The postpartum period is a truly fascinating time, you experience a roller coaster of emotions, from the joy of your baby’s arrival to the worry of noticing even the slightest discomfort of your baby, and the tiredness of not getting enough sleep. Other than your emotions, you notice your body has experienced a few significant changes too. While you might be concerned about your state during this period, it is also worth noting that these occurrences are relatively common and it can happen to any mother. This article is here to help you understand the changes to your body and mind during the postpartum period, and how to manage them better.
If you found yourself feeling a surge of sadness inside you after your delivery, the chances are you are currently having a baby blues. Baby blues refers to a short period or post-delivery stage that is filled with sadness, anxiety, mood swings and stress. What are the causes of this occurrence, you may ask. There is no clear answer to this but doctors have commonly derived that hormonal changes and lack of sleep are behind this.
Some of the common symptoms are feeling weepy, having mood swings, feeling irritable, unattached to the baby, or having troubles thinking clearly. It is also worth noting that baby blues usually don’t last longer than two weeks. If you are a new mother, this matter might concern you. However, up to 80% of moms experience mood swings and upheavals right after childbirth, therefore, knowing this might provide you relief.
While you may be thinking of looking after yourself so as not to trouble anyone, it is perfectly fine to get help from your beloved family or trusted circle of friends. After all, you are going to need all the help you can get in order to recover as soon as possible.
Besides, your family and friends would be able to keep tabs on your symptoms and refer you to the nearest experts if your condition worsens or does not improve. Moreover, your body has been through an intense stage and the fatigue from it might cause baby blues for you. Thus, it is wise to be properly nourished during this period.
A healthy diet won’t only heal you, it will also boost your moods as well! Speaking of moods, getting enough sleep and rests are key to improving your mood and recovery. Your mood may worsen when your body is fatigued so resting will be the best course of action to combat baby blues.
If your baby blues still lingers after two weeks, the chances are you are currently going through postpartum depression. Postpartum depression is the more severe and longer-lasting condition of the baby blues. While mommies with a history of depression are more likely to experience this, it is also worth noting that a sudden or drastic decline in hormones (estrogen and progesterone) in your body might cause this. You might feel sluggish, tired and depressed as well due to the dramatic decrease of hormones produced by your thyroid gland.
Plus, postpartum depression can be caused by a few emotional issues too. You would experience a lack of sleep and constantly feel overwhelmed. During this period, you may feel less attractive, hopelessness or even having an identity crisis. You might want to consult your doctors when it comes to medication. Antidepressants have a direct impact on your brain but it will take several weeks for it to work.
If your estrogen level is low, you might want to have a hormone therapy to treat this condition. Speaking of therapy, be sure that you are consulting qualified individuals. They will be able to provide counselling, help you make sense of the negative thoughts and offer a counter-strategy to work through it.
Gaining weight after delivery is a common phenomenon experienced by mommies and that includes you too. But what could possibly be the factors that lead towards this matter? Sometimes, it is caused by low thyroid function during and after pregnancy. If you are feeling concerned about your postpartum weight gain and you think it’s caused by an underlying health issue, do consult your doctor for professional advice.
One of the most common causes of postpartum weight gain is caused by the lack of sleep. A study shows that women who are six months into postpartum and experiencing less than five hours sleep a night are likelier to retain their weight if not gaining more.
Additionally, poor management of stress has been identified as one of the causes of postpartum weight gain. Stress hormones are notorious for promoting weight gain, it causes you to eat more and thus, leads you to land more pounds under your belt. Go out! Sometimes, all you need is fresh air and a healthy distraction away from your current circumstances. Minor exercises would also be useful for your body, it keeps your muscles and joints active. Maybe read a book or work on your hobby, do things that you like. That would help you improve your mood.
In the event that you might be unfamiliar with this term, breast engorgement is a condition that is caused by an increased blood flow in your breasts recently after childbirths. This condition varies with each mommy and it lasts for a certain period of time. It takes around three to five days for your body to start lactating and while the increase in blood flow does facilitate in producing more breast milk, it also causes discomfort and pain.
In order to relieve this, you are advised to massage your breast gently while breastfeeding or switch your cradling methods for best comfort. Make sure that your breast is emptied accordingly before you let your baby latch on to the other. Keep your bra comfortable, snuggly and not too tight. You can also opt for breastfeeding products or baby products Singapore experts would recommend for a convenient breastfeeding experience. For instance, a lactation massager Singapore moms recommend would be a great help!
Changes in Pelvic Floor
After delivery, you might experience significant changes in your pelvic floor. It will elongate during pregnancy and delivery or childbirth will stretch it. This would then cause your muscles to commonly tighten up in response. Further trauma to your pelvic floor muscles such as extended pushing, tearing, stitches or episiotomy would only inflict more stress and inflammation on your pelvic floor muscles.
Plus, postpartum incontinence is quite common after your delivery. Your pelvic floor muscles are still weak around this time. You can opt for a physical therapy such as kegels to treat this condition. This will help you build a strong core in your abdominal, hip and pelvic floor muscles. However, do not be alarmed if you are unaffected by this condition because there are a number of women who do not experience this due to the minimal trauma or injury on their pelvic floor.
Now that we have covered the changes during your postpartum period, what can you do to manage it? These few tips might give you an idea.
Do Not Overwork Your Body
We can’t stress this enough, getting sufficient rest is crucial in achieving full recovery. If there is a time to take your foot off the pedal and relax then that time would be now. Some mothers tend to neglect their own well-being in order to take care of their little bundle of joy. However, it’s important for you to understand that taking great care of your health is a way of taking care of your baby too, as you can take better care of them when you are in your best condition. When you are well-rested, you would be able to think more rationally and accumulate less stress from your previous ordeals. This would allow you to carry out your tasks and go through your daily routine more efficiently. But that is not all, do you know that getting enough rest and sleep would speed up your postpartum weight loss too? So you might want to catch up on your beauty sleep now!
Learn To Manage Your Stress
Last but not least, efficient stress management is important in helping you achieve a proper postpartum recovery. Sometimes, it is best to just go with the flow and instead of stressing yourself to get things done as soon as possible, do things at your own pace. Take a breather and give yourself some space. The fact that you are aware and have already identified things that needed to be taken care of is progress that you are currently on the right track. If things didn’t go as planned or as smoothly as you envisioned, laugh it off. That is just part and parcel of life. Enjoy and cherish these little bloopers.
In conclusion, having a deep understanding of how your body and moods change and adapt during this postpartum phase is essential in helping you recuperate well. Because at the end of the day, nobody would know you better than yourself. Cheers mommies!