No matter how many books you read or how long you've held the title of "cool aunt," there's nothing that can truly prepare you for the realities of parenthood. It's simply one of those life transitions that has to be experienced to be appreciated in all its spit-up-covered, sleep-deprived, baby-babbling glory. And it takes a lot to keep a tiny human alive, growing and reasonably happy.

But if you find yourself giving, giving, giving to the point where you feel like you can't make time to breathe, then it's time to recognize a very important fact: "When a new mom ignores her own needs, the baby suffers. The mindshift into understanding that a mom should be well in order to take care of a baby is very important to the mom and baby daddy," explained Noha Polack, M.D., FAAP, a New Jersey–based pediatrician with Progressive Pediatrics.

Of course, this is often easier said than done. It's tough to make time for yourself when you feel like you're constantly on-call for your baby, not to mention all the other people and things in your life that require attention. It's easy to say, "I'll prioritize myself when the baby's in school…" or some