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5 Things About Postpartum Period | Hea Boosters

When I transitioned from nurturing the little human inside me to holding her in my arms, my focus shifted from taking care of myself to meal preps, cleaning burp clothes and entertaining my little one. I had a sense of what to expect from reading several books, but nothing prepares you for the changes in your body, the demands of a new human being dependent entirely on you for love and nutrition.

In these moments, it is extremely important for moms to have a supported and comforting environment during postpartum recovery. Not only that helps you bond with your little one better but it is good for your own health as well.

I have listed down 5 things that moms should know about postpartum recovery. No matter how you gave birth, the first six weeks of your postpartum is very delicate. It is called a ‘recovery’ period and rightly so.

Birthing is a miracle event, even if you had an easy, quick birthing, these few weeks are crucial for the body to relax and for the muscles to heal and regroup from all the stress and stretch.

Here are 5 things moms should know about postpartum recovery:

1. Mom-fatigue is real:

During the postpartum period, you will feel tired or fatigued, no matter how you delivered. You will be adjusting to the new timetable, figuring out your little one’s sleep cycle, discovering new things about your body, which may leave you feeling tired.

While it is important for moms to have a good nights sleep, sometimes you may not be able to get enough. It is important therefore to be mindful of taking extra care, extra rest, as much as possible to ensure you have a good head-start for recovering. Surround yourself with help, from family, friends, as much as possible to ensure that you get the rest you deserve.

2. You may feel more hungry:


Many moms feel that their appetite has increased after delivery. There can be many reasons for that but one of them is breastfeeding. Breastfeeding takes approximately 300-500 calories. Make sure that you are having a balanced diet that fulfils your nutritional as well as calorific needs.

This will help you stay energised throughout the day and also ensure adequate nutrition for the baby.

Pro-tip:
Do remember to add fiber to your diet, which will help with the bowel movements and prevent constipation (one of the common side effects post-delivery - more in point 5 below)

3. Increase in hair fall:


Hair has a natural life cycle that gets extended due to the higher levels of estrogen in your body while you are pregnant. After delivery, all of these pregnancy hormones go back to normal levels, except prolactin.

As your levels of estrogen decrease post-delivery, you generally start noticing excessive hair fall. This can be controlled by eating a diet rich in protein and micronutrients such as Biotin, Vitamin C, E and A.

4. Vaginal discharge:


You may notice vaginal discharge after 2-3 weeks of delivery. This is how your body eliminates blood and tissues from your uterus that helped your baby grow. This is called lochia and even happens if you had a C-section.

Bleeding is heaviest the first few days after your baby is born. Nothing to worry about, this is completely normal. However, do ensure that rest and nutrition (particularly Vitamin C and Iron) is adequate to compensate for the blood loss.

5. Constipation:


Constipation is very common postpartum, though people barely talk about it. Postpartum constipation happens because your body is still adjusting to the new changes, your sleep patterns, stress and dehydration. Staying hydrated, adding fibrous foods, engaging in gentle exercises can help you get some relief from constipation. It is also advisable to avoid food that triggers constipation, so listen to cues from your own body.

Having a baby is not a 9-month journey alone. The joys of having a child need to be balanced with taking care of your own health. Each mom is different and therefore their post-partum journeys are also different.

Being aware and mentally prepared helps in tackling the changes better. And indulging in some self-care and having nutritious food is the best way to navigate this early period of parenthood.

 

Studies:

Parental fatigue and overinvestment:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6028779/

Reasons for postpartum hair fall:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3884776/

Prevention of postpartum constipation:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6492314/

P.S. A lot of moms also go through postpartum depression, a phase where they consistently feel sad, hopeless, anxious and worthless, which isn’t mostly spoken about. If you have been going through this for more than 3-4 weeks, consider talking to your therapist.

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