Having a baby is a phenomenal time in a woman’s life. Ask any mother, and she will tell you about how her life seems to change completely with all her energies now focused on the tiny bundle of joy. While the 9 months of pregnancy and delivery are natural occurrences, almost all women go through their own set of challenges during the postpartum recovery period. Even more interesting is the fact that every pregnancy is unique and the issues you faced with your first baby may be completely different the second time around.
Even so, there are a few fundamental issues that you’re most likely to face. Here is a quick overview of the most common child-rearing facts you must keep in mind.
1. You Can’t Rush the Process of Your Body Getting Back in Shape
Once you’ve delivered, it is understandable that you can’t wait to get your body back in shape. Like this infographic on HealthLine explains, aside from the expanding belly and swollen breasts, your body’s internal organs shift to make space for the growing baby. Your spine may also develop a more pronounced curvature to support the weight of the fetus while the ligaments holding your pelvic bones in place may stretch to prepare the body for delivery.
Once the baby is born, it takes time for your body to regain its original shape, and for the organs to return to their normal positions. And, this is one process that you can’t speed along. The best you can do is to get lots of rest, eat a nutritious, balanced diet, and get light exercise to boost blood circulation. In this way, you can help the natural postpartum recovery process along. Doctors advise you to expect to get back to normal in about 6 to 8 months.
2. The Torn Tissues Need Time to Recover
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists tells you that between 53% and 79% of women experience tearing in their tissues during natural childbirth. Depending on the size of the baby, you may have up to 4 varying degrees of lacerations that your doctor will repair. The scar tissue that results from the healing trauma may be tougher leading to numbness and weaker sensations. Some women also sense laxness of the vaginal walls that doesn’t seem to recover months down the line.
With the advice of your gynecologist, you could try the Beverly Hills Rejuvenation Center vaginal rejuvenation procedure. Using radiofrequency energy, this non-invasive option stimulates the regeneration of collagen and elastin in the vagina so that the laxity is reversed. You could also strengthen the pelvic floor and get relief from issues like abnormal discharge, excessive dryness, and incontinence. Rest assured that you can continue to nurse your baby even if you opt for the treatment. Kegel exercises can also help with the postpartum recovery.
3. The Depression is a Result of Hormone Imbalances
The World Health Organization reports that 19.8% of women go through some amount of depression as a part of the postpartum recovery. While hormone imbalances are the primary cause of the anxiety and stress, various other factors can accentuate the possibility. Like, for instance, not getting enough sleep and managing a colicky or fussy baby who won’t quiet down no matter how hard you try. A good option is to enlist the support of friends, family members, and your partner. Getting someone to care for the baby even for a few hours will give you time to rest and recuperate. Remember, you need all your strength to raise the baby. Further, by getting your partner to help, you’ll give the other parent time to bond with the new family member.
Check with the pediatrician for advice on how to comfort your baby. Most mothers and babies need a couple of months to understand each other, and you will learn what your baby needs. Understand that babies have erratic sleeping and waking hours. So, get naps when the baby is sleeping to help with the postpartum recovery. You will be able to set a schedule in a couple of months. Be patient!
4. You May Have to Let Your Career Take a Backseat
Whether it is because of your dedication to your career or financial constraints, you’ll want to get back to work as soon as you can. But, understand that raising a baby also needs commitment. So, go ahead and preplan how you’re going to juggle work and the baby’s needs. Check out this feature on Community.Today that tells you to scout around for daycare centers during your pregnancy. You could also ask your boss to keep you in the loop with the activities at work by CC’ing you on emails, so it is easier for you to pick up where you left off. As a woman living in a contemporary world, there’s no reason why you can’t have a family AND career.
5. Learning How to Breastfeed Takes Time
For most women dealing with postpartum recovery, one of the most challenging tasks is managing the nursing. But, like the Parents magazine advises, both mothers and babies need time to understand how the process works. For the new infant, learning to latch on and suckle may be difficult which is why most newborns prefer the bottle. It’s definitely easier. As the mother, you may find yourself dealing with bleeding, cracked nipples, engorgement, and pain. Your doctor will help you with suggestions like applying creams for healing in the initial couple of weeks and pumping to relieve the buildup of milk. You’ll find that things get much easier as the baby grows, and you work out the most comfortable positions and feeding schedules.
The postpartum recovery period involves a steady learning curve as mother and baby understand each other. No matter how hard it may seem at first, caring for the newborn does get easier as she grows. As you get back your strength and settle into some kind of a routine, you’ll find that motherhood is indeed one of the most incredible experiences. You WILL enjoy every moment!