Importance of rest

Learn to get your rest in short breaks, when the baby sleeps. Put your feet up, have a drink and consciously let go of your muscles, close your eyes, breathe easily and deeply. Use the time when you are feeding the baby to relax, as well. If you’ve had a restful kind of pregnancy, daytime naps will come easily. If you’ve been busy and rushed during pregnancy, it may take determination to retrain yourself.

Recharge your own battery

A group of mothers at a child-health clinic brainstormed a list of little things to do during the day to boost your energy and pick yourself up. They included:

– Have a cup of tea.

– Ring and chat to a friend.

– Go to Grandma’s house with the children.

– Take the baby for a walk in the pram.

– Sit outside in the sun.

– Read a magazine.

– Eat chocolate.

– Play tennis while the baby is minded, or watch them in their pram.

– Watch a favourite soap.

– Take a shower.

– Bathe with the baby.

– Meditate.

– Brush your hair and make yourself look good.

– Go to a local shop and chat to the owners.

– Exercise.

– Invite a friend over with their baby, for adult company.

– Eat snacks or have a milk drink.

– Do craft work.

Occasionally, on really hard days, if you have been unwell or pressured, decide to have a time-out day. For many of us, it’s.not possible to have a reliable and loving helper to take the baby off our hands, so we have to do the best we can to have an easy day and allow our batteries to recharge. Don’t do anything that isn’t essential. Forget housework and extra jobs; your aim is to relax as deeply as possible and to enjoy your baby.

Use the baby’s sleep time to rush about tidying. A ‘good’ mother is a slob for these few months. Your well-being and that of your baby is more important than the housework! Your body knows what it wants and, when allowed to, will often fall asleep when the baby goes down and wake two hours later, when baby does, thinking: ‘What happened?’

If you know or can learn meditation, this is very effective; 10 minutes of meditation can often be worth an hour or more of sleep.

Listening to music or relaxation tapes is one way for mothers to relax more deeply, realising that this is also a way to have a calmer, more settled baby. These tapes help you to relax very deeply, while being in contact with and taking care of the baby in your arms or in your womb.