Take Charge of Your Postpartum Health
Taking care of yourself postpartum is something every woman should know
Pregnancy is a time with many restrictions and rules to ensure the health of you and your baby. You can’t drink alcohol or eat some foods, you need to do certain exercises and you have to avoid some types of activities. However, taking care of yourself doesn’t stop when you give birth. Follow these tips to help your body heal from pregnancy, labor and delivery.
Exercise is crucial to keeping everyone healthy, including postpartum mothers. You probably did special exercises before giving birth, and your doctor likely limited you from strenuous aerobic exercise. While you may be eager to get back to working out, you need to proceed carefully. Ask your doctor’s advice before returning to your routine. Additionally, you may need to address issues such as diastasis recti that result from the stretching of your muscles during pregnancy. Your doctor can suggest diastasis recti exercises to help heal the separation of your abdominal muscles. No matter whether you gave birth naturally or with a C-section, you need specialized advice on how to restart your workouts.
Other physical limitations may include restrictions on lifting heavy objects, particularly if you had a C-section. You probably need to refrain from sex or using tampons for at least a month after giving birth. Your doctor may also tell you to avoid baths or swimming. These limitations will vary based on your birth experience and age, but you should always follow your doctor’s advice, even if you have had a baby before and you are receiving new rules this time.
Although many of the dietary restrictions that you had to follow during pregnancy are lifted now, you do still need to be conscious of your diet. This particularly applies if you are breastfeeding your baby since the foods you ingest can pass to your baby as you feed him or her. Speak to your doctor about which foods will help you have the best recovery from delivery and which ones you still need to avoid. He or she may also recommend supplements to make sure that you get all of the nutrients you need.
Recently, many women have begun to speak about postpartum depression and other mental health issues that can arise after you give birth. If you find yourself exhibiting any of the symptoms, such as feeling a lack of connection with your baby and being overwhelmed, call your doctor immediately. This type of depression is fairly common and you should not be embarrassed if you are diagnosed with it. Usually, with treatment, the symptoms will go away and you can enjoy your life as a mother. However, in some cases, the condition can become quite serious. Stay alert for signs of postpartum depression in yourself. You should also watch for them in your partner; fathers or the parent who did not give birth can still have postpartum depression.
To decrease your chances of developing depression, be proactive in caring for your mental health. Get outside as much as you can by taking your baby on walks and feeding him or her outside. Just make sure that he or she does not get too much sun exposure. Ask for help from a family member or friend so that you can have a break for an hour and relax by yourself. Talk about your feelings honestly with your partner so that he or she can help you catch warning signs of depression. Friends and family will probably offer to bring you dinners. Accept these offers! With one less thing to worry about, you’ll find that the rest of your life is a little easier to handle.
At this point in your life, you are probably so sick of doctors’ appointments that you want to cry. All you want to do is sleep, but you have so much to take care of. Force yourself to relax, follow your doctor’s advice and remember that this is only a small part of your life. Things will be easier soon.