After you have a baby, your focus is on your child’s health and well-being — but what about you? Your health is just as important after carrying your baby for nine months. Preparing ahead of time for your postpartum care is vital to your health and mental stability after giving birth.
Dr. Inga Zilberstein is a highly regarded obstetrics and gynecology specialist with an office in the Upper East Side of Manhattan, New York. She offers unrivaled care when it comes to you and your unborn baby, and she helps you prepare for your life after you give birth.
Caring for yourself after delivery
Your main focus after delivery is often your baby. The first few days are usually spent daunting on your new bundle of joy. But you can’t forget to take care of yourself. A lot changes in your body over nine months and after your baby is born.
The best way to stay happy and healthy after giving birth is to plan for the postpartum period. This involves taking a number of steps for the good of both you and your baby. Some of these steps include:
- Limit visitors to allow you and the baby to rest
- Ask for help when you need it
- Drink plenty of water and eat healthy, balanced meals
- Take warm baths to help relieve vaginal discomfort
- Prop your feet up to avoid swelling in your legs
- Get help for cleaning and other tasks
Make sure to stock up on nursing bras that offer much-needed support. Your breasts may be sore from milk engorgement, and a supportive bra can help relieve some discomfort. If you’re going to be breastfeeding, keeping nipple cream on hand helps with dry, chapped nipples that often cause discomfort.
How to adjust to your body
Your emotions are all over the place after having your baby. However, that’s only one piece of the puzzle. Your body also goes through a lot of physical changes in the days to weeks following giving birth, which you need to prepare for before you have your baby.
A few days after birth, your milk comes in, causing your breasts to swell. This can be uncomfortable until you get used to it. Use warm compresses or cold washcloths to help ease your discomfort.
After you give birth, your uterus slowly begins to shrink back to normal. This often leads to uncomfortable cramping in your uterus. It’s only temporary, but if it’s unbearable, ask Dr. Zilberstein about pain medications you can take.
For the first few weeks postpartum, you’ll experience some vaginal discharge and even some bleeding. This is the way your uterus sheds any excess tissue left from the pregnancy. Wear pads to keep the discharge from getting on your clothes.
Constipation is common both during pregnancy and after you give birth. Make sure to drink plenty of water and eat fiber-rich foods to stimulate bowel activity.
You may also notice that you sweat very easily, especially at night. This is due to the change in your hormones after you give birth. Remove heavy blankets at night, and keep a fan in your room until your hormones even out.
What are the signs of postpartum depression?
Postpartum depression happens in some mothers after giving birth. While it’s sometimes called the “baby blues,” it’s often much more serious than a little sadness, brought on by the significant physical and emotional changes you experience after giving birth.
Fatigue and body changes after birth may contribute to postpartum depression. Signs and symptoms of this condition include:
- Depression for at least two weeks
- Thoughts of suicide or self-harm
- Thoughts of harming your baby
- Difficulty performing your normal tasks
- Feeling hopeless or worthless
- Thoughts of anxiety, panic, or guilt
If you find yourself feeling any of the above symptoms, be sure to reach out to Dr. Zilberstein and her team for help to cope with your feelings and to get you effective treatment for postpartum depression.
If you’re pregnant and want an expert to help you with your post-birth care, call today at 646-601-6351 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Zilberstein. You can also book a consultation using our online tool.