Improving your health after childbirth is a top concern among people who have had babies. While most mothers take excellent care of their bodies while they’re carrying another life, the effects of childbirth can be long-lasting. There are countless articles about ways to “bounce back” after giving birth to a child, but this is not necessarily a healthy way of thinking. Rather, feeling good about yourself and your health after childbirth should be the priority.
After all, childbirth comes with a few common issues, many of which can leave the mother feeling concerned with their appearance. After you find the best pediatrician for your child, it’s time to start thinking about ways to improve your own health, too. Adjusting to life as a parent can be stressful and the changes the body goes through during and after pregnancy can take its toll both mentally and physically.
If you have recently had a child, rely on these tips to help take care of your health after childbirth.
Get plenty of rest
New mothers need plenty of rest following the birth of a child. Even though the period following birth is a joyous time full of love, the body has still gone through an incredibly traumatic experience. That isn’t to say that birth isn’t a miracle or a bad thing; rather, trauma refers to the intensity and severity of the change that happened to the individual.
There’s no doubt that new mothers have gone through trauma, so getting rest is key to start healing. Most new mothers should not return to work for at least six weeks following the birth of their child because their body needs time to heal. In many cases, the mother needs to recover from any vaginal tearing or cesarian sections that led to their child’s birth. Healing is essential so getting rest is an important priority that should not be overlooked.
Of course, this can be difficult when your baby gets up every three hours to feed. Whether you’re breastfeeding or bottle-feeding, spending this time with your baby is important because it helps you establish a bond. Getting eight hours of sleep might seem like a pipedream when you’re coping with a new baby so try to rest when your baby rests.
Eat healthy foods
Eating a healthy diet full of fruits, vegetables, and vitamins will aid in the body’s healing process. Just be careful when you start to eat; your body might not be ready for certain foods depending on the intensity of your delivery and the hormones that affected you throughout your pregnancy.
For example, Some mothers might cope with heartburn or other digestive issues during and immediately following pregnancy. Try to stick to bland, but healthy foods until your stomach returns to normal. Making healthy swaps for your favorite food is a great way to satisfy your cravings without overindulging. Gluten free frozen pizzas or pizzas with cauliflower crusts are much better than the processed white flower versions. Making smart choices for your food options will help your body feel better at a faster rate.
When you’re eating during this time, try not to think about losing weight. It’s going to take your body a while to get back to the weight you were at before you had your baby. Celebrities like Beyonce and Kim Kardashian were able to “bounce back” so quickly because they have a team of fitness coaches and dieticians at their beck and call. Setting realistic expectations about losing weight will help you feel better in the long run.
After all, your body just did something amazing. Fuel it with healthy food and moderate exercise (but only once you have healed properly). It’s normal to have to shed an additional 20 pounds or so following your first postpartum check-up with your gynecologist. Don’t let this number get you down! Be gentle with yourself and focus on losing weight once your body has healed.
Get help when you need it
The stress of being a new parent can be overwhelming, especially when you’re stressed about baby weight, healing properly, and taking time off of work. No one ever said having a baby was easy, but many people are not prepared for the sheer magnitude of becoming a first-time parent. On top of that, postpartum depression affects between 50% and 75% of new mothers, according to the Cleveland Clinic. If you’re feeling like you need outside help, you are not alone.
You can lean on your spouse and your own parents, but it might not be enough. That’s when relying on a trusted therapist or mental health counselor is key. Where your family can offer you emotional comfort, a therapist can offer you tools to cope with feelings of anxiety, depression, and more. They can provide you with good advice that is backed by science and ample experience in the field. Best of all, they can help you unscramble your cluttered thoughts and help you better communicate with the ones you love.
Luckily, therapy has become less stigmatized today. More people than ever are relying on mental health professionals to take better care of their health and improve their lives, whether they’re recovering from childbirth, depression, or another issue. Unfortunately, biases and stereotyping have still prevented people from seeking the help that they need. Don’t hesitate to reach out to your doctor for a referral if you think you can benefit from therapy.
Consider cosmetic augmentations
Pregnancy can do strange things to your body, no doubt about it. It isn’t uncommon for newfound mothers to stress over their health after childbirth, including issues with their belly fat, changing breast sizes, and more. Between the trauma of giving birth and the wild fluctuations in hormones, it makes sense that a pregnant person’s body will change.
Here are some of the most common changes that you might want to consider augmenting in the future.
Breast augmentation: Hormones can do some pretty crazy things to your body, pregnant or otherwise. Even though most breast sizes increase after childbirth because they are filled with milk for the baby, many mothers will still face breast issues once breastfeeding has stopped. Engaging in natural breast augmentation can help you return to the size you were before you gave birth to your child. In some cases, larger breasts can cause significant pain if they grow too large. You might also want to look into breast reduction surgery if it turns out your back hurts more because of the added weight on your chest. Whether you want to change your breast size for cosmetic or medical issues, this is just one way that cosmetic changes can help your health after childbirth.
Skin issues: Because of the countless hormones fluctuating in your body, it makes sense that your skin will change as a result. After all, most acne and breakouts are caused by hormonal changes. Our skin is our first line of defense against the elements but it’s also once of the most sensitive parts of our body. If you’re experiencing acne, discoloration, or rosacea following your pregnancy, investing in the help of a cosmetic dermatologist can make a world of a difference. You should also talk to your doctor about any spider veins that have cropped up; because your blood circulation changes during pregnancy, vericose veins (also known as spider veins) can pop up, especially on your legs and arms. While these aren’t often dangerous, they can be frustrating to look at. Talk to your dermatologist if you’re concerned about their appearance.
Dental health: Did you know that pregnancy can make some people more prone to dental health issues? Some people experience higher rates of gum disease and cavities. Following your pregnancy, you might need to a dental care and braces office to talk about your dental health. You will likely have to get a cavity or two filled but now might also be a good time to talk about teeth whitening or other cosmetic dental procedures. While you’re on this trend of improving your health, you can always invest in Invisalign to straighten your teeth. A straighter smile is said to improve your health since they will be easier to clean than crooked teeth.
Of course, this isn’t always necessary! Many people are able to lead happy, comfortable lives despite the changes their body has gone through. It might be worth talking about these changes with your therapist — and financial advisor — to see if you should go through with these modifications. If these changes make you feel more confident though, there’s no reason to forgo these procedures. Invest in that anti-aging skin treatment if it will make you feel youthful and confident; you only have one life so make the most of it while you can.
Do things for yourself
Now that the baby is born, you and your family are going to put all your attention on their health. But once parenthood sinks in, you might feel like you don’t have any time to spend on yourself.
Even though you’re a new parent, you’re still an individual. You have needs and desires. A simple aspect of taking care of your health is doing things that make you feel good. Good about yourself, good about your life, and good about your relationships with others. That might mean leaving the baby with a trusted family member to go on a walk by yourself. It might also mean taking a trip to the jewelry store to get yourself something that makes you feel more confident.
Parenthood is an all-encompassing affair, but it’s important to remember that you’re an individual who is also a parent. You’re not solely defined by your parenthood even though it is now going to be a huge factor in your life. When you do things for yourself, you will feel more confident in raising your children. Your mental wellbeing and health after childbirth is just as important as your physical health.
Bolstering your health after childbirth
There’s no doubt that having a baby takes a toll on the parent, both physically and mentally. Whether you’re trying to regain your confidence or simply recover from the trauma of having a baby, taking care of your health after childbirth is essential. Just like flight attendants tell you to put on your own facemask before helping others, taking care of yourself after having a baby is key. Lean on your friends, your therapist, and your family for support. Good luck taking care of your health after childbirth!