Your body has been the home of your growing baby for the last 40 weeks, well done on making it through – especially that last stretch! Congratulations on the birth of your new baby, now the fun really starts. Your body is going through all kinds of hormonal, physical and emotional changes. No one said this was going to be glamorous.
In this guide we will cover a few of these changes and talk about the side effects of different deliveries.
You thought that you felt weepy during pregnancy? Ha! Day 3 if you are breastfeeding will bring a change in hormones as you start to release pro-lactin for your real milk to come in. You’ve been up every 2-4 hours feeding a new baby, you may be feeling more than tender in the nether regions or recovering from the surgery of a Caesarean. Crying is perfectly normal and your baby won’t judge you so go easy on yourself. Try to sleep as much as you can when your baby sleeps, take the time to give yourself a hot bath – this can be really helpful if your breasts become engorged at all. Get into a position on all fours and massage your breasts gently, watch the magic as your milk flows into the hot water. You will not run out of milk, supply meets demand and this factory is so efficient.
So you have been housing this little one for all this time, you stretched and changed and now it will all go back. Your body is designed to do this and you will be amazed at how naturally everything happens after birth. The uterus is contracting back into place, you can’t miss then when contractions kick in during breast feeding. Lying on your tummy as much as possible will help this process along. In some cultures they bind the belly after birth, this can give you great support after a Caesarean and give you a little more mobility, a great existing Belly Belt is Cherished Belly they have an amazing range of postpartum products that make this time a whole bunch more comfortable.
If you have had a Caesarean section you may notice some major swollen ankles. This is a common complaint after C-sec births. Massage is your friend here and it is for this reason that we give you the option of a manicure or pedicure with your last massage in your Belly Bliss subscription. If you are going to massage the ankles yourself, be sure to use firmer pressure towards the heart and lighter pressure when working back towards the toes.
Getting back in shape
All women can relate to the feeling that you do not feel like yourself at all after birth. Your body has changed and although it will get back to normal (mostly), it is going to take time. Getting yourself into a good routine with baby will help you regain some sort of order of your own schedule, this will usually happen around six weeks after birth and it takes a lot of patience and commitment to get there.
Try to give yourself time out here and there, go for a walk, try to get to the gym if you can and don’t be afraid to reach out to other new moms, your doula and midwife or doctor to talk about the way you are feeling. If you have had a natural birth, you can exercise straight after birth and if you have had a Caesarean then you must wait 6 weeks. Getting moving will help with your mood, getting your pre-pregnant shape back and just make you feel good!
Getting out is not always easy but do try to have a visitor every few days so that you do not feel alone. It is also important to have an adult conversation that doesn’t involve nipple cream, nappies or umbilical cords. You are a mom and you are still a woman.
This is such a special time and it goes so fast, so enjoy every moment, take it all in and go with the flow.