Most mothers-to-be focus on pregnancy and the birth of their child. After your baby comes home, you have a new set of challenges. Always follow your healthcare provider’s instructions for how to take care of yourself after birth.
Here are some tips for dealing with some common problems.
A C-section is a surgery that delivers your baby through a cut in your belly and uterus. After a C-section, your belly will be sore. You may need help with positioning your baby comfortably for feeding. Walking and standing will be uncomfortable for the first few days. To help recover from a C-section:
An episiotomy widens the opening of the vagina for childbirth. It gives more room for your baby to pass through the birth canal. It usually heals within 7 to 10 days with no complications. You may have some pain and swelling after an episiotomy. This can be relieved by:
Giving birth is stressful for your body. Your newborn needs to be fed, changed, and cared for 24 hours a day, which causes you to lose sleep. Feeling tired is natural for the first few weeks or months after you bring your baby home. To help manage tiredness:
After the pregnancy, it will take time to get your body back into shape. Exercise and eating a healthy diet can help you lose weight, tone your body, sleep better and have more energy, and lift your mood when you feel down. To help get back in shape:
You probably got a lot of advice while you were pregnant, and will get a lot more as a new mother. Some people will tell you to let your baby cry, while others will tell you that you should always hold, sing, or rock your baby. With all the choices you have to make every day, you can feel like you are wrong no matter what you do.
You may miss your job and coworkers, yet don’t want to leave your baby. You may need to return to work for financial reasons. You may feel guilty no matter which choice you make.
After childbirth, many mothers feel more emotional. You are dealing with your hormones, a lack of sleep, pain from childbirth, high expectations, and changing routines. Some women feel sad or weepy at some point during baby’s first year, often referred to as the “baby blues”. For most women these baby blues are mild and go away within a few weeks. Depression related to pregnancy and childbirth lasts longer, is more severe, and makes it hard to manage your daily tasks. It may be called postpartum depression. If you have severe symptoms and they don’t go away within a couple weeks, it’s important to get treatment as soon as possible.
If you have the blues, here are some ideas that might help: