Postpartum Self-Care Checklist

Share this!

Congratulations, mama! Your precious baby is finally in your arms. Now’s the time when you’re supposed to feel nothing but blessed and happy. But without a postpartum self care checklist, you might be feeling something far off from those!

The reality of new motherhood is a bit different. Yes, parenthood is extremely rewarding, but it’s not without its challenges. It can also be incredibly easy to lose yourself to your new baby.

The most important thing you can do for your baby right now is to take care of yourself. A happy mom makes for a more content baby. This postpartum self-care list can help you come up with ways to improve your physical and mental well-being.

**This post might contain affiliate links. Please read full disclosure here.**

self care checklist for new moms postpartum

Importance of a Postpartum Self Care Checklist

You just accomplished one of the greatest feats of your life, growing a brand new human inside yourself and bringing it into the world. But did you know that THIS season in your life, postpartum is also really tough to navigate?

This is when your body needs to recover from the changes and traumas that it just endured. You might be uncomfortable or downright painful for weeks up to a year postpartum and if you don’t use a postpartum self care checklist, that time can really stretch out.

(Yes I know a year sounds like a LONG time but if you do not repair your pelvic floor and restore your deep core postpartum, pain can continue pretty much indefinitely.)

So let’s dive into into the best postpartum self care checklist so you can learn to take care of YOU after baby comes (because we all get completely wrapping up in caring for everyone else.)

17 Items for Your Postpartum Selfcare Checklist

  1. Take Care of Your Breasts

Whether you decide to breastfeed or not, you’ll undergo many changes postpartum. Cabbage leaves can reduce engorgement. Watch out for redness or fever, which could be signs of an infection.

If you do decide to breastfeed, take care of dry or cracked nipples by applying a small amount of breastmilk and leaving them open to the air for a while.

  1. Prioritize Nutrition

Breastfeeding moms need to eat around an extra 200-500 calories daily to keep up their milk supply. While you’re still healing and dealing with sleep exhaustion, it can be tempting to order take-out or feast on freezer pizza and box mac ‘n’ cheese. However, the types of food you eat matter.

Good nutrition should be part of any postpartum self-care plan. You should eat a well-rounded variety of food groups with plenty of protein, whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and healthy fats. The nutrients from eating primarily whole foods will assist your body’s healing process and can increase your supply and the nutritional density of your breastmilk when done correctly.

Follow a specific breastfeeding postpartum diet plan to really feel your best after baby is born. (Plus it will help you make more breastmilk and lose the baby weight postpartum.)

  1. Develop a Daily Routine

In the first few weeks, you’ll start to learn your baby’s feeding and changing habits. Knowing these times and keeping them consistent can help you carve out blocks to spend on yourself or with your partner.

  1. Invest in Comfy Clothes

Once you give birth, you’ll still look several months pregnant for a while, so you won’t likely fit into your pre-pregnancy wardrobe right away. You’ll want to wear looser clothing so it doesn’t push on your incision or invade any sensitive areas. Comfortable leggings, long and loose shirts, and even flowy dresses work well postpartum.

RELATED: 29 Amazing Self Care Gifts for Busy Moms

how to self care as a new mom checklist
  1. Take Your Vitamins

Whole foods should always be your first line of defense for postpartum nutrition. However, a daily vitamin can supplement micronutrients you might be short on during this phase. For most women, continuing to take a high quality natural prenatal vitamin will be sufficient.

  1. Get Some ZZZs

Sleep can be hard to come by with a newborn, but if you keep track of their typical schedule, you’ll know when good nap times for yourself will be. Also, if at all possible, trade off nighttime wake periods with your partner.

  1. Accept All the Help You Can Get

Everyone in your social circle will want to love on your baby if given a chance. So, let them! When your friends and family come to visit, ask if they could take over care of your little one so you can take a long, hot shower or get a much-needed nap.

  1. Go for a Daily Walk

As long as you didn’t have a C-section, going for short, daily walks should be alright early during the postpartum period. Talk to your doctor about your specific situation and get approval. The movement, sunshine, and fresh air will improve your mood.

Just remember that your focus shouldn’t be on losing the baby weight right now. You have far more important things to think about.

postpartum weight loss while breastfeeding diet and exercise plan
  1. Plan One-on-One Time With Your Partner

Adding a new member to your family can throw off the household dynamic. Use this time as a way to reconnect with your partner rather than growing distant.

Use baby’s nap time as a chance to cuddle and just be near each other. Odds are good you’ll both end up falling asleep, too.

  1. Watch for Potential Complications

When you leave the hospital, your care team will give you specific symptoms you should watch out for during the postpartum period. It would be a good idea to follow up with your primary care doctor or OB to get any clarifications if you have any particular concerns or questions.

You should monitor how quickly you fill pads in case of a postpartum hemorrhage. Breast infections can cause redness and fever. Also, if you had a C-section, abdominal discomfort or pain accompanied by abdominal bulging, nausea, vomiting, or rapid heartbeat could be signs of an incisional hernia.

  1. Join a Mom’s Group

No matter how supportive your friends and family try to be, no one will understand what you’re experiencing better than other postpartum moms. These meetings will give you a place to vent and ask questions. It also gives you a chance to get out of the house and talk to other adults, which is incredibly important for your mental health.

  1. Set Up a Special Spot

You probably spent months planning a nursery theme and picking out all the furniture. After the baby shower, you got everything set up just right and waited not-so-patiently to bring your baby home.

Now that your precious little one is enjoying their space, you should have a special spot of your own. Set up a little corner of the house just for you and fill it with your favorite things. A bin of good books, a cozy blanket, or a tablet loaded with episodes of your favorite show can go a long way toward making you feel human again.

  1. Start a Journal

Keep track of your self-care postpartum checklist in a beautiful journal. You can also keep track of your thoughts and feelings about being a new mom. Document any important milestones or memories to look back on later.

Starting a gratitude journal may also help you focus on the positive each day. Sit down each morning or evening and write three things you’re grateful for. It can be easier to do a mindset journal with prompts. I found this 21 day journal really helpful for learning to appreciate everything even in the chaos of postpartum.

  1. Get Ready for the Day

While putting a full face of makeup on or giving yourself a blowout may not be your current priority, going through a basic morning routine might help you feel like yourself again. Throw on a new outfit – one you didn’t sleep in – run a brush through your hair, and clean your teeth and face. You’ll feel like a new woman.

  1. Set Aside 30 Mommy Minutes

Getting small amounts of time away from your baby is good for both of you. Spending time alone will help you maintain your identity and help prevent postpartum depression. Ask your partner or another loved one to watch the baby for 30 minutes daily while you go to your special spot.

  1. See a Physical Therapist

Diastasis recti and pelvic floor weakness are common complaints for women postpartum. Seeing a specialized physical therapist can get your body to heal appropriately and avoid years of cross-legged sneezing.

You can start with these physical therapy exercises for your pelvic floor and these tips to repair diastasis recti at home. But if the problem persists see a physical therapist in person, they are the best.

breastfeeding diet plan postnatal
  1. Make Padsicles

One of the best things you can do for your postpartum body after vaginal delivery is to make and use padsicles. Layer a heavy pad with witch hazel and aloe and more (get the full recipe here) and stick it in the freezer. Pull one out each time you fill the previous pad.

#1 for Postpartum Self Care Checklist Is: Give Yourself Grace

Follow the advice of your favorite cartoon princess and let things go. You’re just learning how to balance this new life and your home while maintaining your identity as more than just a mom. This balance will take time.

Also, these days are long, but the years are short. Your little one will only be this size for a little while. Let the dishes pile up a bit, feed the rest of your family a bowl of cereal, or skip laundry for a day or two.

Finally, remember that taking time for yourself isn’t selfish. Add a few or more of these items to your postpartum self-care list to improve your physical and mental health during this challenging but rewarding phase.

More Self Care Tips for Moms

Share this!

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.