7 Ways to Feel Your Most Beautiful Postpartum
Having a baby is amazing, of course, and beautiful and joyful and sometimes even
transcendent, but let’s be honest: it also turns your life totally upside down. It can be several months before you adjust to life with your little one, and chances are, you’ll let your own needs take a back seat during this time.
Still, it’s vital to fit self-care and self-confidence into those hectic, surreal first weeks with a
newborn. These postpartum tips will help you feel put-together, calm and ready to tackle life with your infant.
Embrace the idea of a uniform.
Pick a comfortable, washable “fourth trimester” outfit that you feel confident in, such as black leggings, a button-down top, an easy stylish scarf (that can double as a nursing cover) and boots, or a maxi dress and some cute flat sandals. Buy a few of each item and use them until they wear out. You won’t have to spend any time thinking about what to wear when family and friends drop by to meet the baby, or on those occasions when you’re actually up for leaving the house.
Take care of your skin.
The words “skin-care regimen” might make you laugh right now, but stick with us here: The five seconds it takes to slather on some moisturizer and SPF before heading outside with your baby can make a real difference in your skin, especially since lack of sleep can lead to dryness, says Jessica Krant, M.D., a dermatologist in New York City. Keep it simple: “Make it one or two steps max, and leave the fancy beauty routine for a few months down the road,” Krant says. “Gentle cleanser and moisturizer with built-in sunscreen for the mornings, plain moisturizer before bed.”
Create a touch-up basket.
Get a basket or other small container that you can keep wherever you usually feed your
baby, nap or hang out. Fill it with tools to help you feel presentable and put-together, like a
small mirror and brush, hair ties, cleansing face wipes, lip balm, dry shampoo and nipple
cream. You can add baby supplies too, like burp cloths and extra pacifiers. Voilà! Instant
access to everything you need.
Book a mother-baby photo shoot.
Want to feel like the mama-goddess you are? Plan a photo shoot with your baby. Those
newborn photo sessions featuring knitted hats and the cutesy poses are ubiquitous, but
there’s no reason you can’t get in on the fun, too. If the thought of getting yourself
photoshoot-ready is more stressful than sweet, remember that it doesn’t have to be anything über-glam—or even professional: a few pretty photos that show you nurturing your newborn just might make you feel incredibly gorgeous.
Your body has just done an amazing thing—growing a human—and it needs water!
Breastfeeding moms need to drink a lot of liquids, but even if you aren’t nursing, staying
hydrated is important for optimal recovery and optimal comfort, too. Get a pretty, reusable
water bottle and bring it everywhere you and Baby go.
Ask for help.
Laundry? Dishes? Cooking? Cleaning? Ask your partner—or a close friend or family
member—to help out. In our culture, it’s often hard for women to ask for (or admit they need) help, but postpartum is a time when you should have free rein to be in nesting mode— hanging out on the couch, binge-watching your favorite show and staring at the adorably chubby cheeks of your newborn. You should be focusing on the needs of your baby and yourself, not stressing over household chores, errands or other tasks. Don’t feel guilty, either—chances are, your BFFs will totally be on board to help.
Relax and appreciate yourself.
Take it easy on yourself. The most important thing you can do in those first few weeks and
months is take it one day at a time and release yourself from expectations—including those related to how you look. There’s nothing wrong with doing a few small things to feel and look more like yourself, but ditch the pressure of “getting back to your old self.” There’s a whole new element of “you” now—so spend some time sitting with that, too, and just appreciate your fierce new mama-self.
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