Soon-to-be-moms are always bombarded with articles, products, and tips about taking care of themselves during pregnancy and how to better take care of the baby after birth.
All you need after birth is the certainty that going home with a baby in your arms for the first time is a magical moment! Right? Sure, but there’s more to it.
There are some things people usually avoid talking about. Mainly, while it is normal for everyone to focus on the baby, one can’t forget the mom’s health.
Your life, your body, and your mind have gone and are going through crazy times. You can do all the reading you want about the belly, the delivery, and everything else, but don’t forget that what happens after is just as important.
Continue reading this article to find out 6 things that happen to your body and mind after giving birth (and how to deal with them!).
1. Soreness, Swelling, Leakage, and Contractions
Coughing, jumping, lifting things, or laughing too hard may not sound like a challenge, but it’s not uncommon for women to experience soreness and leakage at the most inconvenient moments.
First things first: you’ve been carrying a baby in your belly for the better part of 9 months now, and your muscles need strengthening.
Moreover, throughout pregnancy, the size of the belly makes circulation difficult, so the entire body can suffer from swelling, especially hands, feet, and genitals.
Your joints, back, knees, and abdomen (plus the incision, if you had a C-section) are also prone to discomfort.
Oh. Another thing: contractions are normal! Don’t worry!
“Afterpain” contractions, especially when breastfeeding, mean your uterus is going back to its normal size after expanding for over 40 weeks.
Other kinds of issues that are difficult to openly talk about are constipation, pain while peeing, hemorrhoids, and a bruised perineum.
You have nothing to worry about! All these are expected and easy to work around.
- A lot can be done to ease pain and soreness in such delicate areas. Higher fiber and iron intake, drinking lots of water, and warm hip baths.
- For the swelling, try ice cold packs; for contractions, massaging and pressing warm packs can help you ease the pain.
- Be sure to do pelvic floor and kegel muscle exercises regularly to avoid leakage.
- A healthy diet is a must for new moms. Bet on carbs, proteins, healthy fats, and lots of water to boost healing and get the best of your nutrients. Invest in a personalized diet instead of a generic one.
And remember: if you don’t feel any pain at all, it’s also completely normal. Consider yourself lucky!
2. Feeling the Baby Blues
It is expected that the weeks and months following the birth of a baby will leave the mother in a constant state of bliss, enjoying every little moment with her newfound happiness.
However, not only have you changed physically, but your hormones can be all over the place. After giving birth, some people suffer from the infamous “baby blues” and even postpartum depression.
In fact, up to 80% of women have these feelings of sadness and irritability, so there’s nothing to feel guilty or ashamed of1.
- Confide in people you love and share the obligations you may have at home and with the baby.
- Eating healthy and exercising are key to keeping your mind in good shape. As mentioned above, a meal plan and a workout program tailored to your needs are key to your psychological well-being.
After a couple of weeks, if these feelings are lingering and affecting your life, you should tell your healthcare provider as soon as possible.
3. Ask for Help, but Be Wary
People love to give their opinions to any new mother. Even those who have never been further away from children. Make sure to listen to people you trust and try to filter everyone else.
And talking about the people you love… You’ve got to love yourself as well. Give yourself a break! Taking care of a baby can be difficult and sometimes not intuitive.
- Get your trusted family and friends and have them help you and your partner out. Cooking, looking after the baby, doing chores, and offering emotional support.
- Look for a support group for new moms. Finding other people who are going through the same issues as you can not only form bonds but also ease some worries you might have.
4. Breastfeeding, Bottle Feeding, and the Milky Ways
Breastfeeding can be a challenge to some.
If everything is normal, hormones will kick in, and you’ll produce breast milk. You may feel pain and soreness within the first days of breastfeeding, and it usually goes away.
- Apply warm packs before and cold packs after feeding. With your doctor’s approval, you can also take mild anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen.
Don’t shy away from formula! Many moms who have medical issues, dietary restrictions, or simply choose not to breastfeed can benefit from it.
Formula is a healthy alternative, and it may help mothers who lead busy lives. Your partner or a trusted family member can feed your baby while you rest, work, or do errands.
5. Shedding Off Those Baby Pounds
We know weight won’t just easily fall off for many people. Anyone eating for two will retain some of that.
Having a regular workout routine and healthy meal plan will not only help you get fitter and shed off those baby pounds, but it will help with several issues, like tiredness, constipation, hemorrhoids, leakage, joint and muscle pain, and a lot more.
Instead of cutting off food groups completely, depriving yourself of your favorite treats, or just hitting the gym, the key is finding what works for you.
You can easily find online programs and apps that will do the hard work of preparing a workout and meal plan that takes into account what you want and what you need.
With the right diet and workout program, you will have the energy to take care of the baby and the house, all while looking after yourself.
You can find a number of programs online specifically for mothers to help them stay healthy and get back in shape.
One app that we certify works is fitMom, a program that prepares a personalized meal plan created by nutritionists and a workout plan considering every detail the mom provided in a quiz. All tailored for your needs.
Moms can fill in the quiz with information about dietary requirements, health conditions, pregnancy-related issues, weight goals, and so on.
The result will be a meal and workout plan carefully crafted just for you, tracking your progress and adapting to your busy day-to-day life.
This app is a safe, easy way to choose ingredients, prepare your meals, have a balanced diet, and work out while being kind to your body in a healthy and simple manner.
Why not take that step now?
FitMom may be just the thing you were looking for. Scroll down and take this one-minute free quiz to find out the best solution for you!
6. Be Kind to Yourself!
Both your body and mind are going through changes, and even if you did your homework and have all the support you need, things sometimes may seem completely out of control.
Don’t worry! Most if not all mothers go through this.
After six weeks, your body and mind should be in a much better place. Things will slowly go back to normal – albeit with one more person in your life – and you should start feeling like yourself again.
Be it the first or tenth time bringing a baby home, being a parent is always a challenge and a blessing. Don’t be so hard on yourself. You are doing the best you can.
Remember to trust your doctor, eat healthily, do some exercise, and make sure you have emotional support.
You’ve got this!
Take a free 1-minute quiz and find out how you can get in shape in a healthy way with the fitMom app
Results may vary due to personal features.