For Mum

What an expert wishes more mums knew about burnout

By Livia Gamble

Brought to you by Medela.

Burnout is common among mums for one reason: they put everyone else’s needs above their own. 

But the truth is, you can’t look after everyone else without taking care of yourself first.

In our latest Facebook live chat for TMB TV, Astrid McCallum, a clinical nutritionist and life coach, says she wishes she’d known to put herself first when she was a new mum.

“It’s really, really important,” says Astrid. “You’re going to be carrying these precious babies. They’re going to be depleting your body of all nutrients, so making sure that you’re actually putting yourself as a priority is really important before falling pregnant and post-pregnancy.”

“I think especially as women, and as mums, we tend to put ourselves down that list, so I’d like to remind everyone to pop yourself right back up there.”

Set your priorities for the day

One major tip is to set your priorities for the day – then stick to them.

Astrid says, “Ask yourself: what do you really need to do today for baby and yourself? That’s your two priorities.

“The rest of it will happen when they need to.”

Astrid believes that we all have enough time in the day to get the things that actually need doing done: for example, having a shower and getting enough sleep definitely trumps the pile of washing on the couch or cleaning the kitchen. 

“Everything does get done that you need to get done. And anything else, there’s always tomorrow – or the next day.”

Tips for avoiding mum burnout

  • Make sleep your number one priority. Sitting up late watching Netflix might be your only chance at some alone time, but running that sleep clock to the ground isn’t going to help anyone in the morning. 
  • Eat a balanced diet. Easier said than done, we know! But eating a balanced diet gives you the much-needed energy busy mums need. 
  • Say no. Start practising this one now. You and your baby are your number one priority. If plans or people popping over don’t fit in with your needs, say no and ditch the guilt.
  • Ask for help. The second you feel like you aren’t coping is the second you should ask for help. If you’re struggling with becoming a parent, PANDA provides free counselling and information on antenatal and postnatal depression (call 1300 726 306).
  • Get outside. Studies have shown that taking an hour or so to get out and into nature can have a soothing effect on your mood, not to mention, reducing stress, anxiety and fatigue. 

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