April 24, 2024

Dr. Lastra's Self Care Tips for Moms

When I first became a mom, I felt that intense, overwhelming connection to my child that so many talk about—it was a love so fierce and a resolve so strong, I was determined to be the best mom possible. However, as the sleepless nights piled up and the daily demands intensified, I slowly began to feel worn down. With my first child, I managed to get through the tough days by tapping into reserves of strength I didn’t even know I had. However, the arrival of my second child ramped up the pressures of motherhood, and I slowly started putting my own needs last to keep up with everything. It wasn't long before I felt utterly drained, and it struck me that this wasn’t the example I wanted to set for my children, especially as my toddler was becoming increasingly perceptive of our family's routines.
So, I took a different approach. Instead of waiting for "the right time" to focus on myself—a time that rarely came because I was too exhausted and just wanted to grab whatever sleep I could—I began to weave little moments for myself into our everyday life. Yes, motherhood is incredibly demanding, and naturally, our children often take priority, but we shouldn't overlook our own needs. I’m excited to share some strategies that have really made a difference for me as a mother of two, with the hope that they might help you find a bit of rejuvenation and well-being in your own life. Remember, taking care of yourself isn’t just good for you; it’s essential for the health and happiness of your entire family and crucial in setting the example you want for your children.

Eat Nutritious Foods

Eating nutritious foods after childbirth is vital for your recovery and strength, and if you’re breastfeeding, it also improves the quality of your breast milk. Before becoming a mom, I enjoyed sweets without any noticeable effects, but now I'm much more conscious of how they influence my energy levels and mood, and I definitely feel the slowdown. Committing to a healthy diet takes effort, but the benefits are immense, not just for my own health, but also in setting a loving and practical example for our children about the importance of good nutrition.

One of my favorite ways to make eating nutritious foods easier- and fun—is by preparing a charcuterie board on a cute platter after the kids go to bed. But this can be done at any time of the day! I like to vary the contents of the board each night, but some staples include an assortment of cheeses, a complementary jam or honey, nuts, multi-seed crackers or slices of sourdough bread, fresh or dried fruits, olives, and simple-to-serve veggies like mini carrots and cucumbers. I also add some hummus or avocado dip and a few pieces of dark chocolate for a touch of indulgence. Then, I finish it off with some kombucha or champagne, depending on the night, served in a fancy glass!

Drink Water

For new moms, staying hydrated is crucial, especially after childbirth. Drinking plenty of water helps your body heal, replenishing fluids lost during delivery and supporting vital functions like blood circulation and cell renewal. If you're breastfeeding, staying hydrated is key to maintaining milk production and ensuring your baby gets the nutrients they need. Plus, drinking water can help reduce postpartum fatigue, giving you more energy to care for your little one.

The popular Stanley cup! It seems like everyone has one these days, and I've given it a try too. If this works for you, go for it! For me, I realized that when I use a large jug, I actually end up drinking less water throughout the day. I quickly fell into the habit of thinking one big jug was all I needed, leading me to take smaller sips throughout the day because I had "all day to get to it". Then, when I realized I hadn't had enough and tried to drink larger amounts at once, the idea of finishing the entire container felt overwhelming. Instead, I've discovered that a 17-20oz cup or bottle works best for me. I can easily finish the entire amount in one sitting and then refill it for more sips between larger amounts again at lunch and dinner. So... If you're struggling to manage a larger jug, consider switching to a smaller one that feels more manageable to finish in one go with multiple refills throughout the day—it might just make hydration easier and it's definitely more portable.

Get Moving

We're all aware of the benefits of movement! It helps us regain strength, enhances flexibility, and triggers the release of those feel-good hormones in our brains. The real challenge lies in finding the time for it—until you make it a priority.

I have to admit, this is still my biggest challenge. I used to love group classes, which I managed to continue after my first child. However, after my second, they became non-existent due to the time and commitment required to schedule and attend them. So, hello Peloton! But here's the thing—I haven't actually ridden it in the past three months since we got it! Luckily, my husband has been using it daily, and I've set a firm date on the calendar for when I'll start. In the meantime, I've been focusing on stroller walks, doing yoga with my toddler, having dance parties, and enjoying Disney days because going to Disney with kids is quite the workout! Watch a glimpse of our toddler yoga HERE.

Sprinkle in Self Care

Self-care encompasses a multitude of tasks, even as simple as brushing your teeth! It's amusing to recall the reactions I've received from non-mom friends when I mentioned forgetting to brush my teeth—they'd be shocked! However, when I share the same story with mom friends, their response is more along the lines of, "I've too forgotten for weeks!" It's enlightening to share these experiences with fellow members of the "mom club," serving as a gentle reminder of the importance of prioritizing our own self-care.

There are little self-care treats that genuinely light up my day, like indulging in a massage, treating myself to facials, or pampering my hair and nails. While I do strive to squeeze in professional spa visits, it's become a bit trickier to find the time lately. Nonetheless, I've made it a point to weave in habits that nurture these self-care rituals throughout my day because consistency truly is key! It's all about finding those moments and making them part of your routine. And if you know me as your pediatric provider, you know I'm all about adaptable routines, especially when it comes to little ones, because they thrive on that sense of stability. But it's important to remember that flexibility is key, and there are days when I may not be able to stick to these routines. If they happen, that's wonderful, and if they don't, that's perfectly okay too!

Below, I'll outline my morning and evening routine, highlighting my simple face care regimen that fits with my mommy duties. If you're in search of a new face care routine, feel free to give this one a try! If you already have a comprehensive system in place, that's fantastic! If a face care routine isn't your thing, you can substitute any other self-care practice where I mention using face products, if that suits you better!

Here's my morning routine: As soon as I wake up, I head to the bathroom. Typically, the baby is either still asleep or I place him in a safe area with some toys. Meanwhile, my toddler may be having breakfast with dad downstairs, joining me in the bathroom, or already off to school. I start by washing my face and then applying toner. Next, I brush my teeth and follow up with a serum on my face. While waiting for the serum to absorb, I dress myself and change the baby's diaper and outfit, then settle him back into his safe space. I finish off by applying moisturizer with SPF to my face. After fluffing out my hair and adding any necessary styling products, I'm done! This entire routine usually takes about 10 minutes. I rarely wear makeup, but if I do, it's a quick and light application—just tinted moisturizer, mascara, lip gloss, and maybe some eye shadow or concealer, taking an additional 2 minutes.  If my toddler is with me, she loves to stay entertained with her own "face routine," which involves playing with own makeup brushes that she's only allowed to use during this time. This keeps the activity fresh and exciting for her each day it's needed. Luckily, the baby usually stays happy during this time. But if he starts to fuss, I'll put on some Disney songs and we have a dance party!  When all done, it's time to feed the kids. On particularly hectic days, we just do the best we can.
Morning Routine Face Products

Here's my evening routine: We've found that family showers are a huge time-saver for us! Following our shared shower, we attend to the baby, making sure he's fresh and cozy in his nighttime attire, while our toddler enjoys running around. I take a moment to care for my skin, applying toner and serum. Then, it's time to feed the baby and ease him into sleep mode. Once he's settled, I moisturize my face and gather my toddler for her bedtime routine. After she's tucked in, my partner and I enjoy a precious 1-2 hours together before I retire for the night. Just before hitting the pillow, I brush my teeth, braid my hair, and snuggle up on my silk pillowcase, ready for some rest until my baby's next nighttime feed.
Night Routine Face Products

As you can see from the routines I've shared, my kids are the biggest variables, making it crucial to stay flexible and find those moments to sprinkle in your own self-care.

Unsubscribe from Mom Guilt

Mom guilt is that nagging feeling that you're not measuring up, fueled by the immense love and responsibility of motherhood and societal pressures. Letting go of mom guilt means realizing that perfection isn't realistic and it's okay to be yourself around your kids, prioritize self-care, set boundaries, and seek support when needed. It's about finding a balance that allows you to be the best version of yourself for both you and your family.

Some days are tough, and that's okay. I firmly believe that experiencing struggles is essential for growth and learning from mistakes. So, if I'm having a rough day, I don't try to hide it from my kids. There are times when my toddler is fussy and crying, which can be really challenging for me. In those moments, I tell her "Mama needs some quiet time, can we all be quiet for a little bit". Surprisingly, this simple request often helps reset both of our moods. Now, my toddler even recognizes when she's feeling irritable and will say, "Pepe needs a break." and we provide her the space to take that break. Similarly, with my baby, there are days when I'm exhausted and just want to stay in bed. He joins me, and we both take the opportunity to rest and recharge. It's all about shifting your perspective!

Ask for Help!

This point is incredibly crucial. We often feel the pressure to handle everything on our own, but it's unrealistic and exhausting. Don't hesitate to reach out for support from your partner, family, and friends. If necessary, consider hiring help. Postpartum doulas can offer invaluable assistance, while hiring a cleaning service, nanny, or enrolling in daycare can also ease your load. Remember, there are plenty of options available to lighten your workload and ensure you have the support you need. Additionally, prioritize your mental health. If you're struggling, don't hesitate to reach out to mental health providers for help and support. Taking care of your emotional well-being is just as important as managing your physical tasks, and seeking help when needed is a sign of strength, not weakness.

We've had an incredible experience with our postpartum doula support! Currently, we're working with Kendra from Illuminate Postpartum, and we've also had a great experience with One Love Doula. Having a postpartum doula come in once a week has been a game-changer for us. They assist with various household tasks, including laundry, meal preparation, cooking, and organizing. Plus, they also prioritize taking care of me, not just the home. It's been such a relief to have their support during this time.

Keep in mind that this is just a phase we're in right now! These routines and strategies have evolved gradually over time, and I hope you find some helpful tips to apply in your own life. Parenting is a journey filled with various phases, each offering new opportunities to prioritize different aspects of our lives. As we move through different stages of parenting, our priorities and routines will naturally shift and adapt. Embracing this evolution is key to navigating the ever-changing landscape of parenthood with flexibility and resilience.

You've got this!

See additional posts
Spring Sniffles: Deciphering Allergies vs. Illness in Children

Navigating the challenges of spring allergies in children can be daunting, especially when trying to distinguish between symptoms of allergies and signs of illness. Understanding these differences is crucial for providing the appropriate care, whether it involves allergy management or treating an infection.

What to know about Measles

The recent news about a measles outbreak at a Broward County elementary school has naturally raised some concerns among our community, especially considering how quickly this virus can spread. As a pediatrician, I'm dedicated to ensuring families are well-informed and equipped to tackle health issues such as measles.

The Gift-Giving Season: A Pediatrician's Perspective on Kid-Safe Presents

With Christmas having come and gone, and a bounty of gifts now part of our homes, it's an opportune time to sort through them, particularly from a safety perspective. As both a pediatrician and a parent, I recognize the challenge in navigating gift choices, especially when they're given with love. However, prioritizing the safety and well-being of our children is crucial.

5 Elf-Inspired Mischief Ideas from Head2Toe Pediatrics

I'm eager to pass on a beloved tradition from our home to yours. It may seem a little predictable, but it's a cornerstone of our holiday joy. When the holidays roll around, it's elf time at our house, and it's a total giggle fest! Every morning, we're on the lookout for what funny stuff our elf has done next. So if you want to join in on the elf game and need ideas, I've got five to share. They're fun, easy, and the kids will love them. Let's make some merry elf magic!

Pediatrician's Guide to a Healthy and Happy Holiday Season for Families

Cheers to the beginning of the holiday season! Families are getting ready for a flurry of festive events, joyful get-togethers, and cherished moments. However, this period can also bring changes in routines, weather, and heightened social interactions that may affect children's well-being. As a pediatrician, we're here to offer advice on managing these challenges to ensure your family enjoys a healthy and joyful holiday season. We cover topics such as adjusting to daylight saving time, smoothly transitioning through the holiday season, and maintaining your child's health during this time.

Breastfeeding During Pregnancy: A Pediatrician's Journey!

Navigating the complexities of breastfeeding while pregnant, this post delves into the personal journey of Dr. Lastra as a soon to be mother of two. A heartfelt account for National Breastfeeding Month, it's a testament to the unique paths every mother treads, regardless of how they choose to feed their child.

A Pediatrician's First ER Visit with her Child

Allow me to shed some light on why, as a pediatrician, I decided to take the expressway to the ER with my daughters injury, bypassing the exits for an urgent care center or a regular pediatric check-up. I’m also going to tell you what we did to prepare for our outing to the ER and how I handled this as a mommy!

Essential Tips from a Pediatrician Mom for Traveling with Kids

Traveling with children can be an exhilarating adventure. As both a pediatrician and a mother, I've compiled a list of essential tips to help make your travel experience smoother, safer, and more enjoyable for everyone involved.

The Financial Sense of Choosing Head2Toe Pediatrics over an Insurance-based Provider

Head2Toe Pediatrics provides personalized care with 24/7 physician access, unlimited appointments, and individualized pediatric care. Families pay a monthly flat fee on top of their insurance coverage for these specialized services. Our proactive care and timely interventions save families money and reduce healthcare stress, with the added convenience of at-home care.

House Calls are Back!

Pediatric house calls for kids in Tampa Bay by Board-Certified Pediatricians at Head2Toe Pediatrics! We're all about personalized, top-notch care that's tailored to meet your family’s needs. So say goodbye to busy waiting rooms and hello to the doctor knocking on your door! 

Revolutionizing the Way Families Receive Pediatric Care in Tampa Bay

Introducing your new pediatrician, Head2Toe Pediatrics! With our amazing personalized care, flexible scheduling, and 24/7 access to the doctor, you won't be able to resist our services. Once you try us, you won't want pediatric care any other way!

3 Easy Snack Ideas that are Highly Nutritious

As a parent, it can be challenging to find snacks that your toddler will love and that are also packed with nutrients. That's why I've rounded up three easy and nutritious snack ideas that your little ones are sure to enjoy!

Ear Piercing in Tampa Bay with Head2Toe Pediatrics

At Head2Toe Pediatrics, we understand that the safety and comfort of your child is your top priority, and it's ours too. That's why we offer families in the Tampa Bay area medical-grade ear piercing services from a trusted provider with extensive experience, ensuring the highest level of safety and care for our patients.

Dr. Lastra’s Top 10 Items For Your Baby List

It’s hard to navigate the never-ending products for baby. Dr. Lastra narrows it down for you.