If you recently gave birth, you're probably focused on the needs of your baby. For nine months, you built up to your delivery and prepared to take care of your child for the years to come. Even if you're still in the middle of your pregnancy, your future daughter or son is likely the first person you're thinking about day in and day out.
Yet after you give birth, you should remember that there's someone else you should be taking care of: yourself. It's easy to forget about your needs when your whole world has been about your pregnancy for nearly a year, yet just as your life was altered during the early days of your first trimester, it's about to undergo even more transitions now that you've delivered your baby. All the hormones produced before your due date will gradually readjust to pre-pregnancy levels and you will slowly heal from the changes involved in birth. During this time, the Rutland and Stamford Mercury offered a few tips to take care of yourself.
"Becoming a parent is a very intense time, full of bittersweet emotions, and the period just after birth is a time when a woman's health can take a turn for better or worse," Emma Cannon, a fertility expert and author, told the news provider. "So often the focus is on the child and the mother is overlooked, or she is trying to 'get back to normal.'"
A few of the issues and what you can do
If you delivered your child vaginally, you may experience a few bladder issues. In addition to keeping close to a bathroom, you can recover faster from these problems by performing pelvic floor exercises. While a cesarean section won't have similar results, the operation can lengthen the time your body needs to recover. The Mercury noted that your body takes about three months to return to normal even after a safe, uncomplicated birth.
However you delivered your child, you should still exercise. Since your joints and hormones will be readjusting after your pregnancy, Andy McNeil, a personal trainer, told the Mercury that mothers should focus on walking and stretching rather than more intense activities.
The U.S. Office on Women's Health also offered a few suggestions to recent mothers. Immediately after birth, you should try and rest up. That doesn't just mean sleeping, but also pacing yourself. Ask for help with any chores around the house instead of trying to clean, cook and care for your child on your own.
Since postpartum depression is also a possibility, you should also enlist friends, relatives or even a therapist to keep the blues away while you're taking care of your baby.
How did you take care of yourself after your pregnancy? Did you have the time to watch over your own health and your baby? Let us know!