New mums... don’t forget that all important Mummy MOT!

We spend lots of time planning what we will need for the new arrival, but mums often forget about their own needs. Dr Michelle O'Driscoll shares some advice
New mums... don’t forget that all important Mummy MOT!

There are some things that mums can do to help boost their own wellbeing after the little one arrives. Picture: Stock

PREGNANCY has increasingly become a time to be bombarded with what you definitely “should purchase,” or absolutely “cannot do without,” either now or in the early days of caring for a newborn. Advertisements can play on the vulnerable emotions and make you think that you’ll be less of a mother for not investing, making it difficult to weed out the genuinely useful products or services.

For baby? Wait and see…

When it comes to baby, think back to the very basics – somewhere to sleep, essentials for changing nappies, enough baby-grows and vests to get you through the initial couple of weeks, and whatever you need to support your feeding method of choice. Everything after that is an additional extra that you can decide as you go, whether or not you really need.

It’s so common to have every sort of gadget bought in advance, and to only actually end up using a few of them. Give time to settle into a routine at home, and see from there whether a baby seat or play mat, night light or bath thermometer are things you need or would genuinely make life easier for you. Every family’s situation is unique, so be led by your routine and experience.

What about mum?

We spend so much time planning around what we need to get for baby, that the hospital bag is usually where purchases for ourselves stop. Here are some things to consider investing in to boost your own wellbeing in the pregnancy and post-partum periods...

Mummy MOT

Think like an NCT, but for your physical health rather than the car’s! There is a much greater emphasis now on things like pelvic floor health, and the importance of maintaining it or rectifying any issues.

Contact the maternity hospital to see if you’re entitled to physio with them if having issues, or research local physios that privately specialise in women’s health.

As well as pelvic floor problems, lower back issues can also spring up, so to have a plan of action for addressing these is important. Prevention is better than cure, and even scheduling an appointment during pregnancy before issues really occur can make all the difference to your comfort levels later.

Pre/Postnatal Yoga

This is a great way to meet other mums to be or new moms, to take some down time just for you and bump or baby, and to work on the muscles and breathing techniques that you’ll be using during birth if attending prenatally.

Even if just attending online currently, it’s time carved into an otherwise full schedule. Make sure that the instructor is qualified to teach in a maternity setting, as some of the typical yoga poses are not automatically suitable in pregnancy and should only be started after the first trimester, or need to be adapted for things like split tummy muscles or lower back issues.

Post partum clothing

We purchase clothing for pregnancy, and then find ourselves in limbo in the weeks and months after giving birth when we haven’t miraculously “bounced back” to our old shape. Rather than allowing ourselves to linger in that limbo, feeling icky because “nothing fits” why not invest in a couple of really comfortable loungewear sets or outfits that may not necessarily be your old size, but nonetheless feel new, fresh and offer a lease of life. That, and new bedsheets – you’ll be spending lots of time cuddled up there with your little one, make it a cozy place to be.

Date night

Can’t contemplate ever getting out of the house alone again? You’d be surprised what a lift having something planned can give. Pencil a dinner into the diary for a couple of months after baby arrives, and work towards it.

Decide who you might entrust your little one to. You can always review closer to the time if it doesn’t feel right to leave them just yet, but if it’s booked and happening unless you say otherwise, chances are the couple of hours away will be exactly what you need.

Time to reconnect (probably spent solely looking at pictures of your little one and missing them, but reconnecting nonetheless!)

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