A Mother’s Guide to Postpartum Care
As an expecting mother, you are probably counting down the weeks and months leading up to your due date. Most people see the baby’s birth as the finish line of what is often a long, uncomfortable journey. And the day certainly is a huge milestone that any woman should be immensely proud of! But once the baby arrives, the pregnancy journey is hardly over.
A Rollercoaster of Emotions
Women entering the postpartum phase will continue to see drastic changes to their body and experience rapidly changing hormone levels. On top of that, you now need to adjust to taking care of a newborn around the clock.
For this reason, the three months after giving birth are often called the “fourth trimester.” This is a beautiful, magical time when mother and baby can build an amazing bond. But women should also be educated on the causes for concern during the postpartum time.
Read on to learn more about postpartum symptoms, what causes them, and how to treat them.
Women experience both physical changes and emotional issues after they’ve delivered a baby. When you think about it, many of the changes are quite miraculous: breasts suddenly start producing milk to feed the newborn, the uterus sheds tissue from the lining and contracts back down in size, and some of the pounds gained during pregnancy may start to come off.
Unfortunately, many of these natural symptoms to get the body “back to normal” and in the groove for breastfeeding can manifest themselves in unpleasant ways, including vaginal bleeding, breast and vaginal soreness, cramping, constipation, and much more. But perhaps one of the most concerning postpartum symptoms is the risk of postpartum depression and anxiety. Signs of postpartum depression include:
- Sadness, hopelessness, and worry
- Feelings of anger and rage
- Loss of interest in activity or socializing
- Withdrawing from friends and family
- Lack of bonding with the baby
- Suicidal thoughts
- Thoughts about harming the baby
- Lack of appetite or excessive overeating
What Causes Postpartum Depression?
Postpartum depression is usually the result of a massive collision of physical changes and emotional issues women experience after giving birth. Even a woman who bounces back quickly in the physical realm can find themselves struggling emotionally during the postpartum phase.
After childbirth, a woman’s body dramatically cuts back on the production of estrogen and progesterone. This imbalance of hormones is a major contributor to postpartum depression, baby blues, or milder mood swings mothers experience with the arrival of their newborn. Hormones produced by the thyroid gland can also drop, which can lead to a feeling of tiredness and depression.
As if the physical aspects aren’t enough, the emotional experience of bringing a new child into the world can also contribute to postpartum depression. Many women who have a new baby feel overwhelmed and experience severe sleep deprivation. They usually have little to no time for self-care and my lack confidence in their appearance. The lack of control a woman has over this experience often leads to depression of varying degrees.
How Can Postpartum Depression Be Treated?
Because postpartum depression is so common, most doctors are on the lookout for warning signs for up to an entire year after the baby is born. Doctors can help to treat postpartum depression with medication like antidepressants and estrogen patches. Women also find help through counseling and support groups, or by taking proper self-care measures, including:
- Making time for exercise (once the doctor says it’s okay)
- Getting proper amounts of sleep (when possible)
- Talking to other people about postpartum struggles
- Having help to care for the baby
- Getting out on date nights with your spouse
- Practicing forgiveness and not feeling a need to be a perfect mother
Most importantly, postpartum depression is something that needs to be taken seriously and treated as soon as warning signs occur. As with all depression, the condition is treatable and there is hope for any woman suffering postpartum symptoms.
Postpartum care is an important part of the journey into motherhood. Restore Femininity has supplements that can help a woman feel more confident and comfortable as her body transitions out of pregnancy. Learn more about Femininity supplements by contacting us today.