Over the last 9 months, your body made some major changes. Now that you’ll be bringing baby home, you’ll likely notice your body shifting once again as it recovers. This postpartum period takes some adjusting. It’s easier when you know what to expect when you first bring your baby home. But…every baby is different.
How Postpartum Life Affects Your Body
Feeling exhausted and sore is expected. Regardless of how you delivered. It’s quite normal to not feel like yourself for 4 to 6 weeks. You might even question why you went through with having a baby in the first place. But as you bond with your baby and get used to being a mom, your hormones are also readjusting.
Trust the process and know that you can speak to your doctor about how you’re feeling if you still feel unbalanced by the time you have your postpartum checkup. While most moms go through “the baby blues” shortly after birth if you still feel this way after a few weeks, your doctor can help you feel like yourself again.
As for your body, expect some vaginal bleeding and after pains in your uterus as it shrinks back down to size. If you’ve had a c-section, be extra gentle with yourself as your body recovers. The pain will subside in a few weeks and it will be easier to do things on your own again.
How to Adjust to Postpartum Life with Baby
You’ll probably have everyone you know tell you to sleep when your baby does. It’s not always possible, but do try to get as much sleep as you can so your body can recover and get your energy back. Your baby will need to eat often, whether you breastfeed or use formula.
You may feel like all you do is feed that baby, but guess what? In a few more weeks, your baby will eat more quickly and you’ll find things are becoming easier. One of the best things you can do during this time is asking for help or accept it when it’s offered.
While you shouldn’t go all over the place, planning a few easy outings can help. Even a simple walk down the street while pushing your baby in a stroller can help you feel better, both emotionally and physically. Plus, the fresh air will also be good for your little one.
How to Feel Like Yourself Again
Even though you’ve likely read all the books on babies and what to expect, nothing can fully prepare you for this wild ride. When you feel overwhelmed, take a moment to breathe and remember that as you bond with your baby, you’ll soon know what her cries mean and how to anticipate her needs.
Above all, don’t be so hard on yourself. Becoming a mom isn’t easy, but there is much joy to be found in the experience. Work on recovering from the strenuous birthing process and take things as they come, putting one foot in front of the other. You’ll soon be through this difficult phase and before you know it, you’ll have a baby that’s crawling across the floor faster than you can say, “Baby!”