Recovering From Birth
After birth, most of the focus is on caring for your new baby. But new mothers must also take special care of themselves after giving birth and while breastfeeding. This will help you regain your energy and strength. When you take care of yourself, you can best care for and enjoy your baby.
After the birth of your baby, your doctor will talk to you about these and other things you will experience as your body starts to recover:
- You will have a vaginal discharge called lochia. This is the tissue and blood that lined your uterus during pregnancy. It is heavy and bright red at first but will become lighter in flow and color until it disappears after a few weeks.
- You might also have swelling in your legs and feet. You can reduce swelling by keeping your feet elevated whenever possible.
- You might feel constipated. Try to drink plenty of water and eat fresh fruits and vegetables.
Your doctor will check your recovery at your postpartum visit approximately 2-4 weeks after birth. Ask about resuming normal activities and any eating/fitness plans to help you return to a healthy weight. Also, ask your doctor about having sex and birth control. If you do not breastfeed, your period could return in six to eight weeks. If you breastfeed, your period might not resume for many months.
After childbirth, you may feel sad, weepy, and overwhelmed for a few days. Many new mothers have the “baby blues” after giving birth. Changing hormones, anxiety about caring for the baby, and lack of sleep affect your emotions. Be patient with yourself. These feelings are normal and usually go away quickly. But if sadness lasts more than two weeks, see your doctor right away because you might have a severe but treatable condition called postpartum depression. Postpartum depression can happen at any time within the first year after birth.
Signs of postpartum depression include:
- Feeling restless or irritable
- Feeling sad, depressed, or crying a lot
- Having no energy
- Having headaches, chest pains, heart palpitations (the heart being fast and feeling like it is skipping beats), numbness, or hyperventilation (fast and shallow breathing)
- Not being able to sleep and being very tired
- Not being able to eat and weight loss
- Overeating and weight gain
- Trouble focusing, remembering, or making decisions
- Being overly worried about the baby
- Not having any interest in the baby
- Feeling worthless and guilty
- Having no interest or getting no pleasure from activities like sex and socializing
- Thoughts of harming your baby or yourself
Some women are uncomfortable sharing these symptoms or emotions because they feel embarrassed or guilty about having these feelings at a time when they think they should “be happy.” Don’t let this happen to you! Postpartum Depression is very common. Your provider is here to support you and help you through various therapy and medication. We will respect your wishes about your medical care while understanding when medical interventions might be necessary. We will always explain your treatment options and answer all of your questions as we help you through your postpartum journey.
Postpartum Depression does not only affect the mother. Emerging research suggests that 1 in 10 new fathers may experience depression during or after pregnancy. Expecting new fathers with emotional challenges or showing signs or symptoms of depression should talk to their doctors.
Celebration Obstetrics & Gynecology
Call Toll Free: (877) 800-0239
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410 Celebration Place Suite 208
Celebration, FL 34747
2209 North Blvd, Ste. C
Davenport, FL 33837