The birth of your child is amazing, but it can be hard to know what to do for yourself. With all your energy going in to looking after your beautiful newborn it’s easy to forget that you are important too. It is one of the most important times to look after yourself, you can’t pour from an empty cup, but what can you expect?
What to Expect After Childbirth
Your body will take time to recover from the aftermath of childbirth. You may experience the following physical symptoms which are all perfectly normal;
- Back pain
- Urgency to urinate more, with possibility of not feeling this occur.
- Inability to pass a bowel movement.
- A mixture of bleeding and vaginal discharge (also known as Lochia)
Let Your Body Heal
Going through pregnancy and giving birth to your baby is an exhausting, exciting, terrifying but ultimately rewarding time for a mother to experience, particularly when you are greeted with your little one snuggled in your arms. Your body is still trying to cope with all the physical changes that pregnancy and childbirth bring, so allow yourself time to gently recover for at least the first few weeks once you return from the hospital. You might be eager to start exercising too, but you should try to take it easy as much as you can initially.
Feeling The Baby Blues
It is also important to be aware of your mental health post pregnancy as some women can experience more extreme feelings of depression, known as Postpartum Depression.
Typically any feelings of sadness will go away within 3 to 5 days post childbirth, however if you notice that your low mood is not improving after 2 weeks, then it is definitely worth talking to a professional.
These are the symptoms to be aware of;
- Feeling hopeless or empty.
- Extremely low mood.
- Disconnected to your baby, you do not feel love or emotion towards them.
You will probably not feel like your usual self if you are feeling quite down, but try to get as much help as possible from your partner (if you have one) or from friends and family. It is not easy to try and catch up on sleep when you have a newborn to breastfeed, change nappies, put down for a nap and do everyday domestic duties and find time to eat.
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What About Contraception?
It is worthwhile being aware that it is still possible to conceive a baby after just 3 weeks of giving birth to your little one. You might be breastfeeding and your periods have not returned to normal just yet, but you are still fertile, so there is still the possibility of becoming pregnant.
Depending on what you want and are able to discuss this with your partner you can of course resume with your preferred method of birth control. If you were to have unprotected intercourse in the weeks after childbirth, and are not feeling ready to have another baby yet, there is always the plan b pill. The important thing is to openly discuss these matters mutually.
Overall you should never feel like you are a burden to anyone else, so try not to struggle alone. Always reach out for help when and if you need it. You can only stretch yourself to being supermum to a certain extent.
This is a collaborative post.