/ The Daisy Foundation with Jilly Clarke

10 postnatal tips for feeling like a person again

Having a baby is a monumental experience. Pregnancy changes your body beyond belief, and it takes time to feel like yourself again. You devote so much time to your little one, it is easy to feel like you don’t know who you are anymore. Take some time for you. A fed, caffeinated (sometimes!), socialised parent is a good parent. Postnatal group Welwyn

A postnatal doula can be amazing in the early days to help you take time to recover and ease into your new role. I offer Postnatal Doula services around Welwyn (20 mile radius). Click here to find out more.

Here are some postnatal tips on how to help you adjust and recover after having a baby. If you are pregnant then make sure to save this email/list somewhere so you can refer back to it after baby is born!):

1) Mum and baby groups

Going to a place where you can interact with adults can do wonders for your sanity. Some groups will be classes where you do activities with baby and get to chat to parents. Others will be coffee morning style sessions, where you sit and chat. Others might be an organised walk. Find one (or several) that you like the look of and sign yourself up!

Be careful what group you pick though. Some baby classes that say they are a great place to meet others and make friends run lots of classes close together. If a class is 30-45 minutes with another one starting 15 minutes later, there will not be time for talking and making friends. You will be ushered in and out as quickly as possible so that the room can be re-set for the next class.

This is where a Daisy class is special. Our fabulous Postnatal group in Welwyn and Welwyn Garden City.

Each class is 1 hour long and we make sure that everyone gets to talk. Whether that is sharing their week, sharing milestones, highs, lows. We make the class inclusive. Of course, you can talk to the person sitting next to you; but we get you chatting with people on the other side of the room too. Shared experiences and understanding is what helps people to bond. And we set up a WhatsApp group for each class to and encourage meet ups and chatting outside class.

2) Send that first text

Sometimes people do not want to ‘bother’ new parents, but if you’re feeling lonely, why not kick-start a conversation with someone that you haven’t spoken to in a while? Ask for a visit, ask for help with something. Often people are desperate to help but don’t want to intrude. Putting yourself out there isn’t easy but it can be so rewarding.

If you have an antenatal or baby class WhatsApp group then send a group message. The people from your Daisy class will be thanking you for trying to arrange a meet up. Every group of “mum friends” has one person who started the conversation. Maybe your group doesn’t have somebody who that comes naturally to, and everyone is feeling weird and awkward. Take a deep breath and ask. And keep asking. One week everyone might be busy, but the next week everyone will be free.

3) Spend time outside

A change can be better than a rest. Going to the park or even sitting in the garden is better than being cooped up inside – especially if the sun makes a return! It might take you an hour or more to gather everything, change multiple nappies and outfits, set up the buggy or put on the sling, feed…But persevere. I promise, it is worth it. If it isn’t, then taking a deep breath, go back home and try again another day.

4) Take a postnatal safe exercise class.

There are some amazing exercise/dance classes with baby! Just make sure that the instructor is qualified to teach postnatal bodies. Exercising releases endorphins, helping you to feel calmer, happier and more relaxed. Demi from Body Blitz runs buggy fit classes, there’s postnatal yoga or pilates too. Postnatal group Welwyn

5) Put the maternity clothes away.

Treat yourself to some new clothes and enjoy the new you. John Lewis does a fabulous (free) stylist session where you can have someone select a special outfit or can help you find basics. If you have a new shape and don’t know where to start, then I highly recommend it. There is no obligation to purchase either, and the John Lewis café is great for a pre/post session feed.

6) Get fitted for a new bra!

Your breasts have changed, especially before, during and after breastfeeding. Life is too short to wear an uncomfortable bra. Check out Boob or Bust to find out about a revolution in bra measurement.

7) Book some you time

A new haircut, a colour re-fresh, a massage, a manicure…you get the picture! Or even just a facemask and a bubble bath at home. Get someone to watch baby for an hour or two, take some deep breaths and relax. Postnatal group Welwyn

8) Mum and baby cinema showings

Campus West, Odeon and The Broadway cinemas do mum and baby film showings, where the lights stay on, sound is lowered, and the tickets are cheaper. It’s a great way to spend a morning once the sessions resume.

9) Date night

If you feel comfortable enough to bite the bullet and leave your little one with someone that isn’t your partner, why not go out and spend some time together? Your relationship with your partner is important and deserves attention too. If you aren’t ready to leave baby then plan an evening without phones, to watch a film or enjoy a meal together. You could even get a postnatal doula to sit with baby while you enjoy some time without having to keep an ear out for baby.

10) Tell people how you are feeling

If you’re not okay, don’t lie and say that you are. It is perfectly acceptable to feel overwhelmed and lonely. In fact, it is completely normal and SO common. Talking about it means that people can help. Whether it is a friend, a partner, a family member, a class/group leader, a health visitor, a GP. Telling someone how you are feeling can help you lift a weight off your shoulders.

 

Pandas offers some amazing support, with meet ups, social media groups and email/phone support.