Maternity leave is a special time for new and experienced mothers. While bonding with your baby is rewarding and exciting—maternity leave is also hard work. Many mothers find this time challenging as they learn to balance their responsibilities while also getting to know their infant. Below are some tips to help you enjoy this special time.
Let your body heal. Delivering a baby is a tremendous accomplishment. While maternity leave is a time for you to bond with your baby, it is also a time for your body to heal and build up strength again. Much like you would rest after having any other medical procedure or surgery, you need rest after delivering a baby.
Find a routine that works for your family. Do your best to get into a daily routine that works around your child’s nap and feeding schedule—and hopefully a nap for you, too! Having a routine can help add some structure to an otherwise chaotic time. However, try to keep your expectations reasonable and be forgiving of yourself when some days don’t go as planned. It takes time to find out what works for you and your baby.
Get out of the house. Once you’re physically ready, try to get out of the house with your infant at least every other day. Whether it’s going on a walk, popping into a store or grabbing a coffee, a change of scenery can do wonders if your days are starting to feel long and repetitive.
Meet up with your work team. If you’re a working mom, try to pop in and see your coworkers in the middle of your maternity leave. Not only is it nice to catch up, but it will also make going back full-time a little less overwhelming.
Keep it simple. While dressy newborn clothes are cute, they often end up never being worn. Instead, invest in comfortable, no-fuss onesies for your baby—they will probably end up dirty throughout the day, anyway. The same goes for items like baby bouncers; while the newest, fanciest model might look great, you can often get by with a simple, economic version.
Schedule playdates with other new moms. Talking with other women who are going through similar experiences can help alleviate stress. Try to find a local mom’s group to join where you can connect with other new moms, and potentially make new friends!
Give yourself some grace. Every baby and birth are different, and it’s okay to experience a wide range of emotions during your maternity leave and after. Remember to be patient with yourself as you adapt to your new life with your little one.
Questions or concerns? Reach out to your Riverview Health OB/GYN.