The first six to eight weeks after delivery or childbirth is known as the postpartum period. While most people think of postpartum blues when it comes to the word, postpartum actually needs and includes holistic care for the new mommy. This is a joyful time in a woman’s life but it is also the time that one is mentally and physically recovering from childbirth. It also includes being emotionally ready for this new change while learning to bond with your baby and also taking care of the newborn. The family dynamics also change as you move from being a couple to a family. All of these changes can get a bit overwhelming and can be exhausting for the new mother. Thus, postpartum care is an important part of every mom’s journey and care should be taken to ensure a full recovery – emotional, physical and mental – so the woman can transition into the new role with ease.
- Be Kind To Yourself
As a woman and a new mother, one of the best things you can do during this postpartum phase is be kind to yourself. The entire process of healing and accepting begins with you and you have to be kind to yourself if you wish to recover well. When we say being kind, it includes everything. From mental pep talks to accepting your new body – never feel let down or disappointed. While it’s easier said than done, it’s good to remember that you just delivered a baby after growing a tiny human being in your own body.
- Take Care Of Your Mental Health
There are many lists on how to recover physically from childbirth. However, mental health in the postpartum phase is equally important and shouldn’t be ignored. It is normal to feel the baby blues in the initial days – it’s a new role for you and all the attention has shifted from you to the little baby. This huge transition can be mentally and emotionally difficult to grasp immediately, so accept that your feelings are normal and they will pass. If however, the anxiety, depression, mood swings or other signs of poor mental health persist, then it’s best to consult your doctor.
- Take The Time To Heal
You spent nine months growing a baby in your body and then delivered the child. Your body has seen physical, hormonal, emotional and mental changes. It has done some really hard work and now it’s time to rest and recover. What your body has done for you in those nine months is irreplaceable and rather than criticizing, you should appreciate the miracle. As this change has taken months, the next phase will take time – do not expect healing to happen overnight. Have realistic expectations about the recovery phase and be gentle on yourself and your body through the process.
- Say Yes To Help
As a new mother, there are tons of things to do around you. Simply taking care of the baby involves a multitude of things and you should not only accept all the help but also ask for it. From watching over the baby to taking over meal duties – you can ask your family and friends to take turns as you focus on your needs too along with the baby’s needs. There are many errands and chores involved and as your body is still in recovery these may seem more difficult than usual – so make sure you take all the help you can.
- Make Partner Bonding A Priority
In the postpartum phase, as a new mother it’s natural to be overly focused on the baby. However, it’s important to remember that you are a new family and your partner is also a new parent. In the rush to being prepared as parents, it’s important to not let go of the partner in you. So take the time to cherish these moments, spend quality time together and set aside a date night for just the two of you.
- There’s No Such Thing As A Stupid Question
It’s absolutely normal to have plenty of questions about childcare and your own recovery. Sometimes, due to the fear of feeling uninformed or silly, many choose to turn to the internet for answers. However, remember as a new mother it is not only natural but also good to have all these questions. While turning to trusted sources is okay, it’s best to ask your doctor everything that you need to know.
- Plan Your Day
As a new mom, you may find all the chores and duties very overwhelming. So it’s a good idea to organize your day – this will also allow you to squeeze in some self-care time. While not everything will go as per plan especially when you have a newborn, an organized list will help you identify the essentials. And when it comes to you, don’t forget to include a warm bath, or some ‘me’ time – anything that relaxes your body and mind.
- Get Some Fresh Air
While it may seem like a no-brainer, getting some fresh air is actually more beneficial than normally discussed. It’s good for both your body and your mind. While the sun offers many essential vitamins, getting some air and stepping out also helps clear your mind. This is also a good time to get in some light exercises, which in turn can work wonders for your physical and mental recovery. However, it’s best to start with light walking, meditation etc. and consulting a doctor before doing any heavy exercises or strenuous workouts.
- Get All The Postpartum Accessories You Will Need
As a new mom, you will find that there are many things designed especially for you to make this postpartum period easier. There’s no shame in using all the things that were made for you. Breast pads, cooling pads after painful birth, nursing pads, heating/cooling pads, breast pumps, baby carriers, pain relieving medication or sprays – there are many things that can help ease the pain and make you more comfortable. So don’t shy away from asking for them.
- Make Room For Mistakes
It is not uncommon to come across mom guilt and mom brain – there may be things that you miss or forget. As somebody who just grew and birthed a baby, it is natural to sometimes not remember things or be a little unorganized. You are also transitioning into a new role and allow yourself room for small mistakes or slip ups that may happen along the way. Rather than feeling guilty or low about it, treat it as a learning curve and work around schedules that work for you. As you grow into the role, things will get easier and better with time. Till then, keep doing the best you and your baby and the rest can be taken care of in time.