Postpartum Care Tips for Mom
Updated: 4 days ago
During my pregnancies, I felt like my doctors were constantly checking me.
What’s your heart rate, blood pressure, blood sugar, weight, bowel movements, etc.? They want to know about more than most new moms honestly would care to share.
You do it though… for the baby.
You pee in a cup, get ultrasounds, constant blood draws, pelvic exams, weight check, and more. While some of these things are optional, most new mothers do it… for the baby.
This is great because new parents want to make sure their babies are healthy and growing on schedule.
The problem we run into is the moment that baby comes out.
The postpartum period.
It is like the doctors never actually cared about you, but only the health of the baby.
I understand, the baby can’t tell the doctors how they feel. The baby could have problems after birth or complications could arise.
I’m not saying don’t check the baby, but they should check on mom.
My babies go to their pediatrician after they’re born so mom's gynecologist health care provider is no longer responsible for them.
But what about mom?
My first gynecologist appointment after birth was like 2 months later. Then they scheduled another one for a year after that. My body wasn’t even healed yet.
Postpartum care is so important, yet it is forgotten about. There are so many things to pay attention to after childbirth that need to be addressed.
Here are some postpartum care tips for mom to help keep her physically and mentally healthy.
1. Postpartum Depression
So many women are diagnosed with postpartum depression because of the changes mentally and physically with our bodies.
We can’t control it, but we can learn to find the symptoms and address it.
All the hormonal changes can make it difficult to tell if the negative feelings and mood swings you have are baby blues during postpartum recovery, or if you have the symptoms of postpartum depression.
According to the Mayo Clinic, “Postpartum depression may be mistaken for baby blues at first — but the symptoms are more intense and last longer. These may eventually interfere with your ability to care for your baby and handle other daily tasks. Symptoms usually develop within the first few weeks after giving birth. But they may begin earlier — during pregnancy — or later — up to a year after birth.”
After I had my first child, I didn’t realize I had postpartum depression. Unfortunately, it went undiagnosed, and my husband and I recognized the signs later.
I think one of the things that made it worse was having to return to work and feeling like other people were raising my daughter. That still hurts when I look back on it even though she was in great hands and is an amazing person because of the people who watched her.
After a year, my postpartum depression improved, and I was able to heal mentally and physically.
Thankfully, I did not get postpartum depression after my second child, but I was able to become a stay-at-home mom with him. I think having the option to stay home with him improved my mental health. This is not the case with many women though.
Make sure to reach out to your healthcare provider if you feel you may be struggling with postpartum depression. They can put you on the right path of getting better and help you get the right support group you need.
2. Unwanted Guests
The day after I got home from the hospital when I had my daughter, I had a ton of people showing up to my house.
Some were invited and some were not.
I had people walking through my house with shoes on after my carpets had just been cleaned for the baby. I had an older gentleman sitting in my rocking chair that I was sitting in with my baby, so I had to find another spot to sit even though I was in pain. I had people passing my baby around like a hot potato.
I was in pain and uncomfortable, but no one realized I didn’t want them in my home.
I sat in my bathroom crying until my husband found me and realized what was going on.
I should have said something, but I was afraid to, and I felt rude kicking people out who were excited.
This is a major problem new mom’s come across because of the baby excitement. They are afraid to offend people by denying them access to their new baby.
Keyword: Their New Baby
I grew a backbone with my second baby, and no one held him for the first few weeks of life. The directions were, “Wave through the storm door window and leave food and gifts on the porch. We love you!”
Was it harsh, maybe, but thankfully it was during the pandemic in 2020, so we blamed Covid. My mental health thanked me.
3. Allowing Our Bodies to Heal
So many women feel the need to jump into normal life during that first week after they get home from the hospital, but you should give your body time to heal.
It doesn’t matter how you delivered your baby, a vaginal birth, or a cesarean birth; it is still important to give your body a chance to rest. You are still bleeding, your uterus is still not back to its normal size, and you may be recovering from stitches and/or major surgery.
The most you should be doing is taking care of yourself and taking care of your baby.
Your partner should step in to do a lot of the heavy loads like diaper changes, dishes, laundry, cooking, and driving. This may not be possible for all families though.
Many women bring in family members to help with some of the housework and to assist with baby. There’s the option of hiring a maid a few days a week so the mess doesn’t get away from you. There are also night nurses you could hire to help with the overnight shifts so you can get a better night sleep.
No matter what you decide to do, make sure you give your body time to heal before you jump back into your normal routine.
4. Meal Plans
One if the hardest things to do after you have a baby is plan and cook meals.
I’m not sure why this was so difficult, but I just could never plan a great dinner when I was sleep deprived and constantly holding a baby.
The hardest part is trying to keep a healthy diet and planning out healthy foods for the whole family.
Before we had our daughter, my husband and I meal prepped crockpot meals. I prepped tons of meals in freezer bags and stored them in my chest freezer for later. I was able to pull a meal out the night before and put it in the freezer and in the morning, I poured the contents into my crockpot and turned it on.
This helped a lot since I didn’t have to think ahead about what to prep. The meal would cook all day and be ready by dinner.
I didn’t make enough crockpot meals to last for months, so I had to come up with more meals.
Another idea is the meal planning kits you order and have sent to your door. You receive everything you need for each meal, and you just need to cook the items.
When I gave birth to my son, the world was shut down, so we had to come up with creative ways to feed ourselves without going to the store. We decided to order from Schwan's Home Delivery. The food all comes frozen bi-weekly and there’s no prep involved.
Having a way to make your life easier after birth is important so having meal plan options is the way to go.
5. Reach Out to Specialists
Since many of us are not going to the doctor’s office a lot immediately after birth, we need to know when to reach out for assistance.
- Lactation Consultant
Many hospitals and doctor’s offices have on-site lactation specialists you can call to meet with or talk to over the phone. It is normal to struggle with breastfeeding in the beginning because you and baby are still learning.
Your baby could have a lip-tie or a tongue-tie that is causing issues with latch. You could have clogged ducts or have mastitis that would need to be addressed. Maybe your nipples are cracked or sore and it’s creating a poor experience for both you and baby.
My lactation consultant found my son’s lip-tie when I was struggling to breastfeed him. I was constantly getting clogs and he was barely gaining enough weight. Once she determined it was caused from a lip-tie, I was able to change the way I was nursing him and find a successful breastfeeding position. I never had another clogged milk duct again.
No matter what is going on with breastfeeding, a lactation consultant can help you figure out how to find ways to fix the issues so baby can gain weight and mom can be comfortable.
- Pediatric Chiropractor
Another option is to contact a chiropractor who specializes in pregnancy and postpartum care.
If you or your baby are out of alignment after giving birth, a pediatric chiropractor is a fantastic resource to reach out to so you can get realigned and get rid of some of the discomfort.
Unfortunately for us, we didn’t find our pediatric chiropractor until our son was 9 months old, but we’re still thankful we found her.
Since I have scoliosis, I’ve always been hesitant to go to chiropractors because I don’t want to injure my back or cause more pain.
My children both now go to the pediatric chiropractor regularly to help with multiple issues they were struggling with. She is also watching their spines for scoliosis since they have a higher chance of developing it with a mother who has severe scoliosis.
The pediatric chiropractor can help with bowel movement issues, regulating sleep, misalignment during delivery, and so much more that I don’t even know about.
We’re just thankful we found her, and our children’s bodies are healthier because of it.
6. Preparing the Essentials for After Birth Care
When you get home from the hospital, you're not going to have time to go to the store to buy all the essential items you'll need.
Therefore, it's important to plan ahead and have these items ready before you give birth.
You will not want to run to the store for new sanitary pads when you have severe vaginal bleeding and sore nipples.
I created an essentials list before I had my children so I could have all of my postpartum items readily available when I got home. The only store runs were for my husband if I was getting low on anything, which thankfully didn't happen for a while.
I made a postpartum recovery kit list for moms containing items she needs to get through those uncomfortable early days and weeks after childbirth. Head on over to make your own list and check out my Must Have Essentials for After Giving Birth List Here.
Some of the list contains items including ice packs, stool softener, nipple cream, heating pad, peri bottle, plenty of water, healthy meals, prenatal vitamins, warm sitz bath, cold packs, squirt bottle, hazel pads, breast pads, maxi pads, and more.
It is so important to care for yourself after childbirth.
Most moms spend all their time and energy on baby and forget to eat or take a shower.
Your mental and physical health are just as important as your baby because baby needs mom to be healthy to care for them.
Your milk supply will increase the more you eat and the less stressed you are if you decided to breastfeed.
Baby will sense how you’re feeling, and your mood can affect their mood.
So, remember to take care of yourself to stay on a healthy path.
What are some ways your keep your physical and mental health positive after birth?
Do you have some ways you like to care for yourself?
Let us know in the comments below!