Once your little bundle of joy has arrived you quickly become so involved taking care of him or her that you may push your own needs aside. Yet, this is the time when you really need to listen to your body and be aware of your own needs. If you are not at your best, you can’t possibly take care of your little one.
All moms – new and experienced – attempt to “do it all” once they bring home the new baby. In most cases they haven’t been home for 48 hours (at least) and attempt to pick up where they left off. It may even be more appealing now that the baby bump is gone and bending, reaching, and crouching is easier. Some women, especially those who enjoy exercising, may be tempted to try to get back into their workout routine and lose the baby weight as soon as possible.
But, it’s truly important to slow down and let your body heal. Just think, you’ve spent the last nine months watching your body change, so keep in mind that it will not heal or change back to pre-baby overnight. In fact, it could take up to a year. What you do now to help care for your postpartum body will ensure that you get back to your healthiest self sooner.
Pain and Uncomfortable Symptoms
From vaginal bleeding to soreness from episiotomy or cesarean incisions, you will probably endure your share of uncomfortable symptoms. Rest assured the pain should lessen as the weeks go on – but do not rush the healing process. If you find that you are in more pain than you can handle, ask for help from your partner, family members and friends. Before you leave the hospital, the nurses will give you detailed instructions how to properly handle your vaginal bleeding and care for your cesarean incision. You will be given a lot of instructions regarding your baby and your body before you leave the hospital so if you get home and realize you have forgotten a few things, feel free to call back and ask for help. Even when you leave the hospital the nurses are there to help take care of your postpartum body.
Keep your Appointments
Now that you are completely immersed with your new baby and his check-ups with the pediatrician, it can be easy to let your own appointments slip off your calendar. Keep your postpartum six-week checkup with your doctor, even if you’re feeling great. Your doctor will make sure you are healing correctly and help you decide on birth control if you choose that route. Many new moms suffer from urinary tract infections, reopening of incisions, blood clots and other pains that are normal, yet are better treated as soon as possible. Additionally, be sure to keep dental appointments and any others that you need to help you maintain your best body.
The best thing you can do for your little one is to take care for yourself and be the healthiest version of you. By committing to caring for your postpartum body properly, you will be the best mom you can be for your new baby.