Giving birth is no walk in the park. It’s hard work and a lot of it. On top of that, you’re expected to care for a brand new, tiny human pretty much as soon as you’re done. Sure, you probably have some help, but that doesn’t stop you from having to deal with some common postpartum issues.
Postpartum depression has become more openly talked about over the last few years. Many women suffer from this after giving birth. For your own health and safety, as well as for that of your baby’s it’s important that you monitor your mental health closely during the months that follow. It can be difficult to monitor yourself, of course, since you can be too close to tell if there’s been a change. Having a partner who knows you well who can check-in and help monitor your mental state can be beneficial. Your doctor will also monitor you for signs of postpartum depression. It’s important that in these conversations you are honest and open so that your doctor will know how best to help you.
You may notice that you suffer from muscle weakness after delivery. This can be especially apparent in your abdominal muscles and those in your pelvic floor. To be fair, they’ve been put under a lot of strain lately, so it’s understandable. Some factors might make these issues more likely to happen to you. If you notice that you struggle with postpartum incontinence, try doing some kegel exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor. If you experienced diastasis recti during your pregnancy, be careful with how you go about strengthening your abdominal muscles. Commonly done exercises such as crunches or situps may actually make it worse. Talk to your doctor if you need advice on what exercises will be most beneficial.
So you have a new baby, you’re probably in a lot of discomfort, and odds are excellent that you aren’t sleeping. Add the mess of hormones you’re dealing with, and it makes sense that you are probably feeling a lot of emotional stress right now. It’s no surprise that managing time with a baby is hard. As impossible as it might sound, try to carve out some time to be by yourself without your baby or anyone else, even if it’s just for five minutes or to take a shower. Have someone you can talk to freely about your feelings and stresses. If someone offers to help cook or clean for you, don’t turn them down (unless that stresses you more). Having one less thing to take care of should make life a little easier as you recover.
Having a baby is hard. There are a lot of things women commonly deal with after giving birth on top of caring for the baby. Between mental health concerns, muscle weakness, and emotional stress, it can be difficult to know how to get by. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. You’ll be far better off if you do.
Delivering a baby can bring lots of changes to your body, including your breasts. To help make your breasts more comfortable and accessible for nursing, try some of our maternity/nursing bras!