How to Take Care of Your Body as a New Parent

Tired of just getting by in the weeks following the arrival of your new bundle of joy? Feel like your body is aching from all the physical duties of being a new parent? You may benefit from a multifaceted treatment approach: professional massage & in-home consultation with an occupational therapist specialized in ergonomics to ensure you as a parent are using optimal positioning to reduce chances of injury.

At PRESS Modern Massage, we understand the unique journey of parenthood and the importance of self-care during this transformative time. As part of our commitment to supporting new parents on their wellness journey, we're thrilled to collaborate with Stephanie from H.O.M.E. Mama on this insightful blog post. Stephanie, mother of a 2-year old and 4-year old, is an Occupational Therapist who brings her expertise in using a holistic approach through everyday life activities (occupations) to promote health, well-being, and the ability to engage in meaningful activities in your life.

Massage therapy plays a crucial role in the self-care regimen of new parents,

offering a myriad of benefits to support their physical and emotional well-being during this transformative period. As a seasoned Licensed Massage Therapist with over 15 years of experience, Ellen Callaway understands the unique challenges new parents face when it comes to caring for their bodies. Drawing from her extensive background, Ellen offers valuable insights to support new parents in their journey toward optimal well-being.

Prioritize Sleep: Adequate rest is essential for new parents to recharge and rejuvenate their bodies.

Hydrate and Eat Balanced Meals: Parenthood is indeed a demanding endeavor, akin to a sport! Ensuring proper hydration and nutrition is crucial for sustaining energy levels and overall health.

Keep Moving: Incorporating gentle physical activity, such as outdoor walks or gentle yoga classes, can help new parents stay active and maintain their physical well-being.

Massage Therapy: Ellen emphasizes the benefits of massage therapy in relieving sore and tired muscles, promoting relaxation, and enhancing overall well-being during the postpartum period.

Accept Help: New parents need to recognize the importance of accepting assistance when needed. Asking for and receiving help can alleviate stress and foster a sense of support.

Connect with Others: Building connections with friends, family, and fellow new parents can provide valuable emotional support and a sense of community during this transformative time.

As we delve deeper into the holistic approach to postnatal care, let's explore how massage therapy extends beyond its physical benefits to offer profound emotional support for new parents. The nurturing touch of a skilled massage therapist has the power to evoke feelings of comfort, support, and relaxation, providing a valuable sanctuary for parents amidst the whirlwind of early parenthood. By incorporating regular massage sessions into their self-care routines, parents can cultivate a sense of calm and tranquility, fostering emotional resilience and enhancing their capacity to navigate the myriad challenges and joys of parenthood. 

Now, let's turn to Stephanie's expertise to further explore how holistic practices like occupational therapy can complement massage therapy in supporting the holistic well-being of new parents.  

Stephanie has 10 years of experience as a licensed occupational therapist and is also a certified ergonomic assessment specialist.  A mother of two young children, she understands the unique challenges of parenting and knows firsthand how parents may ignore their bodies and put baby’s needs first.  New parents spend hours a day doing repetitive tasks like cradling, carrying, soothing, and feeding. They also do lots of forceful lifting, carrying baby gear, pushing strollers, the list goes on.  

As each individual’s journey in parenting is different, occupational therapists are trained in a holistic approach to care through getting to know you, evaluating your specific environment, assessing your daily routine, and developing a plan catered to you.  Some examples of what you may address together include: 

Feeding Position: Whether breastfeeding or bottle feeding, parents may easily fall into a habit of poor positioning when the focus is so much on the baby.  Parents may benefit from more back support, foot support, or pillow/cushioning options.  

Diaper Changing Station: By having a sustainable setup for diaper changes, you may reduce unnecessary strain or awkward positions 

Giving Baby a Bath: Giving your baby a bath can be challenging especially in small NYC apartments.  Establishing a way to do so while protecting your body, pays off in the long run

Lifting and Carrying: Learn how to lift/carry the baby without twisting your back or overly burdening your wrists.

Throughout her care, Stephanie relates to parents’ struggles of not getting enough sleep, nutrition, exercise, leisure, or time with friends, and uses her wisdom to inform her practice.  She is keenly aware of the intimate connection between mind and body, and how all the above factors impact quality of life.  Ultimately, she can help you take care of yourself in your journey of caring for a growing baby.

In conclusion, navigating the demands of new parenthood can be physically and emotionally taxing. However, by embracing a comprehensive approach to self-care, including professional massage therapy and guidance from an occupational therapist specializing in ergonomics, parents can prioritize their well-being and minimize the risk of injury. At PRESS Modern Massage, we're dedicated to supporting new parents on their wellness journey. Through collaboration with Stephanie from H.O.M.E. Mama, an experienced Occupational Therapist and mother herself, we aim to empower parents with the tools and resources they need to thrive during this transformative time. Together, let's prioritize self-care and embrace the journey of parenthood with confidence and vitality.

Posted on Tue, Feb 27, 2024