Congratulations, mama! While rocking that little bundle of joy in your arms, take a second to pat yourself on the back. You have achieved one of the most laborious yet ultimately gratifying and rewarding feats: childbirth. Now, it is time to take a breath, pause, and recover.
Childbirth takes a physical toll on your body, which is visible. However, the hoops it puts you through mentally are not visible. Whether having a C-section or a vaginal delivery, your body undergoes immense stress and labour. Therefore, your body needs pampering, rest, and recovery to bounce back and revitalize. The 6-12 weeks post-delivery is the postpartum period—and every new mama needs self-care and a support system during that time.
Becoming a mother is more than pregnancy, the water breaking, and delivering a baby. It is months of hard work, stress, routine adjustments, mental rollercoasters, and physical changes. It is months of mood swings and unpredictable dietary requests, an amalgamation of the joy of becoming a mother, anticipation of welcoming a child, and worries about the changes you experience.
Once you have soldiered through all the pregnancy semesters, it is time for maternity care. The postpartum period is the next 6-12 weeks following your baby’s delivery.
The weeks and months following your baby’s arrival are a time of adjustments and healing. You know the importance of prenatal care but must wonder if postpartum care is equally essential. In addition to ensuring your baby acclimatizes to the new surroundings safely and healthily, your safety and health are as crucial. Along with fawning over your little one, you must also share the front seat with your mental and physical health.
A dedicated self-care routine and building a strong postpartum support group help you power through the postpartum period. Self-care includes prioritizing your health and understanding its importance. On the other hand, a support network could consist of your partner, family, friends, doctor, and nurses. A support group ensures you have someone to lean on and ask for help. Whether in-person or a dial away, they are there for you in your time of need.
Think of your post-delivery period as coming down from a rush—sugar or otherwise. It is your post-climax period after a grand build-up. It drains you physically, mentally, and emotionally. Putting self-care in the mix might not even cross your mind during this time, hence the need for a support network.
Regardless of the first delivery or third, the importance of postpartum care will never diminish. A support network is your unbreakable bubble, from giving you strength and motivating you to providing you with the essential resources to holding your hand through post-delivery complications.
People in your support group have been with you during your prenatal care and delivery, and now they will accompany you on your postpartum journey. They understand you. They know when and how to look for signs you need help if you cannot ask for it yourself. For instance, you might be retreating inside your shell unknowingly. A loved one who knows you can step in before things tumble south.
A new mama might feel healthy, but post-delivery check-ups can reveal irregular blood pressure or internal complications, such as painful breastfeeding, diabetes, or excessive bleeding. Having a nurse or an OB-GYN in your support network can help you in case of high complications and provide you with the proper care and guidance.
Every new mother must dote on herself. Pampering and self-care accelerate post-delivery healing. You can tend to your mental and physical needs in various ways, such as:
Pregnancy and delivery stretch your body thin and thin—physically, emotionally, and mentally. The postpartum period is your time to heal and be kind to yourself. Prioritize your health, take time for yourself, and indulge in new hobbies! You can also lean on your support system for extra care and love. Postpartum healing ensures your and your baby’s safety and development.