Whether it’s looking out for your weight, trying to find time to socialize, or making yourself mentally healthy, the postpartum period can be an incredibly daunting challenge that many moms can potentially face.
This period starts after your baby’s delivery, and it usually ends when your body has returned to pre-pregnancy levels, which should last from around six to eight weeks' time.
However, getting to a state of normalcy is easier said than done. Just ask any new mom, and they could tell you some of the struggles they’ve faced during this period.
It is mainly because the postpartum period brings about a lot of changes in the body – not only physical in nature but emotionally as well. Your role in the household changes as you become a new mother, and the dynamics of your family life would also see a change in the future.
In order to cope with all these changes, you will need to take good care of yourself, rebuild your strength, and take the postpartum period in stride.
Here are Babyology’s tips for moms and families going through the postpartum period.
One of the primary concerns moms have during the postpartum period is their body – especially the shape and weight.
Do note that, after pregnancy, your body will still undergo through all sorts of changes, so the priority must not be on how it looks, but how it feels.
During this period, you’re going to need to take care of yourself, primarily with great nutrition. While you may be excited to go back to your pre-baby figure, your body is going to need extra calories and nutrients to handle its breastfeeding duties. If you can, get some sun and take a short walk. This should be your primary form of exercise until you fully recover.
Be gentle with your body and your expectations with it. Also, focus on eating wholesome food that’ll be good for both you and your baby. Of course, you shouldn’t forget to drink lots of water! Your busy schedule might keep you from staying hydrated. Always carry a water bottle or set one next to your bed.
This might be one of the hardest things to accomplish within the first few weeks (or even months) after giving birth.
This is because babies have a different biological clock than adults – it seems like they live in another time zone!
Typically, babies would wake up every three hours to be fed, have their nappies changed, and be lulled back to sleep. The change in schedule could be overwhelming for both you and your partner. This means that a full eight hours of sleep wouldn’t be a realistic goal at the start.
However, your body needs rest in order to heal and recover from pregnancy. This is where your family or friends come in. You can let someone else take care of other responsibilities, such as cooking, cleaning, laundry, and dishes so that you can focus on your baby and yourself. (Hint: make your husband do it!)
You should also try sleeping when the baby sleeps. These may be only a few minutes, but a few minutes is better than no sleep at all.
When you have visitors, don’t pressure yourself with the need to entertain them. Excuse yourself for a nap. They’ll understand.
Speaking of resting...
Finding yourself a safe space
Over the next few weeks (or years maybe), you’re going to find yourself in your child’s room more and more. You may have already been obsessing over the nursery over the past few months! Sometimes, we focus so much on our children that we tend to forget about ourselves.
One of the simplest ways to emotionally and mentally recover is to find yourself a safe space. It doesn’t have to be a separate room – just a small nook or corner where you can unwind will do fine. In this place, remind yourself that you're in charge. We suggest that you do this in an area with natural light (so, don’t lock yourself up in a closet), with some plants and a rug or soft, comfy chair. Put on your headphones and listen to some music or just some nature sounds!
Do something for fun
While you’re in your safe space, you can do something for fun as a response to the stress around you. It can be something as simple as a regular hobby, such as meditation, video games, or anything that breaks the monotonous day-to-day happenings to combat the stress.
You also shouldn’t underestimate the healing power of a bath or a cold shower. This will have an incredible effect on your body and mind. Add some candles, aromatherapy, and nature sounds to create a feeling that you’re in the spa – even if you’re just at home!
Now that we’ve mentioned bathing...
Bathing yourself, or your baby can be incredibly therapeutic
According to research, there are several benefits -- both physical and mental – to bathing. It is a time for touch, which is important for the cognitive and emotional development of your child. Your skin-to-skin contact stimulates the vagus nerve, which aids relaxation.
Bath time also engages other senses, and it also takes us personally away from the technology that sometimes can preoccupy us too much. This means that the bath is a technology-free zone, that makes us strengthen our connection with our little one.
If you’re looking to enhance your experience in the bath, you can also choose to use some of Babyology’s line of products. Using 100% edible products, you can focus on cleaning and having a great time with your baby, rather than worrying about the items that you're introducing to your baby’s skin.
You can shop for Babyology’s products here.