A survey conducted by a leading medical portal states that a quarter of new mothers had no plan in place to take care of their health after childbirth. It was found that over 40 percent of women felt overwhelmed, anxious or depressed. Moreover, it was also found that 37% of women felt embarrassed by the changes in their body post delivery (1).
After 9 months of doctor’s visits and careful monitoring, mothers often tend to overlook their own health once the baby arrives. Their entire focus shifts to taking care of the baby. Fulfilling the needs of the baby, and checking if they are drinking enough milk and sleeping enough becomes their top priority. If you let it, it is so easy to allow your entire day to be consumed by your baby. And that is what most new moms do.
But it is equally important to take care of yourself after having a baby. Childbirth is no joke, and your body needs enough rest and food to regain its energy and heal completely. And only a healthy mom will be able to provide the best care for her baby.
When Sleep Is Scarce
Getting 8 hours of sleep might seem like a distant dream for every new mother. Your baby wakes up every few hours. And it’s hard to close your eyes when they are awake, isn’t it? So how to get some shut-eye while taking care of your baby?
Sleeping when your baby sleeps will help you in getting some uninterrupted sleep. Relieve yourself of all the other responsibilities like housework, cooking, and cleaning. You can ask your partner, family or friends to take over the other household chores. This way, you will be getting enough time to rest and also take care of your baby. After the first few weeks, you can begin introducing the bottle to feed your baby. This way, you can ask someone else to feed your baby so you can get some sleep.
Taking Care Of Your Diet
Eat healthy meals each day. Include fiber-rich foods in your plate and drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated. New mothers can experience hemorrhoids after delivery (2). And eating right will make sure that you have an easy bowel movement. You can also ask your doctor to prescribe a stool softener or over-the-counter cream to help with the discomfort. There are several other remedies like using a witch hazel pad or soaking your anal area in warm water for 10-15 minutes a day that may help in providing relief.
The Baby Blues
Welcoming a baby into your life and meeting all their needs can be an overwhelming experience for a new mom. Your life is going to change tremendously. You have a tiny human who is relying on you for their every need. And it’s normal for women to feel low during this time. You can be overcome with a feeling of anxiety, sadness, and a whole mix of other emotions. Experiencing baby blues are normal and it can last for a few weeks after childbirth (3). Having a good support system will guide you in getting through this phase. But if it lasts longer, consult a doctor right away. Your mental health should take precedence over anything else during this time.
When You Feel Like Your Body Is Working Against You
Your body has been going through a range of changes the moment you were expecting and your postpartum period is no different. You may have to deal with hair loss which comes with postpartum, stretch marks and chloasma (4). But know that it’s just a phase you are going through, and everything will eventually lighten or fade away.
Having trouble breastfeeding your baby? Engorgement and having difficulty with the baby latching on is something many mothers deal with. There are several ways to cope with this. And if none of it helps, it’s always better to seek help from a lactation consultant.
It’s possible you’ll still look like a giant pregnant potato even after giving birth. You will slowly lose the weight from leftover fluids. It may take you some time to get back to your pre-pregnancy body. A healthy diet combined with regular exercise will help you lose those extra pounds. Also, get the OK from your doctor before you start working out.
A healthy mother equals a happy baby. Your body deserves some love and care after everything it has been through. So don’t hesitate to put yourself first when it comes to taking care of your body, mind, and soul. Also, never skip your doctor’s appointment after childbirth. Your doctor will be able to evaluate everything including your physical and emotional well being and provide you the best treatment. How did you take care of yourself after having a baby? Do let us know in the comment section below.