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The Best Postpartum Self Care Advice Every New Mom Needs

I thought I was prepared to be a mom. I read the parenting books, completed the childbirth course with my partner, learned about breastfeeding, and scoured the pregnancy message boards. I had all the tools for diapering, feeding, changing, washing, and burping. The nursery was fussed over and ready. The newborn photographer was scheduled. The baby memory book was waiting to be filled. But I wasn’t really ready.

Even after all my preparation, I wasn’t actually prepared for what came. With all the “baby prep” I was advised to do, I unintentionally set myself up to be very unprepared for real motherhood. I thought because I was a sensitive woman that it would all come naturally. But my unsupported sensitive nature became one of my biggest blind spots as a new mother.

I wasn’t prepared with knowing my own healthy boundaries. I wasn’t prepared for how disconnected I would feel once my baby was separated from my body after birth. I wasn’t prepared for what the physical exhaustion would do to my emotional wellbeing, or how it would negatively affect my new family.

After the first few weeks, the euphoria of being a new mom became harder to force. My husband returned to work, the meals from friends stopped, and I was left alone with a tiny stranger. I felt frantic and numb at the same time.

I didn’t recognize myself or this new little person that I was supposed to naturally love and nurture. I had wanted this child so desperately, but all I felt was disconnection. I felt guilty for hating how my motherhood experience made me feel and how my life had changed.

I survived my first postpartum by just getting by. I don’t regret anything in life because I know it’s learning through experience that is most fulfilling. But I do recognize the missed opportunities with my baby in those first months of postpartum. There was room for more magic, memories, and joy. We could have thrived together instead of just getting by.

Libby Hoffmann and her infant son at home in 2015. Portrait by SL Hunter Photography

When the Human Design System found me in 2018, I was a year postpartum with my second child, and my reflections became even clearer. Knowing my human design helped me see that most of my negative postpartum experience was caused by being unaware of how to care for my and my baby’s natural energy. I brought lifelong conditioning into parenting, and I was not supported to nurture myself or my baby in alignment with our authentic selves.

If you’re new to Human Design, I created a full guide to Human Design for beginners, which you can read here, but in short, Human Design is the science of differentiation. The HD System combines ancient and modern modalities to allow the mapping of every individual’s energetic DNA. Your human design bodygraph is your energetic blueprint. You can use this blueprint to interact with others and the world most effectively, to make decisions with ease and confidence, so you can live a fulfilling life being exactly who you were born to be.

The truth of my design could have given me freedom in postpartum instead of creating limits. I could have been supported to trust my own innate strength instead of tanking my self confidence with unnecessary comparison to other mothers. I learned that I never have to consider my inconsistency as a liability. My “weaknesses” are actually my greatest sources of wisdom.

If you’re a mom or mom-to-be, I encourage you to discover the same for yourself. As a mom and birth doula, here I offer you my best postpartum self care advice for your own motherhood journey. These are the top tips for thriving as a new mom that I wish I had received:

Top Three Tips to Thrive as a New Mom

1. Give yourself grace to move through the sacred transition of postpartum. It may look and feel different every day; that’s ok! Embrace and honor the inconsistency in your energy, especially if you have an undefined Sacral Center in your human design.

Affirmation: It is safe to trust my own rhythm.

2. Solitude is crucial for your overall wellbeing. Just 30 minutes of alone time each day has huge benefits for you emotionally, mentally, and physically. If you have an undefined Solar Plexus Center in your human design, then this daily practice is non-negotiable.

Affirmation: It is safe to be with myself. I trust the light of my inner flame.

3. Aligned self care produces lasting benefits for you and compounding effects for your family. Keep this truth on repeat for yourself!

Affirmation: It is safe to love on myself first.

I hope you find value in the advice I’ve shared here. I hope you always choose to rest in the truth of who you are. If you are seeking support and connection to like-hearted women, you’re invited to join us inside Moderne Homemaker.

Love through all seasons,


Libby Hoffmann is a DONA Intl trained birth doula who specializes in holistic birth and postpartum care using the Human Design System. She’s a mom of two, Appalachian native, and author of the children's book We Are All Light. Connect with Libby here

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