Becoming a mother is amazing. A new Mom feels so many joyful emotions when she meets her precious baby for the very first time. After labor, a mother's joy will continue, but she may need to deal with postpartum fatigue, as well as a range of unpleasant physical symptoms.
Moms who've just had babies need special care, and this includes self-care.
Today, it's time to talk about 15 things women should avoid doing two weeks after labor. When a new Mom sidesteps these pitfalls, she'll be able to take good care of herself and her baby. For example, new Moms shouldn't push themselves too hard, or skip meals, or get dehydrated. This practical list will make it easier for new Moms to handle the changes and recover from childbirth, whether they've had natural deliveries or C-sections.
The first two weeks at home with a newborn is like no other time in a woman's life. Women tend to have anxiety, especially if they're caring for their first babies. When they learn the rules and follow them, they'll enjoy greater peace of mind, and also find it easier to cope with all baby care tasks.
This list is a sensible guideline for new mommies. It's designed to help them feel good as they look after their babies.
15 Don’t Do Too Much – New Moms Need to Rest
When your bring your adorable newborn home, you'll probably be exhausted, because labor is rough. You may feel like you have to be superwoman and push through your physical discomfort and tiredness in order to make sure that your new baby gets the best of care.
In a way, you're right. Babies do require frequent feedings, cuddling, baths, clothes changes and a whole lot more. Newborns are wonderful, but a lot of work.
Your goal during weeks one and two should be to take care of what's really important, and let other tasks slide for a while.
Do what's essential, because you can catch up on other stuff later on, when life isn't as hectic. Focus on baby care and bonding with your infant. Don't push yourself too hard. Everything else can wait.
14 Don’t Get Dehydrated – Lots of Fluids Are Essential
If you're home with a new baby, you may be getting the hang of nursing. Some moms nurse, while others give their babies bottles of formula. Regardless of which choice you've made, you should know that your own fluid intake matters, too.
Sometimes, when we get busy, we just don't drink enough pure water or other healthy fluids. This is bad news, because dehydration is the number one cause of fatigue in women.
Plus, moms who nurse and don't get enough fluids may have difficulty producing sufficient mother's milk.
Make time to drink eight 8 oz. glasses of water each day. It's one of the secrets of making nursing easier and fighting postpartum fatigue. If you forget to drink enough fluids, you may hit a wall of fatigue that makes you feel miserable.
13 Don’t Skip Meals- Proper Nutrition Makes It Easier to Recover
You will need proper nutrition while you are recovering from labor and taking care of a newborn. Your body has been through so many big changes. It needs nutrients to repair itself and get strong again.
If you can afford it, a meal plan delivery service that features balanced meals might be a good option for weeks one and two. If you're lucky, you'll have loved ones by your side, bringing you food or making you food at your home.
No matter what your situation is, try to put a high priority on personal nutrition.
You may be nursing a baby and you'll need to eat well in order to produce abundant and healthy mother's milk.
Even if you're not nursing, you'll need calories for energy and to heal from the rigors of childbirth.
12 Don’t Stop Moving Around – Staying Still Raises The Risk Of Clots
Sure, you need rest at this time, but you should still move around. When you don't move around, you'll raise the risk of blood clots. While lying on a bed a lot with your newborn may be deeply appealing, because your body is healing and you're feeling tired, it's good to do some gentle walking, even if it's just from one room in your home to another. Your postpartum body will benefit from the movement. It's healthy to start moving again, even in very small doses.
The risk of postpartum clots lasts until about six weeks after labor.
Moving around sometimes is one of the best ways to lower the risks. Tennis legend (and possible GOAT), Serena Williams, had dangerous blood clots after giving birth to her daughter, Alexis Olympia, but Serena is feeling better now.
11 Don’t Get too close with a Partner
It takes time for a woman's private parts to heal after labor, and this is why doctors advise new moms to avoid private contact with their partners for four to six weeks. During weeks one and two with a new baby, being close with a partner will probably be the last thing on your mind. You will be consumed with baby care tasks and adjusting to life as a new mom. So, you probably won't feel too deprived.
Your partner might feel deprived. Your partner needs to understand that avoiding private contact until at least week four is doctor's orders.
Once you've gotten into a groove of taking care of your baby, and your energy starts to flood back, it'll be time to think about romance. It'll be something to look forward to.
10 Don’t Have Too Many Visitors
You want to show off your new baby, and people that care about you want to see your new baby. This is why you may feel compelled to have a lot of people over. Try to scale back. Stagger the visits. You're going to be very tired and busy. The first two weeks at home should be about bonding with your baby as closely as possible. It should be about you, your baby, and your partner, if you have one.
While a visit or two may be fun, don't over-schedule. It's better to wait until a newborn is bigger and stronger before showing a new baby to a lot of new people.
In the meantime, send pics of your beautiful baby to loved ones. Thank them for their presents, good wishes and support.
9 Don’t Take the Baby to Busy Places Because Of Germs
At some point, you're going to get cabin fever. You're going to want fresh air. You're going to want to give your baby access to fresh air. This is fine, as long as you dress your newborn for the weather. However, you shouldn't take your baby to busy places, such as malls, which are hotbeds for germs.
Your baby's immune system isn't yet strong enough to fight off certain germs which might be present in busy environments.
Stick to walks around the block and things like that. Keep your outdoor excursions brief, and avoid exposing your newborn to germs in buildings with plenty of people and recirculated air. To be on the safe side, wait until week three or four to take your baby to busy places. It's the smartest way to protect your baby from illness.
8 Don’t Stop Taking Prenatal Vitamins
You know that prenatal vitamins are important during pregnancy, but you may not know that you should keeping taking these vitamins for a while after you have a baby. If you have questions about taking these vitamins after childbirth, talk to your baby's pediatrician. Lots of nursing moms take prenatal vitamins, because they help to produce very nourishing mother's milk.
Prenatal vitamins are loaded with vitamin K, vitamin E, vitamin D and vitamin A, in addition to niacin, vitamin C and riboflavin. One other great thing about prenatal vitamins is their iron content.
After childbirth, you may find that your energy stores are basically depleted, and getting iron from these vitamins may be hugely beneficial.
Low iron levels aren't uncommon in new moms. Blood loss during labor is one reason why.
7 Don’t Stop Sleeping – Nap When The Baby Does
You've probably heard enough "new Mom" stories to know that fatigue is very normal after childbirth. No one expects to get a ton of sleep while caring for a newborn. However, you do need some sleep in order to feel human. Plus, lack of sleep often leads to errors. You may notice that you make more mistakes when you're tired. This is true of almost all of us.
Since you're caring for a newborn, you've got to try and grab sleep whenever you can.
If you don't, you may find that you aren't on top of baby care tasks the way that you should be.
Also, new moms who are sleep-deprived shouldn't be driving. There are lots of reasons to get as much sleep as you can. Napping when the baby naps is the smartest survival strategy.
6 Don’t Give Up On Nursing
Nursing is really easy for some new moms and harder for others. Since nursing is good for babies, you should make an attempt to stick it out with nursing, even if you're one of the unlucky moms who finds it difficult.
If you do need to stop nursing, for whatever reason, don't beat yourself up about it. Nursing isn't for everyone and no one has the right to judge you for feeding your baby formula in a bottle. Just try as best you can to make nursing work, if it is part of your new mom parenting plan.
When you make the decision to nurse, you'll protect the baby against eczema and allergies, strengthen the baby's digestive system, boost the baby's immune system and reduce the threat of SIDS.
5 Don’t Skip the downstairs Exercises
Getting back into shape after giving birth doesn't mean grueling workouts. It means gentle movement that helps to protect you from blood clots, as well as Kegel exercises which help you to get your internal muscles back in peak condition.
Doing a Kegel is so easy and you can do them almost anywhere. The movement is about flexing the same muscle that cuts off urine mid-stream. When you do Kegels daily, these easy exercises will help you to heal.
To do a Kegel with perfect form, flex the pelvic floor muscle and keep flexing for five seconds. Try to do as many five-second repetitions as you can. There are little devices you can buy that help you to do Kegel workouts, but it's simple to perform Kegels without any devices or fitness equipment.
4 Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
This is a big one. You may feel too proud to reach out for help, even when life with your new and beloved baby is wearing you down. It's natural to be tired and occasionally stressed when caring for a newborn. If you have a support system around you, ask the people who love you the most to help you out when you need a break. Maybe you need an hour to yourself, to run errands or just to sleep. Listen to your body and reach out when your body says, "stop".
It's true that some people have bigger support systems than others. If you're going it alone and you're tired or anxious, let a friend know or look for help from community services. Don't suffer in silence. Things will get easier.
3 Don’t Ignore Symptoms Of Postpartum
Postpartum depression is definitely real. It doesn't hit everyone, but hits those that it affects very hard. Some famous ladies have struggled with PPD (postpartum depression), including Chrissy Teigen and Brooke Shields. It can happen to you, too.
If you've noticed that you're feeling blue after giving birth, please talk to your doctor. Symptoms of postpartum depression include severe mood swings, a lot of crying, changes in eating habits, withdrawal from friends and family, trouble sleeping or sleeping too much, and trouble bonding with the baby. Major fatigue is also a symptom of this disorder.
Postpartum depression is treated with a blend of medication and psychotherapy. Help is out there. Try to find the strength to ask for it. It's the best thing for your baby and yourself. You can feel better soon.
2 Don’t Skip Feminine Hygiene
After labor, you'll need to take good care of your most private body parts. These delicate areas should be washed with warm water. To make the process easier, put warm water into a spray bottle and then use it clean your private parts a few times a day. If you had a natural delivery, this part of your body may be sore and feel a lot different than it did before you had a baby. Keeping the area clean, with simple warm water, is one of the best ways to promote healing.
Also, if you had stitches after childbirth, during a natural delivery, you should know that drinking plenty of water will make your urine milder, which means less stinging while you are going to the washroom. This is yet another great reason to stay hydrated.
1 Don’t Be Frightened Of Postpartum Cramps
Postpartum cramps are normal, unfortunately. These annoying contractions help the uterus to revert to its pre-labor dimensions. These cramps serve a purpose, but they're still no fun.
Women have to deal with a lot of pain in their lives, from menstrual cramps to the discomfort of pregnancy to childbirth to postpartum discomfort. To deal with pain from postpartum cramps, which are also called afterpains, urinate as often as possible. Putting a pillow under your tummy when you lie down will help, too. Some moms use heating pads to soothe discomfort. Others self-massage their lower bellies. Ibuprofen is the safest medication for new mothers who are dealing with afterpains.
If your postpartum cramps are out of control, talk to your doctor. He or she may be able to recommend a stronger medication that's safe.
References: Merckmanuals.com, Verywellfamily.com, Parenting.com