10 Tips for Postpartum Wellness

Source: Photo by Kevin Liang on Unsplash 

The first postpartum year is full of challenges, but there are ways to ease the transition. Trying to power through the many trials and difficulties of this period is never a good idea. Below are helpful tips to help you survive and thrive as you adjust to motherhood.

1. Be kind to yourself. Moms are notorious for their harsh self-talk. Make a commitment to focus on your strengths and be compassionate during times of struggle.

2. Lean into uncertainty. Try to meet uncertainty with flexible expectations. This is a transitional period which means that things are in flux. It will not be like this always. Give yourself time and practice being in the here-and-now.

3. Let go. The sooner you learn that the bed does not always need to be made, and that your kitchen can remain a mess a while longer, the better you will feel. Release the perfectionism. Here is a remarkable opportunity to learn to be a little less driven and more present-focused.

4. Make room for grief. Having a child is a massive life transition and not all of the changes it brings are welcome. It is okay to feel sad and miss parts of your old life.

5. Sleep/rest when the baby sleeps. Being sleep-deprived puts you at an increased risk for postpartum mental health issues. Although it is hard to go to bed when you feel there are so many things that need attention, remember that this is a brief chapter. Over time, you will be able to accomplish more. For now, sleep needs to be the top priority.

6. Learn to ask for help and be okay with it. Don’t make the mistake of equating self-sacrifice with doing a good job as a mom. There are seasons in life when we give generously and seasons when we must be open to receiving. Others can help only if they know what to do. Ask clearly for what you need.

7. Do not forget to eat. Your body needs nourishment in order to heal and re-balance after birth and manage the rollercoaster ride of the early postpartum months. Do not skip meals.

8. Bond with your partner, not just the baby. It may feel like there is no time for you as a couple, but you both need to feel loved and seen in order to meet the demands of this new chapter in your shared life. Make sure you talk, hug, and take a little bit of time every day to connect.

9. Join a new moms group. No flying solo, mama! It does not just take a village to raise a child, it takes a village to raise a mother. Find your tribe. Steer clear of moms who make you feel less-than and with whom you can’t be real.

10. If you are worried about your mental health, seek help. Postpartum mental health issues are common, but this does not mean you should ever accept them as part of your experience as a new mother. Anxiety and depression are highly treatable. With the right support, you will get better. Do not wait to reach out. You deserve to live a full, happy life.

About Aga Grabowski, LCSW, PMH-C, CST (she/her)

I am a co-founder of Wildflower, a psychotherapist, a presenter and a consultant in the area of perinatal and reproductive mental health.  Many other aspects of my personal identity shape my clinical work: chief among them is the family and immigrant background which has informed my attunement to the psychological upheaval that accompanies major life transitions and to the many sociocultural forces that impact our lived experience.

In my clinical work, I am focused on helping people thrive and cope during periods of significant change, and particularly during journeys towards and through parenthood which may involve infertility, losses, depression, anxiety, and conflict.  I work with people from all walks in life. Clients I work with are some of the strongest, most resilient folks I know. They don’t always feel this way, and they come to therapy feeling raw, maybe lost, and certainly quite vulnerable. It takes courage to confront your pain and struggle. I view psychotherapy as a deeply collaborative process that aims to help you discover and tap into your strengths and resources.  You already have what it takes to feel better, be happier, face challenges – good psychotherapy basically helps you access all that. This can only happen if your therapist genuinely cares about and respects you and is invested in their own ongoing professional development and personal growth.

I have extensive training in perinatal and reproductive mental health, evidence-based treatment of mood and anxiety disorders, sex therapy, and trauma.  I earned my bachelor’s degree in international studies at the University of Chicago and obtained my master’s degree in clinical social work at the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration.  I often present on topics related to mental health. I am an AASECT-certified sex therapist and a certified perinatal mental health clinician. My most valuable learning experiences come from my clients: their experience, wisdom and perspective have shaped my clinical practice the most, something I am deeply grateful for.

LCSW License Number:149016046
Type 1 NPI Number: 1841631132
Accepts: BCBS PPO and BlueChoice plans, Lyra, self-pay and out of network clients


Selected training and affiliation
AASECT-Certified Sex Therapist
Certified Perinatal Mental Health Clinician
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Training
Bringing Baby Home Educator Training, Gottman Institute
Circle of Security Parent Educator
Supportive Parenting for Anxious Childhood Emotions (SPACE) training
Gottman Method Level 1 training
Dialectical Behavior Therapy Training

Key beliefs
People are stronger and more resilient than they often realize.
Our culture teaches us to be fiercely independent. To thrive, we need to embrace being interdependent -- deep connection with others is essential for happiness.

More about me
I love the outdoors and hiking, camping, kayaking.
I can’t live without chocolate.
I feel grateful every day for getting to do the work I love.