As a new mum the very idea of relaxing and treating yourself often fills you with guilt, right? You can already hear those judgemental voices swirling around your head, wondering how you could even think about taking time out for yourself when your new baby needs you. Well, it’s time to silence those critics and take a well earned break.

The fact of the matter is, and studies have shown, giving yourself time out to relax can actually help to raise a happy and healthy baby. Taking a break now and then allows you to not get lost in the overwhelming and all encompassing nature of being a new mother.

So here are 20 ways that a new mum can take time out, treat themselves and relax.

  1. The first is the most important: Stop judging yourself. No one has all the answers.
  2. Listen to your body and brain. You need sleep and food as much as your baby.


  1. Structure. Structure. Structure. You need it as much as your baby.


  1. Utilise all the products you can to settle and sooth the new bub. We highly recommend MAM Mini Air soother and MAM Easy Start Anti-Colic bottle, both featuring SkinSoft silicone for reliable teat acceptance. Available at Chemist Warehouse Outlets.


  1. Go outside, if only to take a big deep breath of fresh air. It sounds silly, but a good dose of oxygen and sunshine can do you a world of good.


  1. Spend time with friends and talk about things other than babies. Stimulate your brain with some adult conversation.


  1. It takes a village: Ask your friends or your parents for help, that’s what they’re for.


  1. Give yourself a gold star: when things go right remember to congratulate yourself.


  1. Always refer to Number 1: Forgive yourself if something goes wrong. It happens.


  1. Never stop asking questions, EVER. Friends, family, doctors, strangers, whatever works. There is no dumb question, no question off limits and all are a good source of information.


  1. Watch your favourite movie, TV show. The baby won’t be traumatised by the goings on in ‘WestWorld’ but you might be if you miss out on it and see all the spoilers on Facebook.


  1. Protect yourself from those who don’t have your best interest at heart, even if it’s family. You’re already feeling fragile, why spend time with people who are negative or judge you? You don’t need that negativity in your life. A little distance can help.


  1. Give yourself a little treat. If that’s chocolate, a nice warm bath or just sitting silently and uninterrupted for five minutes, do it. DO IT!


  1. Get a massage. No doubt being on your feet all day, running around, your body gets tired. Use some spare time to your advantage, get a massage from your partner or book one in.


  1. Speaking of partners, don’t forget about the other relationship in your life. Take time out to speak to each other, check in, and sit down for a meal (that they cook of course).


  1. Have a drink! You can enjoy a glass of wine, a beer or whatever it is that you choose to drink, the key is to plan ahead. Planning ahead can allow you to express some milk for your baby ahead of time. Your baby then can have this milk if you miss a feed while drinking, or while you are waiting for the amount of alcohol in your milk to drop.


  1. Alcohol not for you? Then take time for some tea. Drinking something hot makes you slow down and be still for at least 10 minutes. Tea is also full of antioxidants. Win, win.


  1.  Take some pics. We all have phones with great cameras, so why not use it to snap some fun pics of you, your baby, your day etc. The pictures also don’t have to be shared on social media, some mother and baby moments just for you.


  1. Make the mundane fun. For example, folding laundry to some pop or classic rock can make it all seem less of a chore, especially when your dancing about to some 80’s beats.


  1. Last but certainly not least. Always find the positive. Maybe you completed a task like paying bills, getting a great deal on groceries or even just being thankful that the day was sunny. Whatever it may be, choose three things to remind you to look on the brighter side of life. Little wins everyday can help you keep a positive mind set during such a stressful and challenging time.

There you have it, some tips to help you through those early days of motherhood.  Remember not to feel guilty for taking a break from the feeding, the crying and diaper changing, and remind those who may judge you that taking a break doesn’t mean you are going to run off into the sunset, it just means you need some time out to breathe, clear your head and regroup.

Robert Tompkins