After all the work of labor and delivery, there is a lot in store for a new mom. Although a mom may spend a lot of time in preparation for her baby’s arrival into the world, she still might not have considered how much will change for her in just the first two weeks alone.
Doctors and nurses may focus on the medical side of things, and friends and family may focus on how excited they are about a new addition. However, there are some things that a mom might also want to know, which inevitably comes with the territory of pushing out a new tiny human into the world. Some moments of motherhood may not look too glamorous and may require enduring strange garments, feeling tired, dealing with tumultuous emotions, and still having to maintain the strength and energy to spend time with the baby.
Not to worry, many mothers have gone through these challenges and more before, and moms will continue to carry on into the future. Luckily, having a baby does come with some fun and quirky perks, from wearing gauze underpants to feeling like a mini-celebrity when people are commenting on selfies with the baby. Getting used to a post-baby physique may take some time, but after surviving the first two weeks, a mom should give herself some credit for being a superwoman.
Moms are super strong and powerful, and giving birth to a little one is no small feat. However, moms should be prepared to feel plenty of fatigue during their postpartum recovery.
Moms can experience postpartum fatigue due to complications with their thyroid gland or may be experiencing a let down of energy because of fluctuating hormones.
No matter the cause, it is important for moms to pamper themselves, get rest, take vitamins, and stay healthy. It can be challenging to feel energetic when you are sleeping in microbursts between diaper changes, feedings and adjusting to a newborn’s demands.
Naps are a mom’s new best friend after the baby is born.
Moms should be happy to take any help from friends, family, and not feel like they are not living up to supermom status and trying to take care of everything and everyone for a change.
It can be hard for a mom to shake off any feelings of guilt if she is able to get some time away for a massage, get her hair and nails down, or get out of the house while someone watches the baby for a little bit.
Moms should trust their instincts, and permit themselves to have some assistance and downtime as they adjust to life postpartum.
After giving birth, taking a bath may not be an option for a while. Most likely a mom will have some stitches after delivery, and will need plenty of time to heal.
Also, while mom is in postpartum recovery, her nerves and muscles might occasionally feel a little shaky, which can make it challenging getting into and out of the shower or bath.
Showers are going to be a lot easier than a bath for the first couple of weeks, and mom won’t give in to relaxing in the bathroom a little too long, so she won’t miss out on whatever the baby may need.
Postpartum, moms may be shocked to discover that the baby will not be the only one with a swaddled butt.
After delivering the baby, a mom’s body will be spending a few weeks or more discharging tissue, fluids, and showcasing the world’s scariest and longest period episode. Yeah, fun times.
In order to keep mom’s lady bits nice and tidy, and to reduce any unwanted pressure on the lower regions, moms can look forward to wearing strange ill-fitting disposable underwear.
They are ugly, feel funny while being worn, but considering the red mess that is escaping a mom’s body postpartum, it’s a better option than ruining the lingerie.
Moms postpartum will want to keep some cream handy because if a mother chooses to nurse her baby following delivery, she will soon discover that the girls will not get much downtime.
Babies need to nurse a lot. After all, their tiny bodies require plenty of sustenance to thrive, and cozying up to mom’s chest for some skin-to-skin contact feels nice, promotes a baby’s healthy development, and is super important for bonding.
Unfortunately, when a baby is latching on, it is not the nicest feeling in the world. Who knew a baby’s suction was that strong? OMG.
Moms should stock up on creams, nursing pad, and anything else to help reduce pain, soreness, and itching.
Soon after the baby is delivered, a nurse will usually massage a mother’s abdomen to encourage the uterus to contract, and help reduce the risk of hemorrhaging.
A week or two later, mom may still discover that her body still looks more pregnant than not, although the baby is no longer living it up in the uterus. Not to worry, according to Mom Tricks, wearing a girdle, belly wrap, or corset can help mom deal with the post-baby bump left behind. Wearing some support for the tummy between postnatal massages can encourage the uterus to contract, helps reduce back pain, and can improve a mother’s body confidence.
Especially if a mother has a C-section to deliver their child, it is essential to get plenty of rest and give the body time to recover.
According to Healthline, healing up from a C-section can take anywhere from 6 to 8 weeks before things are closer to normal. Using a heating pad, being cautious about pulling or tension on the incision site, and having friends and family help with the baby and around the house is a must.
Moms should not feel any guilt about resting in bed when needed and being gentle on their body in order to recover.
If a mother experiences any heavy bleeding, pain around the incision, swelling, or a fever, she should contact her doctor immediately.
Giving birth is a major life event worth celebrating, documenting, and showering both mom and the baby with lots of love and attention.
After all the planning, announcements, and preparation, when the baby is delivered and mom is postpartum, it’s no wonder everyone wants constant updates, selfie pics, and to drop by and visit.
It might be challenging for a tired mom to keep up appearances when family and friends want to visit, give gifts, and offer any help. Mom should be prepared with a birth plan, and to alert her spouse or her birthing buddy to make her wishes known.
Mom shouldn’t stress herself out trying to please everyone either.
Motherhood and delivering a baby brings on a host of changes. Namely, I’m talking about the need for a special type of bath and clutching a donut pillow to cushion a sore and tender bum and ladybits.
The sitz bath may be looked at with revile or doubt if it will work, but most moms will eventually learn to appreciate the sitz bath to help heal up the V, and soothe away piles, and pain in the lower region.
Placed carefully in the toilet and filled with warm water, spending 10 to 15 minutes with the seat immersed in the sitz bath can bring a bit of welcome relief for a mom recovering during postpartum.
Being a mother requires a connection to the emotions and understanding that hormones play a large role in postpartum life.
The spouse, family, and friends should all be made aware that there will be times when a mom will feel really excited and happy, and then may slump into feelings of anger, sadness or confusion. It is all normal and part of the process.
When mom was pregnant, her hormones were at a certain level of production because she was carrying a new life. After the baby debuts into the world, those hormones are going to come crashing down.
Moms should be aware of their emotions and consequent physical changes such as profuse sweating. If anything seems extreme, moms should seek out professional help.
If it wasn’t enough to have a nurse pushing down on a mother’s stomach after delivery, and subjecting oneself to postnatal massages, the uterus is not done yet.
Moms may feel occasional pain in their abdomen, ranging from dull aches, to sudden shocks of pain, thanks to the uterus slowly contracting back to its original size. The uterus did go through a lot of crazy distension, in order to provide the baby with a home for nine whole months.
Additionally, moms should be cautious about aches and pains caused by constipation, dehydration, and stress over using the toilet because of healing from stitches.
Mom may want to grab an energy drink or soda to boost up her energy levels in a pinch, but it is far better to drink plenty of water when postpartum.
Drinking lots of water helps a mom deal with swelling post-baby, helps produce breastmilk if deciding to nurse, and helps flush the body of toxins to speed along recovery.
Moms can lose a lot of water from sweating, elimination, and nursing, so drinking water is the best beverage. Moms should try to drink about 6 to 10 glasses of water a day according to Parent Help 123.
Keeping a water bottle close by throughout the day that can be refilled helps a lot.
It’s embarrassing, painful, irritating, and strange, but following a baby most mothers do experience hemorrhoids.
Luckily, sitting on a sitz bath, placing a donut cushion or gel cushion in a seat to reduce pain and pressure, and applying an over-the-counter medicine to the affected area can help.
Who knew that stretch marks and a linea nigra were not the only battle scars possible after living through pregnancy, delivery, and labor? Typically piles goes away with treatment, but for one woman according to Cosmopolitan, postpartum she was not so lucky. She managed to suffer from recurring hemorrhoids up to 4 years after delivering her baby! Yikes!
After dropping off the baby successfully, a mom might be surprised to still experience some swelling.
Unfortunately, despite losing a little bit of weight after giving birth to the baby and placenta, a mom still may be retaining lots of fluid, which leave her looking and feeling uncomfortably bloated.
Mom can exercise patience, drink water, eat healthily, and walk around to help gradually relieve her edema.
According to Mom Junction, moms experience postpartum edema because of excess blood in their body and hormonal changes. Swelling in the face, around the belly, legs, and feet can stick around for some time.
Usually, after a week, things calm down for a mom.
It’s a common experience for many mothers postpartum to be questioned about their upcoming delivery date, even though their baby is in their arms or riding in the stroller.
Many new moms might be shocked, but postpartum, most mother’s bodies still look like they are still carrying a baby. Thanks to a gradually shrinking uterus, excess body fluids leading to edema, and putting on weight to support a baby, it’s no wonder why.
Although a mother can’t start heavily exercising two weeks postpartum, drinking water, eating healthy foods, and walking around for low-impact exercise can slowly make some progress with weight loss, and losing the post-baby bump.
Having a baby is a lot of work and it takes a lot of energy. If a mom thought she had strange food cravings when she was carrying her bundle of joy, look out for the weeks following during postpartum.
A mom’s body may be craving various forms of nutrition in the form of french fries, sandwiches with a double helping of toppings, or diving into childhood food favorites. Yes, there may be some comfort eating during the postpartum period, but usually, cravings are a matter of satisfying hunger and energy needs.
When possible, it is okay to satisfy cravings, but moms should try to eat healthy foods and drink plenty of water.
It’s no wonder why some moms feel like running away from the toilet, even if they really have the urge to go.
Most mothers who manage to deliver their baby through the V may have to get stitches from tearing or may experience hemorrhoids. So, the idea of having to bear down when everything below the belt is feeling a little tender and sore is not something to look forward to doing.
Luckily, most mothers are outfitted with a wash bottle to gently clean themselves when needing to visit the bathroom, instead of risking using treacherous feeling toilet paper. Taking a laxative or eating foods that help soften things up in the digestive system may be helpful too.
After delivery, mom is going to have to wait before breaking out into intense crunches to try to subdue the post-baby belly.
The risk of experiencing health complications is too great, considering that some women may experience muscle separation in their abdomen or stomach. It may suck to have to wait some weeks to a few months before hitting the gym, but there are some things a mom can do while she waits.
Wearing a supportive belly wrap or girdle can help knit the abdomen muscles back together, and reduces back pain and stress. Also, drinking water, eating healthy, and walking around help gradually stimulate weight loss in a healthy way.
If a mother is having a challenging time eliminating in the bathroom, it’s no wonder why. Living with stitches, piles, worn out muscles in the abdomen, and stress can make things tricky.
The best solution for a mom is to be patient with herself, and increase her intake of water, fruit, vegetables, and to take a laxative to soften up stools. It’s not a pretty topic to think about, but eventually, things are going to have to come out to prevent illness and distress.
After the first time going to the bathroom, things will get easier despite recovering from stitches, separated muscles, or dispelling fears of the worst happening.
Hot flashes, waking up in a pool of sweat in the night, or feeling a sudden drop of temperature sounds like things that aren’t supposed to happen to a woman until her golden years in life.
However, after having a baby, some weeks into the postpartum period, a mom will experience an intense fluctuation of hormones.
According to Babble, lactating girls, the body trying to rid itself of excess fluids such as water and blood, and hormones can lead to some of the craziest postpartum night sweats leaving a mom completely drenched and in shock.
What to do? Keeping the room cool, wearing lightweight pajamas, and drinking water can help relieve symptoms. Eventually, after enough time passes, the sweating will end.
References: Very Well Family, Alpha Mom, Mom Tricks, Scary Mommy, Self, Healthline, Parents Help 123, Mom Junction, Cosmopolitan, Babble