The Other Side Of Motherhood | Postpartum 101

by Sinitta B

The Other Side Of Motherhood | Postpartum 101

No matter how much you read, how many mom friends you talk to, or even how many doulas’ brains you pick, it’s tough to know exactly how your labor and delivery will go down.

Emotionally the birth of a baby can trigger a jumble of powerful emotions, from excitement and joy to fear and anxiety.

Postpartum Tips

What Happens To your Body After Birth

After childbirth, a dramatic drop in hormones (Estrogen and Progesterone) in your body may contribute to this. Other hormones produced by your thyroid gland also may drop sharply — which can leave you feeling tired, sluggish and depressed. In addition, when you’re sleep deprived and overwhelmed, you may have trouble handling even minor problems.

You may be anxious about your ability to care for a newborn. You may feel less attractive, struggle with your sense of identity or feel that you’ve lost control over your life.

Any of these issues can contribute to Baby blues, Postpartum anxiety and even Postpartum depression.

Physically, along with the joys of welcoming your little one into the world come an individualized variety pack of postpartum challenges. Following are a few:

Postpartum Challenges

  • Chills: Uncontrollable chills right after the birth of the baby are fairly common. These are caused by all of the adrenaline produced in your body while you’re pushing can cause it once you stop. All you need to do is try to relax and ask for extra blankets
  • Engorgement: For many medical and personal reasons, a lot of moms do not breastfeed. It could be really painful if you do not have that milk released.
    However, milk production will stop if you’re not expressing it or nursing, but in the meantime, you can treat engorgement by taking pain medication approved by your doc and applying a cold pack to your breasts for 15 minutes at a time every hour as needed. 
  • Sweating: Lower levels of Estrogen and the body’s attempt to rid itself of excess fluids can trigger night sweats or hot flashes after you give birth. To curb all that dripping, try drinking cold water (which will preempt dehydration) and doing your best to relax by practicing meditation or deep breathing techniques. 
  • Pee-pee: You may have zero bladder control for the first few weeks after a vaginal birth. Do note, the first week of peeing can also sting at the stitches.
    Moms have spoken about laughing not being able to stop peeing! All you need to work on is some kegal exercises to tighten your pelvic muscles.

  • Healing: average time for postpartum period to last is six weeks. However a third degree tear is totally normal. It absolutely can take months for a serious vaginal tear to heal, and the pain isn’t something that should be dismissed. Pelvic floor exercises can improve circulation and decrease swelling and pain.
  • Hair: Postpartum hair loss is a serious issue! It can change your hairline forever.
    Hormones like estrogen can affect the texture of your hair after giving birth.
    Postpartum hair loss, caused by plummeting estrogen levels, generally resolves over time. But if persists, or you’re concerned, talk to your doctor to rule out any underlying issues.
  • Blood: It could take long to heal from tearing. You can bleed for up to 6 weeks straight. Basically, you are in survival mode the moment right after you give birth.
    Pack up on good absorbent pads to survive this.
  • Breastfeeding:  You read books and think they just latch. But most of the time, there is so much more to it. If breastfeeding doesn’t happen naturally consider meeting a lactation consultant to help you through the journey
  • Post labor contractions: when you breastfeed in the beginning, you have contractions and bleed because your uterus is shrinking. As you breastfeed, your body produces the hormone oxytocin, known as the “cuddle hormone.” But its purpose isn’t all warm and fuzzy: It can also cause uterine contractions and bleeding.

  • Overall well-being: sleep deprivation is overwhelming! It can overwhelm any and every mom. it’s okay to ask for help, how you forget to take care of yourself (forgetting to shower, eat, etc.), how everyone is so concerned about the baby that people forget that your body is recovering from a huge traumatic event.

Don’t hesitate to reach out and request support from family and friends for the benefit of your body and mind. Sure, there’s an adorable new human in the world — thanks to your body enduring pregnancy and childbirth, which is nothing to sneeze at either. You deserve rest, healing time, and all of the help.

Every mom’s postpartum experience and the emotional, physical, and mental changes you face following birth are unique.
But no matter how gasp-worthy, wild, or complicated things get, you can take heart in knowing that you’re not alone.

And there’s absolutely no shame in leaning on loved ones, friends, and your healthcare provider for the individualized support you need.

With love,

Sinitta Balchandani

Founder; Mamacare