After your baby is born, you will feel an overwhelming sense of love and euphoria that you have never experienced before. All these emotions and hormones help us to kick into care mode for our little one. \nBut one thing that gets left behind is our own self-care, as we make it our mission to make our babies as happy and contented as possible, all while trying to look like we’ve got our stuff together. \nThe truth is, self-care is not selfish; it’s essential if you’re going to survive the rollercoaster of parenting with your mental and physical health intact. \nIt’s one area few of the parenting books or pregnancy classes will tell you about, but self-care is the survival tool you need to enjoy being a parent and enable you to give your best to your little one and those around you.\nAs the old saying goes, you have to fill up your own cup before you can give to others. \nTo help you navigate self-care post-baby, we’ve explained some of the best self-care tips we were given during that precious first year. \n\nHave One Good Meal A Day \nLet’s be honest, it may be a struggle to create three healthy meals every day when you’ve just had a baby, but dedicating time to creating and enjoying at least one healthy and nutritious meal a day is slightly more realistic. \nNot only will a hearty meal help keep your energy levels up, but it will also help your body recover from the aches and pains of labour. Including lots of veggies and vital proteins will help your body to recover and you to feel much better emotionally, as great food also makes our mind feel good too. \nIf cooking isn’t your strong point, perhaps ask for help from your own parents or friends who can cook up meals that can easily be frozen. This way you can simply pop one in the oven when you need it the most. \nAnd above all, don’t forget to try and really enjoy it even if you need to ask your partner to hold the baby while you take your time to chew your food and taste it fully. \n\nKeep Hydrated\nIt may come as a surprise, but our water intake makes a big impact on how we feel both mentally and physically. When we are dehydrated, we are more likely to snack on sugary foods, feel more emotional, and have poor concentration. This can all lead to us having one of those bad days where nothing feels like it’s going right. \nTo avoid the spiral of dehydration, keep a bottle of water by your side at all times and take regular sips. \nHaving a bottle of water can also make you more aware of how much you have drunk during the day, so you know when you’ve drunk too little. \nEven setting a timer on your phone or watch to nudge you to drink a glass of water at least every hour can also help to build the habit. \n\nMake the Most of Your Bath or Shower \nIn the early days of being a new mum having a bath or shower on your own is a real luxury, and truly works wonders for making you feel a little more normal. \nWhen you take a bath or shower, try to hand the baby over to your partner so you can fully enjoy yourself and take some mindful minutes to relax. \nEven a ten or twenty-minute soak will make you feel better, and help to restore your energy levels. \nWhen you’re in the bath or the shower, make it special by playing some music, perhaps lighting some candles, burning some incense and really enjoy the scents of your body wash. \nTake time to focus on your breathing and just be in the moment. \n\nBe Kind To Yourself\nYou know what they say - sometimes there’s no worse place to be than in your own head. \nWe are our own worse critics, and as a new mum you will often berate yourself for doing things ‘wrong’ or feeling like a ‘bad mum’, but there’s no such thing, we just expect so much of ourselves. \n\nDo yourself a favour and be kind to yourself, don’t let the negative thoughts in your head distract you from the fact you are doing your best.