Information people may not tell you about postpartum recovery
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"Sleep when the baby sleeps."
"Enjoy every minute."
"Don't be afraid to ask for help."
If you're expecting a baby, you've probably heard advice like this given with the best of intentions.
The reality of having a newborn is it's really difficult and not always very enjoyable. Your body, mind, and feelings shift and change with every pregnancy. And asking for help isn't always as straightforward as it may seem.
When you use your pregnancy and postpartum period to get to know this new you and prioritize your own needs, the journey into new motherhood becomes a lot easier, happier, and healthier.
So accept all advice graciously, then read this.
This is the stuff people may not tell you about postpartum recovery.
Whether you have a C-section or vaginal birth, pregnancy and delivery change the muscular structures in your body. Pelvic pain, incontinence, pain during intercourse should not be accepted as normal conditions after having a baby. Find a local physical therapist specializing in women's health. Or if regular appointments aren't an option, try Back After Baby, developed by physical therapists, Hallie and Ingrid. It's an amazing online postpartum rehab program that is practically like having a professional right in your living room!
Be sure emotional issues that feel out of control or difficult to manage aren't associated with an underlying medical condition. Complications with the thyroid are common after pregnancy, childbirth, and especially for nursing moms. If you feel unusually moody, sluggish, depressed, or fatigued, be sure to have your hormone levels tested. Sleep deprivation is inevitable with a little bitty around. But, quality sleep, however, and whenever you can get it will make a world of difference in managing emotions. Take naps, drink sleepy-time tea, listen to sleep meditations, get your partner involved in nighttime parenting. Do whatever you can to get. good. sleep!
Postpartum depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders are extremely common. Know the symptoms and be sure those close to you know them too.
- sadness and hopelessness
- loss of interest
- poor hygiene
- unrealistic expectations of yourself and others
- racing or obsessive thinking
- anger and rage
You would think anyone with these terrible feelings would seek treatment right away. But, mental illness lies to its victims by making them feel they are the ones to blame, they are not ill, and there is no way out. I experienced all of the above symptoms and it still took me over a year to realize how ill I really was.
PLEASE remember this, tell someone you trust how you are feeling, and ask them to help you find treatment.
Slowly, but surely, we are changing the story of what it means to become a mom. It may not be the picture-perfect happy scene our culture paints it to be.
But the postpartum period IS just as important as taking care of a newborn. With the right information, resources, and a virtual or IRL village, new motherhood can be pleasant, happy, and healthy.
I'd love to share more honest motherhood postpartum info with you! Read my FREE e-book to learn more!
Stay strong and mama on!
Do you know someone with a new baby? Send her some sunshine in a box!