I want to touch on a subject that I feel is placed on the backburner of pregnancy, babies and labor and delivery topics- the postpartum period.
This is my own experience and opinions and every women has a different experience.
Women go through pregnancy and the end result is a beautiful little bundle of joy. Â The process of bringing a child into this world is like none other. Â Itâ€™s the definition of life, itâ€™s beautiful and Iâ€™m still in awe everytime I look at Aiden.
There is, however, another part of this process that is often time overlooked, especially in our society – the postpartum period women go through. Â I donâ€™t want to sound negative, but I think this is something that women should be prepared for when they are pregnant. Â I know when I was pregnant, I researched all about the birth process and knew exactly how I wanted that to go. Â I took a childbirth class and learned all about the unnecessary medical interventions that I was going to try to avoid. Â I felt very prepared for the time I was going to spend in the hospital. Â I was not prepared for what came after I had Aiden in my arms. Â I donâ€™t know why but I didnâ€™t give much thought into what was next.
Here are the symptoms I wasnâ€™t prepared for:
Blood loss. I didnâ€™t realize the amount of blood loss that occurred. Â I knew that you bled, but I didnâ€™t realize that it could last for the entire 6 week period. Â I was a little frightened the first time I went to the bathroom post baby.
Hair loss. Â I also knew this was a possibility, but I didnâ€™t think that clumps would be coming out regularly. Â I have thick hair so Iâ€™m okay, but hair strands EVERYWHERE is a little annoying.
Dizziness. Â This is from being tired and anemic from all the blood loss. Â It doesnâ€™t occur all the time, but does happen here and there.
Hot flashes. Â Again with the hormones, but at night I go to bed just fine and in the middle of it when I wake up for a feeding, I realize Iâ€™m drenched in sweat.
Body pain. Â Birth is hard. Â Itâ€™s especially hard on the mamaâ€™s body. Â I didnâ€™t realize just how sore Iâ€™d be down there and for how long. Â It took about 1.5 weeks before I could move normally. Â Use witch hazel pads to help. Â My lower back and tailbone were sore for a couple of weeks also. Â I think itâ€™s due to breastfeeding, but my upper back, neck and shoulders need either a massive cupping session or a massage pronto. Â Yesterday it hurt to take a deep breath!
The emotions. Â They are getting better now that Iâ€™m 7 weeks out, but in the first couple of weeks, they were all over the place. Â One minute, Iâ€™d be crying tears of joy and then the next feeling so overwhelmed. Â Iâ€™m still much more emotional than I was pre-baby. Â Just be patient with yourself if youâ€™ve just had a baby.
With all the crazy symptoms, there were some things I did to help alleviate them.
1. Had help! Â My mom came and stayed for two weeks with us. Â She cooked, cleaned, alleviated me from baby duty so I could sleep, ran our errands, did laundry, and took care of any other business we needed. Â David was also off work for 4 weeks after that, so that helped a ton as well. Â He was a great help.
2. Â I got my placenta encapsulated. Â I didnâ€™t get to take it due to being on coumadin for my blood clotting disorder until this week, but Iâ€™ve heard great things about taking that first thing. Â Iâ€™ll let you know how I do with it 7 weeks postpartum
3. Acupuncture treatments. Â I gave myself either acupuncture or did moxa treatments about 5 days a week for the first 2 weeks and then decreased it from there to now about 1 time per week. Â I know not everyone is an acupuncturist, but try to visit one postpartum. Â I promise itâ€™ll be money well spent! Â You obviously donâ€™t have to do it daily.
4. Â Prioritize. Â This was difficult for me because I have a hard time saying no to people and I hate letting things go, but during this time you just have to. Â There were times that I didnâ€™t say no to people and it turned into me being exhausted and teary which translated into the baby doing the same. Â Take other peopleâ€™s advice when they say that laundry and cleaning can wait. Â Only do the things that are a necessity for the first couple of weeks. Â Everything else will be there when youâ€™re ready!
5. Â Support. Â Find a support system that you can talk to. Â I talk to my mom everyday and she helps me through the thick and thin. Â I also confide in my husband, although women understand better I think. Â I have started going to a momâ€™s group and hanging out with more moms. Â They give invaluable advice, camaraderie and friendship.
AND remember that when you think you canâ€™t do this (as all mamaâ€™s do), you are already doing it. Â Each and everyday, youâ€™re doing it! Â