Bringing your bundle of joy home from the hospital is a life-changing event for new parents. And while this new chapter is a joyous one, there can be emotional and physical challenges that require an adjustment.
For new mothers the transition from pregnancy to postpartum can bring about many changes and questions. At Adriatica Women’s Health we are committed to serving women through every stage of pregnancy, including postpartum which is often referred to as the 4th trimester.
Here are a few tips to help you with your recovery:
Practice patience and self care
Every pregnancy is different so recovery times tend to vary, depending on if a woman has had a complex labor, C-section or vaginal delivery. It’s important to be patient with the recovery process.The majority of women will experience sore breasts, perineal pain and backaches as well as overall soreness. Recovery can take three to six weeks if you did not have perineal tear or episiotomy and up to 12 weeks if you did. You may want to ice your perineum after birth, or take warm baths to ease the pain. If you’ve had a C-section be sure to clean the incision with soap and water and apply antibiotic ointment. You may also want to try a heating pad and taking acetaminophen to ease aches and pains from pushing. Using a pillow or seated ring can also help with discomfort.
Rest and eat well
Because having a new baby at home can be physically exhausting, it’s important to eat energy-rich foods such as complex carbs, healthy fats, protein, whole grains and foods high in vitamins such as vegetables and eggs. While sleeping may be a challenge as you adjust to your infant’s schedule and feedings, try to build in extra support so you can take naps and sleep when the baby is sleeping. Your OB/GYN will likely advise not exercising for six to eight weeks but short walks around your neighborhood or house can help boost circulation and blood flow, which promotes recovery.
Monitor your moods
Pregnancy and childbirth trigger hormonal changes that can impact your moods and emotions. Some women report feelings of anxiety or depression right after birth lasting for up to two weeks. If you are experiencing anxiety, difficulty sleeping or crying spells, know what you are not alone and it’s OK to ask for support. If these symptoms persist, you may have postpartum depression. It’s important to communicate changes to your OB/GYN at your follow up appointment or schedule a screening if you think you might be at risk. Your first postpartum appointment should take place between three to 12 weeks after delivery.
At Adriatica Women’s Health, our board-certified physicians will provide the extra level of maternity care needed for postpartum care. We’re experienced doctors—and moms—and we’re proud to provide you with the advanced, compassionate obstetric care you need.