Monday, August 31, 2020

#MommyMondays: How I Managed Self-Care During PostPartum

Mommy Monday author Jo Anne
breastfeeds her son, BJ.
By Jo Anne 

This past week was a rough one in terms of breastfeeding as National Breastfeeding Month commenced with World Breastfeeding Week. Though I am not completely ending my breastfeeding journey, I am still having a difficult time because the one thing I have control over that no one else could have done for my son -- is finally coming to an end.  

Breastfeeding has given BJ and I an indescribable bond that I took for granted these past few months. For you mommas who have gone years doing so, I applaud you. But at the end of the day, I finally learned to put my mental health and happiness first because if momma isn’t happy and healthy, then it’s going to be harder for the baby to be happy and healthy. 

With that said, I will be recommending some self-care items that I believe all mothers and support systems should be aware of postpartum. With COVID-19, quarantine, working from home, and a 10-month-old, my first recommendation is to seek a licensed therapist. Mental health is SO important.

"Postpartum depression is REAL and no one will understand it until they’ve gone through it." 

To all my future mommas and fellow first-time mommas, postpartum depression is REAL and no one will understand it until they’ve gone through it. There have been plenty of moments where I have sat and cried overwhelmed with all that life entails: from being a wife, breastfeeding, pumping, cleaning, laundry, cooking, working a full-time job, washing bottles and pump parts, all while trying to keep my body in shape.

Make sure you have a support system, whether it’s your family or friends or coworkers. For those of you reading, check on your mommy friends – who knows what they’re going through. Though others (especially foreigners) may believe that therapy is meant only for those who have family issues or psychological concerns, I feel that every person, especially mommas, can find therapy helpful. And I’m not just talking about venting to your significant other and/or group of girlfriends but talking to a licensed professional or even a pastor. Most churches have programs that allow you to talk about these things - for free! Some health insurances also cover therapy, so it doesn’t hurt to ask.

Another mental and physical self-care suggestion is going for a walk with the baby. For those of you in the Texas heat, you may have to wait until the sun goes down, but it may help wear the baby out before bedtime. Also, getting out of the house and getting some steps in during quarantine is good for your mental and physical health.

Moving onto more physical healthcare items ... prenatal vitamins! These vitamins are not just meant for pregnancy but it’s a multivitamin that is still useful postpartum. And no, it does not increase your chances of getting pregnant, but it does, however, provide a sufficient amount of nourishment for you and baby.

Lastly, here are some self-care items postpartum that have personally helped me. During pregnancy, I would get numerous compliments about how full and long my hair was (thank you prenatal vitamins!) Then BJ was born and my hair fell out like no other, even more so than before I was pregnant.

My husband Bryan would find hair in the most unexpected places in the house AND on himself. Months after BJ was born, I started to get fly-aways and they were out of control! The little man even enjoys pulling my hair out. To fix it, my cousin recommended the TIGI Bed Head Hair Stick which temporarily controls my crazy hair during the day. I also use Nioxin’s System 2 Shampoo and Conditioner which helps with progressively thinning hair. You can get these items on Amazon, Hair Salons, ULTA, and/or even at Costco!

Nioxin's System 2 Shampoo and Conditioner helps with thinning hair. #MommyProbs

For those of you who have future momma or momma friends, here is an affordable idea for a baby shower or push gift to help their self-care! At-home spa items – bath bombs, bath salts, hair turbans, candles, face masks, and even a gift card for FOOD (it helps not to have to make dinner once in a while).

An affordable idea for mommy's to be or mommy friends? D-I-Y Spa Days!

To all my fellow mommas, you are doing great and you are the best mother your baby (or babies) could have ever asked for. God picked YOU to be their mother and what an awesome feeling to know that our Lord picked, out of ALL people, for you to nurture his blessing?

Hope this helps you all and Happy National Breastfeeding Month!


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