Reducing Postpartum Stress

by Hannah Bajor

As a midwife I put a lot of thought and effort into my pregnancy and birthing experience. My first son was born at home in a birthing pool surrounded by people I loved. But none of my midwifery knowledge prepared me for the first few weeks after having a baby.

For me the postpartum period was very stressful and physically challenging. Here are some postpartum stress reducing survival tips that made the end of my second pregnancy more enjoyable.

  • Arrange help for the household chores. You may be too exhausted to keep up with everything postpartum. Don't be afraid to ask for help during your pregnancy or request maid cleaning gift certificates as a great baby shower gift.

  • Stock your freezer with pre-cooked meals. New moms get hungry at odd hours and it is not unusual to be too tired to cook. Add nutritious meals to your "can I help?" list.

  • Schedule chiropractic adjustments during the first week postpartum. Pregnancy and childbirth moves many of your pelvic bones out of alignment (even if you have a cesarean section birth). Use the expertise of your chiropractor to realign your pelvis, hips and back. This will definitely reduce postpartum stress and expedite your postpartum recovery.

  • Have a good supply of large sanitary napkins and adult diapers in your hospital bag and at home. I am not kidding! After pregnancy new moms will experience very heavy bleeding postpartum and regular sanitary towels will not do the job. Most hospitals give new moms cheap sanitary towels postpartum. This will also save your bed linen from been destroyed.

  • Sleep when your baby sleeps. As a new mom postpartum be prepared to be exhausted. Take every opportunity to sleep whenever your baby sleeps.

  • Don't be afraid to cry (and do not worry about it). Pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum results in changing levels of hormones. After childbirth there is a rapid decrease in hormones that occurs approximately on the third, fifth and tenth day. These hormone adjustments can be emotionally challenging for the mother. You may cry for no apparent reason so let it out and know this is all part of a normal pregnancy postpartum.

  • Supplement with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that are breast-feeding safe. Every organ and system in your body is under a lot of physical stress postpartum as they attempt to return to their normal non pregnancy state. High quality vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that are safe for breast feeding will provide the foundation to prevent postpartum complications and result in an overall a better pregnancy experience, and help support you through many challenges birth and motherhood.

Having a new baby is a wonderful time in a woman's life. Plan ahead and think of ways to support yourself physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually ahead of time before you are all consumed with your new baby. I am a great believer in the good internal health of the body for optimum health and pretension of stress, sickness, disease and depression.

Motherhood can be an extraordinary, yet exhausting experience for a woman. Pregnancy has a huge emotional, mental, spiritual, and energetic side to it. The more you understand these aspects, the easier and less symptomatic your pregnancy and postpartum will be. Learning how to connect with the emotions of your new baby will allow you to enhance your postpartum experience and create long term, strong bonding between you and your baby. It will also allow your baby to be more contented and be an easier child to manage.

If you are facing any emotional challenges after having a baby then you are not alone. The postpartum period is a difficult transition for many women and you many need professional support to stay balanced. Reach out for help if you need it.

Copyright © Hannah Bajor. Permission to republish granted to Pregnancy.org, LLC.