans come in. These jeans – which tend to have a far more generous cut and relaxed design – happen to be very much “on trend,” and will look great with other seasonal staples, such as a black thermal top and a cozy cardigan.
Lastly, if you’re in a bind and can’t figure out to what to wear for a holiday party while pregnant, we’d suggest an always-fun billowy jumpsuit. For this season, the stylish designer Halston has a gorgeous option with a relaxed fit that’s well worth looking at, either as a specific option or simply as inspiration. The Asymmetrical Wide Leg Jumpsuit is designed in ultra-chic fashion, but made such that it’s roomy enough to remain comfortable during your pregnancy. A piece like this in white, or perhaps a festive red, can actually be quite the statement at your next holiday party!
Being pregnant can make some women feel extra large and unattractive over the holidays. And no one wants to splurge on maternity wear they may only wear for a single season. These winter fashion tips can help you enjoy your pregnancy, and the holidays, even when it’s cold outside. And the best part is, they’ll likely be staples in your wardrobe for years to come!
Let’s be honest, when it’s your first pregnancy, you are showered with gifts and attention and the spotlight is always on you.
Your partner, your family and friends constantly check on you and ask you how you are feeling, if there is anything you need or want. You feel like royalty and I loved every second of it.
But by your second, or third/fourth/fifth pregnancy, you have found yourself lost in the background in the story of your ever growing family. Ironically, by this time you are so exhausted from looking after your current little humans, that the body growing your newest addition needs more love and attention than ever before!
With the holidays fast approaching, if you are stumped on what to get that pregnant not first time mom-to-be in your life, here are a few ideas.
A Prenatal Massage
Whether it’s the first or the fifth pregnancy, a mom-to-be is sore all over. Her back aches, her neck hurts, she always has some strange shooting pain in some part of her body. A prenatal massage specializes on a growing mama’s needs. Although there is a very good chance she’s gonna snooze on that massage table, because… motherhood.
By the middle of the second trimester, and for sure by the third, we can barely bend over to put on our shoes, never mind paint our toenails. Plus, for a NOT first time mom-to-be, there’s the added problem of having other children with their own busy schedules. So we can hardly remember the last time we did something just for ourselves. Sending a pregnant mom for a pedicure is one of the best gifts you can give her (and I love going just to sit in those massage chairs!)
A Back or Foot Massager
Speaking of those massage chairs at the nail salon, how about one that we can use in the comfort of our own homes? Being able to sneak in a massage while watching our other children play is multi-tasking done right! This is a gift that will definitely keep on giving because we’ll also be able to use it postpartum, including while breastfeeding or as part of our regular self care routine. In fact, the luxury of being able to enjoy a massage while binge watching Grey’s Anatomy after the kids going to bed sounds heavenly!
I had one when I was pregnant with my first baby. I lived in it postpartum, those middle of the night feedings and sitting in a rocking chair all night. But that was 6 years ago. It’s worn out and I’ll admit, a little on the small side now… (it MUST have shrunk in the dryer). But a brand new comfy robe would be the perfect gift for a NOT first time mom-to-be. Make sure that it has some good pockets because we carry ALL the things: washcloths, pacifiers, baby monitor, phone. Bonus points for some new house shoes to go with it!
A Subscription Box
A box full of goodies showing up her doorstep each month is enough to make a NOT first time mom-to-be tear up (not that it takes much). If you want her to feel special and remembered this is one of the nicest gift options. And where else would you go than Bump Boxes? They are specifically designed for the pregnant mama and contain high quality products that she’s probably never tried before but will be super excited to.
A 3D/4D Non-Diagnostic Ultrasound
There are several companies that offer non-diagnostic ultrasounds for expectant mothers nowadays. This is a great way for moms to get a look at their babies before they are born and have a keepsake of their pregnancies. It’s also a great gift for the entire family, including older siblings, and helps them feel more involved in the pregnancy. There are even mobile ultrasound companies that will perform the sessions in your own home! But they can be costly and are often neglected by moms in subsequent pregnancies. A gift certificate for one of these sessions would make an awesome gift.
Hair Salon Gift Certificates
We want to get our hair done. We want to get it colored and cut and styled. We really do. But sometimes our kids’ ballet lessons are more important, or the van needs an oil change. So the money that we want to spend on ourselves needs to go somewhere else. We say we’ll do it “one day” and we throw our hair into a mom bun and move on. A gift certificate to her hair salon is the the gift of guilt free beautiful hair. That postpartum hair loss is about to do a number on her, so she might even want to use it after the baby arrives to help give her the much needed cool mom pick me up!
This is not to use on her family when she doesn’t want to cook (although it could be!) No, these are for her to splurge on that order of chicken wings, mozzarella sticks and deep fried pickles after the kids are in bed and some strange craving hits her. One of the most thoughtful gifts I remember is our neighbors giving us a gift card for pizza place when our 2nd daughter came home. We were so grateful for such a small thing on those first few days of complete exhaustion.
A Self-Care Basket
Finally… give her all the self care products you can find! Face masks, moisturizers, lip balm, makeup, skin care, exfoliating scrubs, bath bombs, essential oils, deep conditioner, you name it! A NOT first time mom-to-be is even more guilty of neglecting self care throughout her pregnancy and afterwards so she needs as much encouragement as possible. Chances are, if she has the products in her home already, she’s more likely to make time to use them. This time of the year you can find self care products everywhere – or do your one stop shopping online at stores like Rocky Mountain Oils, Aveda or Well.ca.
Hopefully some of these ideas inspire you when it comes to treating that expecting mom in your life. You also don’t have to wait until Christmas morning, a just because gift can be the best ones! We get so used to taking care of other people that it is nice to be remembered. Happy Gifting!
It can be tough to find the motivation for self care in the winter.
It’s in our nature to want to hibernate under the covers all winter long and avoid leaving the house. But staying isolated and failing to take proper care of ourselves during the winter months can lead to bouts of seasonal depression. Self care is important year round, so despite the miserable weather, we should always try to make time for it.
Here are a few ideas for self care in the winter that are sure to keep you feeling warm and cozy.
1. Light a Fire in the Fireplace
There’s no better way to warm up in the winter than sitting by the fireplace. You can read, write, listen to music, watch your favorite movie or even just sit quietly and enjoy the crackling sound of the flames. Flickering light is said to have a meditative effect on the mind which helps to reduce stress. In some parts of the world, firelight is essential to the practice of hygge during the winter.
2. Relax by Candlelight
In the same way, dancing candlelight can help you relax as well. Stock up on candles over the winter and light them whenever you get the chance. Light a few in the kitchen while you’re cooking or dine by candlelight. Keep one on your bedside table while you relax in bed or beside the tub while you soak. Just remember not to fall asleep while they’re lit or leave them unattended, of course.
3. Curl Up With a Cozy Blanket
Self care in the winter is all about wrapping yourself in warm, cozy blankets. You may have several blankets in every room that you use, or maybe you have a favorite one that you practically live in. The soft touch of a blanket wrapped around us helps us to feel safe and secure. Being warm is also better for our blood circulation and improves our overall mood.
4. Take a Hot Bath or Shower
Soaking in a hot bath or standing under a hot shower is a great way to warm up in the winter. Try adding Epsom salts to the bath water for an added dose of magnesium. Or throw in a few shower steamers filled with essential oils. If you find that you prefer hot showers more frequently in the winter, make sure to use all natural products that will keep your hair and skin soft and moisturized without overloading on chemicals.
5. Visit a Thermal Spa
If you haven’t already, check out a thermal spa in your area. They are great places to visit in the colder months because you can access the full range of hot and cold. Natural, mineral hot springs have healing waters that not only warm you up, but can provide relief from muscle and joint pains.
6. Get a Hot Stone Massage
Obviously any kind of massage therapy is a great way to practice self care in the winter. But if you’re not a fan of deep tissue massage, try opting for a hot stone massage instead. The warm volcanic rocks strategically placed on your body can loosen up tight muscles and reduce inflammation, stress and tension. P.S. don’t forget to put SpaFinder gift cards on your wish list to use for this!
7. Warm Up Your Feet
You can warm up your entire body simply by starting with the feet. Warm feet will help you sleep better but if you’re not comfortable wearing socks to bed, try plugging in a heated mattress pad or blanket just at the foot of your bed. Invest in a pair of ultra cozy socks or slippers to wear in the winter. For added benefits, roll some essential oil blends onto the soles of your feet before slipping them into socks to absorb all the goodness.
8. Sip Some Herbal Tea
Don’t forget to keep warm from the inside too! Sipping on herbal tea is a great self care activity to do daily. There are many health benefits of drinking green tea or just plain hot water with lemon. But you can find herbal teas for almost any ailment these days. There’s a reason why it’s such an integral part of any ancient culture.
9. Visit a Steam Room
Many gyms or indoor pools give you access to a steam room so definitely take advantage of them in the winter. Steam is a great way to detoxify the body, clean out the pores and help boost our immune systems. It’s especially helpful to loosen things up when you’re suffering from a stuffy nose or chest congestion. Just make sure to have a good shower and don’t forget to exfoliate and moisturize afterwards to get rid of all the toxins you’ve just sweat out.
10. Go for a Run
Staying active is one of the most important self care practices in the winter. It’s all too easy to neglect our bodies when they’re always covered up. So bundle up and go for a run around the neighborhood. You might start off feeling cold, but the longer you go, the warmer you’ll get. Or run indoors on a treadmill. It’s important to get your heart rate up at least once a day, which will improve your blood circulation to keep you warm all over.
11. Do Some Yoga Stretches
Meditative yoga is another great form of self care in the winter. Despite it’s slow and concentrated movements, you will work up quite a sweat holding those positions. Stretching daily will help our bones and muscles from getting weak over the winter months, when we might not as be as active.
12. Spend Time in a Sauna
Similar to steam rooms, saunas can be found at most gyms, indoor pool areas or spas. The dry heat of a sauna focuses directly on helping you sweat out toxins in your body. You can even find places that offer hot yoga, which is a yoga class done entirely in a sauna for added benefits. Search SpaFinder to see locations near you that offer these specific type of services.
13. Bake Something Warm and Delicious
Baking is a great winter activity, especially around the holidays. But don’t do it out of necessity or you’ll just stress yourself out. Bake just for the fun of it. Having a warm oven on will heat up the whole house and the delicious smells coming from it are an entirely different form of aromatherapy. And then go ahead and indulge. Use the real chocolate and the full fat cream and don’t skimp on the sprinkles.
14. Make a Pot of Soup
Nothing warms you up faster in the winter than a delicious bowl of hot soup. Soup days are perfect and easy for those dreary days when you’re stuck in the house. Or have a pot ready to go for when you get in from being outside in the cold all day. Try making a bone broth from scratch or get the kids to help you make an easy veggie soup. Soup is a winter time staple but also light and healthy.
15. Knit a Scarf
The winter months are a great time to start a new project. With all the extra time spent indoors, you’ll need something to keep you occupied or you’ll end up with a bad case of cabin fever. Knitting a scarf, hat or mittens for yourself, your kids or a loved one is a great place to start. Or work on some other form of art therapy. Creating something will give you a sense of pride and boost your confidence. Depending on how good your skills are, you can even give some away as handmade Christmas presents.
16. Cuddle With Someone You Love
Finally, the best way to stay warm this winter is to spend lots of time cuddled up with the ones you love. Whether you’re suffering from a mental illness like postpartum depression or just a case of the winter blues, nothing heals better than a hug. You’ll stay warm simply by sharing body heat, and you’ll get a mood boost from spending time with others. So this winter, if you plan to hibernate indoors, make sure you’ve got someone to spend it with and find ways to take care of yourself while still keeping warm.
8. What does your existing postpartum depression self care routine consist of?
I need ample amounts of alone time, especially at the end of the day. As a stay at home mom of three kids, it gets very draining and I feel like if I don’t get in a little me time before bed it’s an endless cycle. My husband knows to give me space after the kids go to bed. I just need to not be “needed” for an hour or two. I also do yoga in the mornings and have incorporated aromatherapy into my home. – Vanessa
As of the past month my postpartum depression has been getting better because I make self care a priority. I wake up at 6 am so I can make MYSELF ready for the day (hair, makeup, clothes etc), and do my daily devotions and bible reading. I try to not get lost on social media for hours and get jealous of everyone’s “perfect” life. I shower. Every day! I listen to self development books on audible. I just my MYSELF a PRIORITY!! – Anonymous
Trying to grab sleep whenever I can, even if it’s just 30 mins whilst my husband plays with our child in the other room. I might not actually sleep but I can rest. I go to the gym as often as I can as it has an instant effect on my anxiety- it just disappears for a little while. I try to eat properly and not miss meals I give myself permission to cancel anything I feel is too much, e.g. social engagements. I try to avoid reading/watching anything even remotely to do with child deaths and abuse. It triggers me so quickly it’s not worth it. – Alexandra
Routine!!! Wake up healthy breakfast medication, staying organize and busy with work and kids, I take time for myself to paint my nails or to make a certain snack I enjoy or just a movie. – Amber
Letting someone else take care of my son for a little bit and either playing a video game, taking a long shower, napping or going to Target by myself. – Anonymous
I do keep up with my psychiatrist but I guess I don’t really have a routine right now. – Nicole
Essential oils, breathing, medication, reading and exercise. – Anonymous
A lot of uplifting and telling myself I’m a good mom and surrounding myself by people that love me. – Jodi
Sleep, an hour a day for a TV show. – Anonymous
Talking about my feelings and tons of support from friends. – Ashley G.
Make sure I’m sleeping well and continuing to take Citalipram to combat anxiety. – Anonymous
Taking my meds, seeing my counselor, exercising, eating well, and taking time for myself when needed. – Amanda
Private alone time to recharge, controlled breathing, naps. – Anonymous
I just had my second baby two months ago and I was put back on medication to take precaution. I made sure to get plenty of sleep this time around and I did not breastfeed. – Katy
Staying active in therapy and with medication. Journaling feelings. Good hygiene. – Samantha
I believe in self motivation, it helps a lot. When I feel down I start to point out all the good that I have done that day and I see how happy my babies are and how happy my husband is and for me that is all I need. – Anonymous
Working out and oils. Taking time to better my self. My son will not know I am talking more time to my self when he is 3 months old. I want to be the best mom once he starts remembering. – Melissa
Taking herbal supplements and some anxiety meds, watching my self talk, getting out, getting time to myself. – Marcella
Therapy, yoga, sleep when I can. – Anonymous
Showers and naps anytime I need. – Emily
Make sure I get enough sleep. Taking time for myself. Self-reflecting. – Lorena from Motherhood Unfiltered
Taking 50 MG of Zoloft a day. – Chelsea
I am focusing on me more. I realize I can just focus on my husband and baby. I have a few medical conditions, so I am now getting monthly massages, chiropractor visits, not to mention what I do daily to take care of myself. – Kathryn
Still on meds. – Anonymous
Hair and teeth don’t always get brushed, I tend to forget deodorant never get dressed up just wear comfy baggy clothes. – Krista
I continue to take my meds daily, but am feeling considerably more stable now, with only a few bad days here and there throughout the month. My “self-care” is really more like a set of rules I’ve given myself. I never go more than 48 hours without showering. I force myself to eat when my toddler eats. I signed up for volunteer activities so I am out and about around other adults on a regular basis. I’ve started telling my friends what are triggers for me, so we can work around those without it being an issue (ex. talking on the phone. On my bad days I cannot for the life of me answer the telephone. I have no idea why). And Saturday’s are my day. My husband takes the baby, and I spend the entire day at a coffee shop with my noise-canceling headphones. – Leah Elizabeth from Lottie & Me
Taking my meds and vitamins and I get a 2 hour bathroom time for just a hot soaking bubble bath. – Jessica
Clean eating, for starters. I determined that eating sugar or dairy made me have almost immediate anxiety. Tracking my cycle is also a huge part of my self care. Staying abreast of my hormonal changes is key. Daily showers and restful sleep are also important to me—that means a nice hot cup of lavender tea and luxurious pajamas at 10:00 pm. And, of course, I move my body. Every day. I can’t say that I “work out” but I do something to get my heart rate up and follow with a healthy dose of ice water. – Amanda from Mom Like Me
Well I ordered the pills and I’m waiting for them to come in. I try to sleep in when my hubby is home and try to go out by myself without the kids once a week. I work out as many times as I can find a babysitter a week. We don’t live close to family so it’s hard to get support. – Anonymous
Taking my medicine and if that doesn’t help enough I will go to therapy.– Haylie
Nothing really. I never even got to sit down never mind “care” for myself during that time. – Crystal from Heart and Home Doula
Making time to keep up with my treatment, being consistent with my medication, finding time for myself everyday .– Anonymous
Medication, sufficient sleep. – Anonymous
Meditating, reminding myself my kids are little and I want to give them the best childhood and not always be irritated when they do natural child behavior like make mess or cry. Having time for myself. Reaching out when I need help. – Anonymous
Routine exercise, time to myself every week, regular appointments with my therapist, healthy eating, plenty of sleep (my husband will watch the baby some nights to give me a full night of sleep). – Anonymous
I have instituted a family schedule giving my husband a defined list of tasks and chores he MUST complete as well as giving me time to shower and get dressed every morning and take the kids off my hands for at least an hour a day every afternoon. I also have a babysitting schedule for my parents and in-laws and force myself to sit down and watch TV instead of doing work or chores during my non-kid time. – Eda
Resting when my body tells me, getting outside a little everyday, essential oils for mood and pain. – Anonymous
I am currently pregnant with my fourth child after remarrying. My youngest is 3 1/2. I have a good support system of moms who have struggled and I can be honest with. I am honest with my doctors and have a doula. I talk to a therapist and I rest when I need it. – Kathleen
I have no self care routine still, when I can I get away to the grocery store etc. – Stephanie
Now I make sure to have time alone. Whenever I start to feel overwhelmed I look at my son and express gratitude for getting to be in my son’s life and watch him grow. He is so amazing and I have the capacity for more love than I knew possible. -Yonat from Embodied Therapy Santa Rosa
Trying to maintain my hygiene. Making the bed every morning. Getting dressed. Opening the blinds. – Beth
We often underestimate the power of self-care.
For women with postpartum depression, it’s too easy to fall into a “funk” and start ignoring basic tasks like brushing our teeth or making the bed. We may not see it as a big deal at the time but it truly has an impact on our mental health. When we neglect ourselves, our brain gets the message that we are not as important. Over time, our brains reprogram themselves to prioritize our needs less and less and it becomes harder to change that way of thought.
What can we do to change this?
Stop thinking of self care as being selfish. Yes, you are a mother now and there are children who depend on you but that doesn’t mean that you have to neglect yourself in order to take care of them. Seek a way to balance how much time you spend taking care of yourself vs. your other responsibilities. When it comes to self care, there are so many different options and levels of intensity. Start by getting more sleep or taking a shower regularly. Eventually you can create a whole list of things you’d like to do for yourself. Treating ourselves as important will program our minds to believe it.