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Your postpartum self-care checklist

When everyone wants to hold the baby, LEIA is holding you. We'll help you understand everything that is happening in your body and mind in the turbulent time after childbirth. Self-care in the palm of your hand, through your friendly expert!

 

This checklist is developed in collaboration with Andrea Wehtje, who is a holistic coach in women's health, wellness and embodiment. We hope you enjoy using it and will soon become part of the LEIA family!

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Month 1

A time for recovery, nourishment & connection

These first weeks are all about trying to navigate your new reality as a new mother. Keep expectations realistic, practice self-compassion and ask for support.

 

Physical

  • Rest by staying in bed and avoiding unnecessary movement.

  • Take lots of showers and drink more water than you might think is needed.

  • Eat nourished soft and warm food, avoid cold foods & drinks

Mental & Emotional

  • Journaling- It takes time to process the birth but it's important to do so.

  • Minimize phone time to stay present and avoid being overwhelmed

  • Crying- It’s a huge oxytocin release. Allow all emotions to surface.

  • Self- Compassion - Hormones will drop dramatically after birth. So it is normal to feel overwhelmed, drained, sad but also high in bliss and adrenal rushes for a few days, or even a week or two.

  • Self-care of the day - Pick one self-care boost activity a day

  • Breath & Co-regulating - Deep breaths are the quickest way to calm the nervous system, relieve stress and support you if you breastfeed/pump.

  • Touch - When we cuddle, hug, kiss and get a massage, we boost the oxytocin flow that is our love and feel-good hormone.

  • Boundaries - Make sure you are clear on your boundaries those first weeks and share them with those around you. You are deciding on if and when people should come over. And if someone comes over ask them for support such as grocery shopping, bringing over food, help with doing laundry or cleaning.

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Month 2

A time for re-charging & soft transition

You are slowly starting to adjust one step at a time into motherhood, while your baby is adjusting to life outside the womb. The 6 weeks milestone is a big one, so make sure to celebrate it!

 

Physical

  • Hormones - They might still not be that stable, but by this time you should not be feeling the first baby blues symptoms, if so please talk to someone you trust and seek help and advice at your health care center. That is important!

  • Movement - You may be ready for some slow walks, some light stretching and increasing your pelvic floor exercises.

  • 8-12 week check up - You might have your first check-up, prepare for it with all questions and thoughts you’ve been having. You can use your information from LEIA to guide you through the topics you want to discuss.

  • Nutrition - Continue with your supplements to boost the body even more with minerals and vitamins, especially if breastfeeding, to avoid depletion.

  • Body Work - If you have the possibility, visit a massage therapist or pelvic floor therapist to further nurture your body. Even a light massage from someone you trust will do the trick. It really does wonders for your postpartum recovery!

 

Mental & Emotional

  • Celebrate - Remember to notice all the milestones you do as a parent every day. It's a hard job, so celebrate yourself and recognise your efforts.

  • Out of bed - If the first month was all about laying in bed, you may be ready to get dressed, wash your hair or even have a light schedule for the day containing at least one thing that makes you feel like your old self.

  • Mama Support - Call or see another mother who shares how you feel and ask for support. Check out communities on social platforms or in your neighbourhood.

  • One foot on each side - Allow yourself to make small plans but also allow yourself to cancel as well. Honour your daily energy level.

  • Oxytocin - Keep boosting it. A conversation with a friend, a movie that makes you laugh or schedule a time to connect with your partner.

  • Self-care flow - Keep ticking off things on your list and adjust it to where you are at, get outside, do a 5-minute mediation practice or have that first hair appointment.

  • Alone time - Getting time for yourself is important, see if you can schedule time every day. Even if it translates to just going to the store or sitting outside for 15 minutes. Schedule it with your partner or support person so to make sure to follow through.

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Month 3

Anchoring a new way of life

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Month 3 marks a new chapter where you might start longing for something outside the motherhood bubble. Your body might feel slightly stronger and your emotions more in balance. But be aware to not push yourself while allowing parts of yourself to awaken.

Physical

  • Building Light Strength - Important to keep resting every day but now we can do longer walks, do light yoga and do some mild exercise to keep strengthening. Keep listening to your body, it will be different for everyone.

  • Nature - Spend as much time outside as possible to keep us grounded and connected.

  • Health Checkup - If possible, it would be great to do a 3-month check-up on your blood count, to get more knowledge on if you need to complement with any supplements or a change of diet. At this point, hormones are more stable and you are starting to connect back to your body.​

 

Mental & Emotional

  • Setting up for success - You might feel more comfortable in your role as a mother, which is a perfect time to add more time for yourself and practice asking for support with the baby. It's important to keep in mind your long term needs since motherhood is a lifelong journey.

  • Daily Practice - Keep journaling to allow space for all parts of you and integrate a gratitude practise into your day.

  • Routines & Rituals - It can be nice to start with a morning routine or add some daily rituals that give you joy.

  • Social time - Start seeing some of your friends more frequently. Trial and error and see what works for you. Dare to try but also be forgiving if it doesn't work.

  • Comparisonitis - Try not to compare yourself with others, even if it’s hard. Remember that mothers are all at different stages and we never know what challenges or prepositions others might have.

  • Clear Communication - Continue conversations with your partner and support team about what works and what doesn’t in your family setup. Practice crystal clear communication.

  • Update - Continue to update your self-care list, there might be things that you were doing in the past that you long for and are ready to be practised again, or new areas you wish to try out.

  • Mindful - Surround yourself with people that give you energy.

  • Boundaries - Practice saying NO - keep honouring your boundaries that will keep you more in balance and allow for things that fill you up.