The postpartum period brings with it both physical and emotional changes for new parents. With a baby comes joy, love, exhaustion, and sometimes a rollercoaster of feelings! During this time, it’s important to stay mindful of postpartum health and take care of yourself to the best of your ability.
Physically, the postpartum period involves healing from the birthing process, which can be uncomfortable and challenging. Common postpartum discomforts may include uterine cramping, swelling, bloating, changes in appetite, and vaginal soreness. Many women experience exhaustion from disrupted sleep and changing hormones. The postpartum period also encompasses the “fourth trimester” or newborn period. This time is marked by frequent feedings, caring for a newborn, and allowing for bonding with the baby.
Behaviorally, the postpartum period can bring about mixed emotions and stress. It is not uncommon to experience highs and lows, and these should be expected and given attention. Postpartum depression is common and can be extremely difficult to experience. If you are feeling overwhelmed or if your mood changes drastically, seek help from a professional or speak to a support system. Additionally, avoid comparing postpartum stories and bond with other new parents who are experiencing similar emotions.
The postpartum period is a precious time that requires an extra dose of self-care. Although it might not always feel easy, understanding and taking steps to support yourself during this process is key.