6 Ways To Focus On Yourself & Your Baby Postpartum

For nine months, you nurture a growing baby inside of you. You read books, take classes, and prepare as much as possible for the big day. Once the baby arrives, all that focus and attention shifts to caring for this new little life. And deservedly so!

But it’s important to remember that your postpartum care is just as critical as your baby’s. After all, your body has undergone one of your biggest physical and emotional transformations.

So how can you make sure to prioritize your postpartum care along with your baby’s? Here are a few ideas:

1.Address Postpartum Depression

Giving birth can bring up a range of emotions. You may experience joy and uncertainty all at once. These mood swings are a part of your journey. But if you find yourself feeling persistently sad or overwhelmed, pay attention. It signifies postpartum depression. PPD can damage your physical and mental health and your relationship with your baby. Some common signs include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Lack of interest in your baby or daily activities

It’s important to seek help from your healthcare provider if you are experiencing PPD. Treatment options can include therapy, medication, and support groups.

2.Enter with the Power of Knowledge

Learning about what to expect post-birth can help set your expectations. Many complications can arise for you and your baby post-delivery, with birth injury being a common one. If your baby has suffered a birth injury, it is not only going to impact their life but also yours.

So always ask your doctor about what can you expect postpartum. If your child has suffered a birth injury, resources like the Birth Injury Justice Center could also help you understand your legal options. In addition, it will help calm your nerves if you go into the situation armed with as much information as possible.

3.Get Plenty of Rest

With a new baby in your lap, it may seem impossible, but try to get some sleep. It’ll help you physically and mentally recover from childbirth. If possible, have friends and family pitch in so you can nap or go to bed early. A practical tip that all parents swear by is sleeping when the baby sleeps. Since a newborn spends most of their time sleeping, it should be good news for you too.

However, rest isn’t just about catching those z’s. Make sure also to take breaks during the day. Forget about your duties and sip tea, listen to music, or take a bath. It’s important to recharge and relax whenever you can.

4.Nourish Your Body

Delivering a baby, vaginally or via C-section, will majorly impact your body. It weakens your muscles and puts stress on your body. It is why adding nutrient-rich foods to your diet is imperative for postpartum recovery.

Include sources of protein to help you heal and rebuild muscle, along with ample fruits and vegetables for essential vitamins and minerals.

Your body also needs the Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish, nuts, and seeds to repair tissue damage. If you’re a breastfeeding mother, semolina, barley, and oats can boost your milk supply. And don’t forget to stay hydrated! Sip on water throughout the day to support your body’s recovery processes.

In some cases, it might be necessary for your healthcare provider to prescribe iron supplements to combat postpartum anemia.

5.Don’t Push Yourself Too Hard

You miss your curves and tummy muscles and are eager to get back into shape. But rushing into a strenuous exercise routine can do more harm than good. Your bones are still weak, and your muscles are still healing, so it’s important to ease back into physical activity. Consult with your healthcare provider before starting any exercise plan.

Start with low-impact exercises like walking or gentle yoga. These will also help with postpartum stress and depression. You can also focus on strengthening your pelvic floor with Kegel exercises.

Gradually increase the intensity as your body allows it. Now, you can do pilates or weight training. But remember to listen to your body. If something hurts or feels uncomfortable, stop.

It’s also essential to refrain from lifting while your body heals. It includes carrying your baby or other heavy objects. It is advised to wait at least six weeks before attempting any abdominal exercises.

6.Learn to Cope with Body Changes

Engorged breasts, a weak bladder, and constipation are just some changes your body goes through post-delivery. It takes time to recover and get back to normal, so be patient.

Use a cooling pad or warm compress to ease the discomfort of engorged breasts. You can also try expressing some milk to relieve the pressure. There are also over-the-counter creams that can help with the pain and inflammation.

If you’re dealing with a weak bladder, practice Kegel exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. It will help you regain control over your bladder function. You can also try wearing pads to avoid accidents. Plus, your choice of foods and drinks can also affect your bladder. So, avoid caffeine and spicy foods.

Constipation can be a nightmare, especially when you’re already dealing with a lot of pain. To avoid this, eat plenty of high-fiber foods and drink lots of water. You can also try stool softeners to make things easier.

Excessive sweating, vaginal discharge, and hair loss are also common post-delivery. In most cases, they should go away on their own within a few weeks. But if the symptoms persist, consult your healthcare provider.

Final Thoughts

Postpartum care is a continuous journey as you adapt to life as a mother. But remember to prioritize your health and well-being during this time. Give yourself some grace during this postpartum period. Don’t compare your journey to other mothers or the “ideal” body image society portrays. Instead, focus on taking care of yourself and bonding with your baby. Your body will bounce back in time, but it’s crucial to listen to it and give it the rest and nourishment it deserves.

Your healthcare provider can offer more personalized advice on your postpartum care. Don’t hesitate to reach out for support. Happy motherhood!

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