Understanding the Postpartum Process
By Falmouth Women's Health
April 20, 2021
Category: OBGYN Care
The postpartum period is defined as the first six weeks after delivery. During this time, new moms are dealing with everything from breastfeeding and changes in sleep to the ups and downs that come with the hormonal changes. You must have an OBGYN that you trust to provide you with regular postpartum care and to be a caring, knowledgeable medical professional that you can turn to when you’re feeling depressed, anxious, or just not 100 percent.
Tips for Adjusting to Motherhood
Every journey through motherhood is going to be different for every woman, so you want an OBGYN that understands your specific needs. Here are some ways to make the first six weeks a little easier for both you and your baby,
- They say to sleep when your baby sleeps, and if you have this opportunity it’s best to take it. While newborns sleep about 14-17 hours within a 24-hour period, they only sleep for about 2-3 hours at a time before needing to be fed.
- During this time, it’s important to turn to friends and family for help cooking meals or running errands, so you’re not exhausted and running on fumes. Remember, that you don’t have to do it all. Your focus is on healing and caring for your baby. The rest can wait.
- Eat a healthy diet that helps support and nurture your healing body. This includes eating proteins, whole grains, and vegetables. It’s also important that you are getting enough water and staying hydrated, which will help with breastfeeding.
- Your OBGYN will be able to tell you when it’s safe to exercise again. While this doesn’t necessarily mean jumping right back into CrossFit (unless you want to), find low-impact activities such as a brisk walk that can help you get out of the house and also provide energizing benefits.
What are the signs of postpartum depression?
Most women experience “baby blues” during the postpartum period. Between the massive changes in hormones to the lack of sleep, it’s very normal for new moms to experience mood swings, anxiety, irritability, and sadness; however, the baby blues are not the same as postpartum depression. These symptoms last longer than two weeks. Know the signs of postpartum depression,
- You’re experiencing crying spells, or you’re consumed by sadness or guilt
- You don’t have any interest in activities or things that once made you happy
- Changes in sleep patterns such as sleeping too little or sleeping too much
- You have thoughts of harming yourself or others
- You have trouble bonding with your baby
- You don’t want to eat
- You’re having panic attacks
If these symptoms last longer than two weeks or continue to get worse, you must talk with your OBGYN right away about postpartum depression.
We understand that the postpartum experience is different for every woman. That’s why an OBGYN can provide you with the nuanced care you need to help guide you through everything, from bodily changes to “baby blues." An OBGYN can be an asset to new mothers.