Becoming a mother IS HARD. Whether you are about to become one, or you are looking for a gift for a loved one who is about to be a mother, the below list of 8 self care must haves will make a huge difference in the journey to motherhood. From comfort, to stability, to helping you keep it all together, you will find extra power and strength in each one of those items, allowing you to become a more confident and composed mom.
These items certainly made my life much easier, and in many cases are still a must haves for today.
1. Oils of all kind.
Becoming a mother is a very raw, awakening experience that uncovers the true nature of humanity. My experience of becoming a mother guided me to adopting 100% natural way of life. This included not only double and triple checking that my home didn’t have any harsh chemicals around, but also ensuring that my body wasn’t exposed to any harmful products. I very quickly eliminated any perfume, shampoos, lotions and other cosmetics that I wasn’t certain about, and mostly switched to natural oils only.
I certainly wasn’t the same version of myself as I recalled being pre-baby, but that is exactly what will happen to most moms. A new you will be born, along with your baby, so choose wisely on who that new you is. Most of the decisions you will make as a mom in the early days will come naturally to you. And natural in my opinion is the best way to go to ensure the healthiest start for your child and you on this journey.
I will admit that it was a blessing switching to only using oils for self care. My body certainly felt at easy, knowing it is surrounded by nothing but goodness. Some of the oils I used: Multi-purpose Oil-Rose , Sweet Almond Oil, Coconut Oil, Castor Oil, Eucalyptus Oil. By far though my favorite of all time: Soothing Touch Peppermint & Rosemary Oil . It is an absolutely must have that I using every single day.
2. Big & Small Ball(s).
This one was truly a life saver. With your little one figuring out slowly what being human is all about, you do not get many chances to be hands free. Early on in our parenthood journey we have been advised to get a yoga ball to eliminate some of the physical struggles our bodies felt from holding and rocking the baby for such long periods of time. So we bought two yoga balls, and used both religiously. Not only did we use them to rock the baby, but also to stretch on them, roll our backs, and sometimes just lay on from pure exhaustion.
The great thing about the yoga balls is that you will be able to use them for playtime once the baby gets a bit older. Also, they are super easy to deflate and take up barely any space in your closet. The ones we enjoyed most was: Exercise Ball Chair.
3. Some Serious Rack Support (quantity over quality).
If you are anything like me, you may or may not have a very heavy supply of milk in the first 6+ months of your motherhood journey. You may discover that your boobs will leak with more power than the outside fire hydrant, and even your FDNY husband can’t help to lock them down. That is why I STRONGLY suggest stacking up on very comfy sports bras. Many of them. In the first few months I must have used 5-10 daily, since my boobs were leaking all over the place and no amount of leaks pads could stop them. There is no downside to owning a bunch of these, as you will most likely use them in the future either to continue being comfortable as a mother of a toddler, or trying to get in shape as… a mother of a toddler. I recommend this batch, but all and any are good to have: Womens Rack Support
3. Leggins for Days.
Another simply must have in your closet before becoming a mom. A ton of leggins. Fitting into pants, of any size might be difficult after birth. You may or may not be figuring out what your body looks good in now, and while that in itself is a crucial process to go through, you do not have to figure it out right away. That’s what leggings are for. Take your time figuring our life as a new mom, in comfort. In today’s day and age, you can also do it in style since all leggings are super fashionable at the moment. You can find patterns, fabrics and colors that look like pure luxury brands, snatched straight from the runway.
My favorites are colors, with soft “power flex” tummy control, because I don’t know a single mom post-delivery who isnt looking for some tummy control, and a bit of color to brighten her day.
5. Lavender All Around.
Smell is an extremely powerful thing. Especially after giving birth. Not to minimize at all the importance of smell before and during birth, which is crucial indeed, but for the purpose of this blog, let’s focus on the after part.
With your new baby breathing the air of this world, and you post delivery, smelling the new aroma of motherhood with the days, weeks and months post delivery, smell becomes curcial. While everyone chooses what smells they surround themselves with, what worked wonders for me is the smell of lavender.
I used lavender everywhere and on everything. I used the Meyers lavender soap all around the house, I used the lavender oils in my diffusers, I used, the lavender laundry detergent, and even lavender candles.
What I have fallen deeply in love with is the Lush Lavender body lotion and body wash. The smell of these products has an incredible power of calming you down, while making you smell like a delicious cloud of cotton candy.
The research behind lavender itself suggests that it may be useful for treating anxiety, insomnia, depression, and restlessness. As a new mom trying to figure parenthood out, lavender is the ideal fragrance to have around as you journey through the first months of motherhood.
6. Foam Roller.
Regardless of what type of pregnancy and/or delivery you had, back pain is quite common for new moms. My pregnancy was tough, leaving me on bed rest for most of it, and delivery was a horror story in itself. I was in labour for 62 hours, and had to have the epidural injected 3 times into my spine because they missed the first 2. Yep. That can happen. My back after delivery was just a mess, and the pain I felt is best described as laying on beds made of nails 24/7. There wasn’t much that I could do to help the pain, as I certainly didn’t want to take any medication while breastfeeding, but the one thing that I did do was roll my back on a foam roller. The little relief that it gave me, was all that I needed to get through the next few hours.
Foam rollers are very handy to have (and not just for your back), so do invest in one if you don’t already have. Your back will thank you for it. The one I used is the TriggerPoint Grid, and it worked (and still does) wonders.
7. Chamomile and Fennel Tea.
There is so much about tea that is underrated in the west. In europe, tea is known to have healing powers, and it is also given to babies almost immediately after birth. Now there certainly is quite a bit of controversy on this very topic in this socially connected world, and this is not intended to add any fuel to that fire. But there is no denying that at least for every new mom, tea is a fantastic way not only to help relax, but also to help stimulate milk production.
For me chamomile and fennel teas was an absolutely must have. With all of the emotions you experience post-delivery, chamomile tea has the power to relax your body, and make you feel a little more cozy in the new skin of a mom. Fennel tea on the other hand, undeniably helps to produce more milk, and the results for me personally were truly impressive. As I mentioned above, I needed at least 5-10 bra changes a day to keep my chest semi-dry.
8. Waist Compression
Keeping it together, means a number of things for every new mom. Emotionally keeping it together is a long, rollercoaster like journey, as your hormones are adding a bit of a twist here and there, keeping things interesting when you least expect it. Physically, keeping it together, means just that. Keeping all of your parts around your waist together for some moms is no problem, but others, like myself, could use a little help. After my c-section I asked the hospital for a compression belt, which most can indeed provide if only you ask, and it made the world of difference in how I felt and operated. Without it, I felt like a large yellow filled ballon, jiggling my way through my house, watching my stomach lead me places in slow motion. With a compression support belt, I felt closer to what I felt like before the pregnancy. Like a human in control of her body.
Weeks after the birth, I purchased a few more belts to give me even more stability, allowing me to keep my s*&# together event tighter. It is an absolutely must have for all new moms, and especially those looking to gain their figure back to some degree shortly after the delivery.
Becoming a mother is a journey that each women will take on differently. As we all learn what works and what doesn’t for each of us, I am beyond proud to share with you the above 8 tips that helped me keep my sanity a bit. I hope you’ll find some of these items as comforting as they have been in my journey to motherhood.