Mindful Parenting For New Moms Without Losing Your Mind

Contributor: Jenn Bodnar Yoga Digest
Photographer: Yoga Digest

They say parenting is learning about strengths you didn’t know you had and discovering fears you didn’t know existed. Becoming a mom is one of the most challenging, rewarding and humbling experiences a woman will ever face.

Pregnancy. Exciting? Yes! Exhausting? Also yes! Sharing your body with another human is no joke. But the real party begins after baby arrives. Mixed up days and nights, who knew we had to learn that? What to wear while breastfeeding? Is that a hungry cry or a tired cry, is there a difference? The life long journey of next-level second-guessing begins.

Having a baby doesn’t mean you have to completely lose yourself, however. Here are a few tips for parenting mindfully, without losing your mind.

1) Practice Yoga

Duh. Yoga is great during pregnancy, postpartum and really throughout raising children altogether. It eases stress, anxiety, and depression. It helps with discomfort through pregnancy and recovery. Things are…crowded. Clothes, eating, getting up, laying down, well you get my drift, it can be frustrating. Once baby arrives you may find yourself not even wanting (or having the time) to get dressed, much less get out to yoga class. Belly Bandit makes an amazing sports nursing bra that is ultra-comfortable with its extra-wide padded straps, quick-dry, moisture-wicking performance fabric and can be worn throughout pregnancy and happily ever after. It has an easy one-hand clasp release with a modesty shield so you can get in, get out and feed baby right away.

2) Read

Some of the best (and worst) advice you will ever get will come from books. But it’s a nice break from Aunt Sally, your mother-in-law, the checkout clerk and literally anyone else you come within a 5-foot radius with while sporting your new mini-me. Check reviews, listen to people you respect and read. Reading for entertainment may seem out of touch during the early days, but it can provide a soothing retreat from the unpredictability of being a parent. Reading to the baby has many benefits as well.

The Dolphin‘s Secret: A Meditational Journey for Children introduces children to Yoga Nidra, an ancient form of guided meditation which incorporates a sequence of mindfulness techniques. It encourages them to add it to their lives in order to feel calmer and happier. This can be good for mom (and dad) too!

Dino Does Yoga, is about a newly hatched t-rex guides children through basic yoga positions. Baby Dino takes cues from the surrounding landscape, finding himself in Mountain Pose, Tree Pose, and Downward-Facing-Dinosaur. As his day of stretching and breathing comes to an end, Dino relaxes into Shavasana. Now that’s something we can all use!

3) Sleep

I love all the props sleep is getting in terms of being a huge factor in wellness. The importance of sleep is being attributed to maintaining (and losing) weight, succeeding in work and relationships and even longevity! Teaching your baby how to sleep properly will be one of the biggest ROI’s (return on investment) of your time as a new parent! Not only will you be giving your child a life long habit and skill that will help keep them healthy, but you will be able to sleep also, so everyone wins! There are many good books and strategies for teaching your baby to sleep through the night. Research what works best with your parenting style and give you and your baby this cherished gift.

Kat Vorotova, President of Ettitude is a new mom who wanted to ensure her baby was sleeping on the softest and healthiest bedding possible.

“I’ve become a lot more aware of my footprint on the environment to make sure there is a beautiful planet for future generations to enjoy. Ettitude (stands for eco-attitude) makes the world’s softest and most sustainable bedding, bath towels and PJs. We use ethically sourced 100% organic bamboo and dissolve its natural fiber using non-toxic solvents (unlike older generation bamboo fabrics, such as rayon or viscose – prevalent in baby products), and use a closed-loop system recycling the solution up to 200x, saving thousands of gallons of water per bedsheet set.”

Illustration via  Ellie Benet Howard

Illustration via Ellie Benet Howard