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A Step-by-step Guide for Your Postpartum Recovery

By Teddyy 26 Sep 2022

Congratulations on your sweet little one! You have conquered the hardest of all universal human experiences: Pregnancy, labor and delivery.

The first six weeks after childbirth are especially hard on parents because they have to make room for adjustments for a little one. Mothers (fathers in some cases, too) go through a depressive phase post-delivery called postpartum depression. You might feel like a completely different person during this period. It is normal. Recovering after delivery might take a little time, just try to relax for a while.

Adjusting to motherhood
Life after a baby certainly has its set of challenges and difficulties. Sometimes, it might feel like you are stuck in a rut of feeding, soothing and changing diapers for your baby. Chances are your sleep schedule has gone all over the place, it feels like you don’t actually get to see your partner these days or don’t get enough time with others in your family.

Things might seem really difficult right now, but you will soon settle in and make a routine that works for you.

Functioning as a new family unit
If you thought birthing a baby was the toughest part, apni kursi ki peti kas ke bandh lein because there’s more to come. Scrap your plans for dinner dates, finishing that TV show or having a break at all. All your energy will be spent towards making sure your baby is fed, burped, soothed and not in a wet diaper.

Your new baby will bring in a lot of changes, sometimes maybe good, sometimes maybe not so good. One thing is for sure, all of these experiences will make you stronger as a family and you will look back at these moments with sweet nostalgia in the future.

Time for some self-care
While you focus on your little one over the next few weeks, don’t forget to take care of yourself. It’s an important part of your postpartum care and recovery. Here are some ways you can practice self-care:

  • Follow your doctor’s orders and don’t skip appointments.
  • Take every opportunity to just lay down and relax.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help from friends and family.
  • Eat healthy meals and stay hydrated, especially if you’re breastfeeding your baby.
  • Exercise on a regular basis.

 

Baby blues vs. postpartum depression
If you’ve been experiencing mood swings and negative feelings after giving birth, you’re not alone. These are caused by a sudden drop in the levels of your hormones after birth. Nearly 80 percent of new moms experience baby blues during the postpartum period.

However, if your baby blues continues for more than two weeks, beyond the normal delivery recovery time, you need to get help. It’s not just ‘blues’ anymore. You are suffering from postpartum depression. Symptoms may include:

  • Crying for no reason
  • Feeling anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Insomnia
  • Sadness
  • Mood changes
  • Restlessness

 

Breast engorgement
“Feed, change diapers, wake up in the middle of the night to feed again, soothe the baby, repeat this process all over again all day, every day. Deal with hard and swollen breasts on top of all this.” This is how Shalini, a new mom from Bhopal describes her experience with her newborn baby.

It is a truth universally acknowledged by all mothers that breast feeding is no simple task. Breast engorgement happens when your baby is not feeding and attaching well and your breasts aren’t drained well during a feed. Or if you are making more milk than your baby needs. Here’s a few tips to help:

  • using a warm compress, or taking a warm shower to encourage milk to flow freely.
  • feeding more regularly, or at least every one to three hours.
  • nursing till your baby is no longer hungry.
  • massaging your breasts to relieve pain.
  • applying a cold compress or ice pack to relieve pain and swelling.
  • Using a breast pump to drain excess milk.

 

Coping with body changes
You have survived and thrived in a life-changing event. Your body has been stretched and stressed to the max. Just be patient and kind to yourself and give yourself some credit and time to heal. Chances are your body is going to look vastly different than it did before pregnancy. You will soon learn to love and be proud of your new body.

Take parenting at your own pace, learn one thing at a time. There is no right or wrong way. Don’t hesitate to reach out for help. Talk to your doctor about everything you have been experiencing – the baby blues, the emotional turmoil, the struggles of understanding baby language, your own healing process or your baby’s growth and development.

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