The journey of postpartum wellness can be a challenging one. For many new moms, childbirth’s physical, emotional, and mental demands can leave them feeling overwhelmed and exhausted.
However, it’s possible to make postpartum healing a more positive and rewarding experience with the right approach. Remember, the healthier you are physically, emotionally, and mentally, the more confidence and joy you’ll feel in your new role as a mother.
Here are five simple, actionable tips to help make postpartum healing a positive experience.
1. Take Time to Rest and Recover
After giving birth, it’s essential to take some time for your body and mind to heal. A big part of the healing process is ensuring you get plenty of sleep and rest whenever possible. Feel free to ask for help from your support system with everyday tasks so you can take the time to rest and recharge.
Listen to your body and take regular breaks throughout the day. For example, if your baby’s sleeping, use that time to do something calming and therapeutic for yourself, like reading, taking a bath, or doing gentle stretching exercises. Avoid the urge to take care of everything around you in one go—your body and mind need time to recover, so take advantage of short breaks throughout the day.
Finally, ensure you get enough sleep at night. Women need at least 7-8 hours of sleep, so feel free to take a regular nap or sleep late on weekends to catch up. If you have postpartum insomnia, consider asking your doctor for advice on improving your sleep.
2. Speak Up About Your Health Concerns
Many physical and emotional health concerns can come up during the postpartum period. It’s important to know that it’s perfectly normal to experience mood swings, leaky breasts, incontinence, and fatigue. What isn’t normal is excessive bleeding, infection, and pain.
If you’re worried or concerned about your health, speak up sooner rather than later. Don’t be afraid to speak up about your health concerns—your doctor or midwife can offer advice on how best to manage these issues and support you through the postpartum period.
It’s also important to watch for signs of postpartum depression. Seek help from your doctor if you experience persistent sadness, anxiety, or guilt that interferes with daily functioning.
3. Learn How to Care for a Newborn Baby
The biggest challenge with postpartum wellness is learning to care for a newborn. The task can initially feel daunting—especially if this is your first baby. Fortunately, many resources are available to help new moms learn the basics of infant care.
First, speak to your partner about who will be responsible for what. It’s essential to divide the workload fairly and realistically. If you’re breastfeeding, chances are you’ll be taking on the majority of feedings, so make sure your partner understands that and is prepared to take on other duties.
Next, read up on newborn care—there are a lot of great books, videos, and websites available that offer guidance on infant care. Talk to other moms in your life like your sister, mother, and friends who have gone through the same process. Joining a mommy-and-baby group is also helpful in learning the ropes and getting support from other moms who have gone through it.
4. Reach Out for Social Support
Postpartum healing can often feel very isolating. You might be home alone with a baby all day and struggling to cope without the support of family and friends. It’s important to remember that you don’t have to go through this alone. Reach out to your support system and speak with your partner to let them know how you’re feeling.
Enlist the help of family and friends—they can help take care of the baby, help cook a meal, and provide you with time to rest. Also, looking for support from other moms who have recently gone through the postpartum period can be helpful. They can offer valuable support, advice and perspective on navigating this new stage of life. Join a local moms’ group or online parenting forum to connect with other new mothers to get started.
Regardless of your chosen approach, proactively schedule a time to connect with friends, family, and your partner. Social support can make a big difference postpartum, even if it’s just a quick phone call or video chat.
5. Make Time for Self-Care
Caring for a newborn baby can be time-consuming, but making time for yourself is critical. Try to squeeze in a few minutes each day for activities that help you relax, such as journaling, walking, or listening to music.
And don’t forget the importance of nutrition—eating a healthy balanced diet can help you stay energized throughout the day. And also, remember to take your prenatal vitamins and drink plenty of fluids. A healthy diet is especially essential for mothers who breastfeed their babies because it helps nourish both mother and baby.
Also, make time to get regular exercise. Even a simple 10-minute walk every day can help you stay fit and release endorphins to boost your mood.
Finally, consider scheduling regular massages or spa visits for yourself. Taking time to unwind and relax can help you stay energized as you adjust to the changes that come with postpartum healing.
Customize Your Postpartum Wellness Journey
After giving birth, postpartum healing is integral to a woman’s life. Taking the time to focus on postpartum wellness can help new moms prepare for the physical and emotional changes that come with childbirth and ensure their health issues are taken care of.
With some planning, patience, and self-care, you can make postpartum healing a positive and rewarding experience. If you feel overwhelmed or need extra support during your journey of postpartum wellness, don’t hesitate to talk to your partner, friends or family, doctor or a mental health professional. Recovery is an individual process, and no two stories are the same—so don’t forget to be kind to yourself!
Take care, mama! 🙂