Post pregnancy or the postpartum phase is used to describe the initial six to eight weeks just after you give birth. This is a joyful time for new mothers as they finally hold their newborn in their arms. However, this can also be a challenging time for many as your body undergoes several physical and hormonal changes. Moreover, it’s a new role – both as a mother and as a new family – and it may take some time to ease into the same. Your body has done a very hard job and now it must heal physically, emotionally and mentally, so that you can become your version for your baby and yourself. Thus, extra care during this time is a must and there are some practices that one can follow to ensure a smoother recovery and a healthier time. Here are some ways to ensure that you give your body all the extra love and care that it requires during this time:
- Get ample rest
The oldest trick in the book is also the most efficient way of recovering. As they say, you must nap when the baby dozes off. This gives you enough time to rest and you wake up energized and fresh to look after the baby when he or she wakes up. However, even if you are unable to fall asleep at odd hours, take this time to give your body some rest by either lying down with your baby or simply relaxing in your favourite armchair.
- Eat healthy meals
As your body is recovering, it is also looking after you while nourishing your baby. So it needs all the nourishment you can provide. Take your time to consult a nutritionist or a specialist and make a food plan, which includes all healthy things such as sufficient protein, leafy vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats and more. There are also many foods that increase the milk production so these should also be included in your diet.
- Indulge in some self care
This is the time to just focus on yourself and your baby. So take this time to indulge in some self-care routines that relax you. You can take warm baths (after getting an okay from your doctor), listen to some soothing music, read a relaxing book, practice deep breathing and meditation or simply take a snooze. You can also take a walk or step out for a while everyday to get some fresh air and get a change of scenery from being at home all day. Use this time to relax your body and your mind, so you can recover quickly.
- Sign up for a postpartum massage
Whether you had a C-section or a normal birth, your body is most likely sore from the days of pregnancy and the childbirth. Consult your doctor about what is allowed and then get a massage for a soothing sore back, swollen legs, aching feet etc. A relaxing massage from time to time can do wonders for your body and mind and is often recommended for new moms.
- Do not be afraid to seek help
As everyone knows, this is a period of recovery or rest. So do not be afraid of seeking help – whatever you may need. This is not the time to think about what’s expected and what’s normal. Whether you need help with the baby or simply yourself – ask your partner or a family member you are comfortable with. From getting good and nourishing food to seeking help for everyday activities that you may now find difficult – there’s no shame in asking for help.
- Talk it out
Postpartum is also a phase where many women can face baby blues or postpartum depression. Due to the hormonal changes in the body, it is normal to expect some mood swings, unexplained crying, insomnia, sadness, irritability, etc. However, it is important to not ignore the signs and talk to a trusted family member or friend. If things get too difficult, you must see a doctor who can help explain the same and chart the way forward. Talking about emotions and generally being aware of your mental health is a good practice to follow at all times, especially more so during this time.
- Bonding time
As opposed to popular shows on TV or what is depicted in movies, motherhood or the sense of family may not always come naturally to all women. This can also be a cause of worry, concern and postpartum blues. However, this feeling is absolutely normal and you must not blame yourself for it or feel guilty about it. It takes time to bond with your baby and fall into the new roles of the family. Take this time to spend some time with your partner and talk about the things on your mind. Spend some time together as a family and also get in some cuddles with your baby – all of these can contribute to great bonding time.
- Always consult your doctor
As a new mother, you will have plenty of questions about your body and your baby’s well-being. Rather than turning to unverified sources of information, it’s best to seek the help of a professional. Your body has undergone many changes and you will soon see other changes like breast engorgement, vaginal discharges, excessive sweating and more. While some women may find it tolerable, others may have difficulty in coping with the pain. It is important to seek the help of your doctor during this time, so you can get the best treatment for alleviating both your pain and all your fears.
- Do not worry about body changes
While it’s easier said than done, use this time to marvel at the miracle that your body has performed rather than criticize it for the extra weight. Weight gain during pregnancy is normal and weight loss post delivery is also doable. However, no big change happens overnight and you must wait till your doctor gives you the go-ahead for a change of diet or weight loss exercises. Focusing on the positive like your baby and your new family will keep you happy and relaxed. So use this time to relax and rejuvenate and recover from the experience. In time, you can work out to lose the weight, so do not focus on being stressed about the same.
So focus on the positives and let your body and mind relax and recover! All the best!