According to the Ayurvedic tradition, the first six weeks after childbirth is a critical window for both mom and baby. This postpartum window is a time for rest and support. Activities should be minimal, quiet and gentle. Surrounds should be soft, warm and cozy. The intention is to create a nurturing, pleasant environment for the mom to recover, and for both mom and baby to gradually adjust into a new routine.
Since so much of mom’s first six weeks postpartum are spent in the comfort of her bedroom, creating a self-care center at her bedside can help her feel prepared, prevent unnecessary movement, and create a relaxing, rejuvenating ambiance.
If you’re expecting, consider curating a basket of your favorite self-care essentials as well as practical tools for the baby you’ll want within arm’s reach. These self-care baskets also make great baby shower and sprinkle gifts.
A few self-care center ideas to get you started:
- Indulgent massage oil
- Lip balm
- Sheet masks
- Cozy socks
- An extra blanket (I highly recommend ChappyWrap; their blankets are lightweight, so soft and easy to clean. And the company is run by a mother/daughter duo!)
- Essential oils, either applied directly or using a diffuser (You can read my essential oil recommendations for nighttime here.)
- Noise maker or relaxing play list
- Hot water bottle
- Water thermos
- Nipple cream (Consider an all-natural option like ghee or calendula oil.)
- Meaningful or inspirational items
- Journal and pen
- Arnica tablets for swelling, pain reliever of choice, vitamins/supplements
- Small house plant
- Hand sanitizer
- Burp cloths and baby wipes
- Disposable Breast Pads
- Consider incorporating new colors into the space, based on the emotions they invoke. (More on that here.)
If you’re designing a self-care center for yourself, personalize it and make it yours!
Do you adore show tunes?… Start a playlist.
Love the way Lisa Frank takes you back to childhood?… Buy a dolphin notebook.
Live for self-care and your skin-care routine?… Splurge on some sheet masks and hand cream.
This isn’t just a “treat yo’ self” moment. The little things truly make a significant impact during this very raw, very vulnerable time, so finding joy and comfort can go a long way in nourishing you and your baby.