Your whole life has changed and there is no right or wrong way to feel right now. Some women will feel overwhelmed at the idea of being a parent and managing the needs of a tiny baby others will be more relaxed and assured.
It is natural to experience a rollercoaster of emotions thanks to your postpartum hormones. A combination of intense love, intense joy, intense uncertainty, intense sleep deprivation and even intense boredom…all in the same 24 hours.
Physically you may feel sore and tired. It takes about six weeks for your body to recover from being pregnant and go through the changes back to normal. Give yourself time, try and relax and rest whenever you can. Above all celebrate the amazing job you have done.
SEE HOW WE CAN HELP YOU
In hospital after birth
Use your time in hospital to rest and recover, bond with your new baby and learn to care for them
We will see you in hospital after the birth to ensure you have a full understanding of the delivery, answer any questions and address any concerns
We’ll ensure your body is recovering how it should and ensure you are coping emotionally.
You will have regular reviews by your midwives to check:
- Your pulse and BP
- Your uterus is contracting normally
- Your caesarean wound (if you have had one) is healing well with no signs of infection
- The stitches in your perineum (if you have them)
- How you are feeling
- How your are feeding
- That you are coping well in caring for your baby
There are also a number of other professionals on hand to provide you assistance when you need:
- Paediatrician: to monitor the health of your baby
- Lactation consultants: To help you with the difficult task of breastfeeding
- Physiotherapists: to help you with exercises for your back and pelvic floor
At your six-week check
- We will continue to ensure your body is recovering how it should and that you are coping emotionally.
- We will assess your bleeding, bowel and bladder functions, assess any scars (caesarean or perineum) and perform a pap smear if necessary.
- We will also discuss your plans for future pregnancy and discuss contraception options
- We will assess how you have been handling life since your baby has arrived and addressed any emotional concerns you may have.
You can help your body recover by
- Eating well
- Resting as much as possible
- Limit visitors to allow you to rest and bond with your baby
- Asking for pain relief if you need it
- Use regular ice packs on stitches on your perineum
- Drinking plenty of water and keeping your diet full of fibre to avoid constipation
Remember, if at any time you are worried about how you are feeling, physically or emotionally, talk to someone
SO MANY QUESTIONS…
- It is normal to bleed after you have a baby. For the first few days your loss will be bright red, like a heavy menstrual period. Each day you’ll have a bit less discharge
- If you experience an increase in your loss, blood clots or foul smell with fever or chills, loss contact me.
- Breastfeeding will be a different experience for every mother. For many mothers and their babies, breastfeeding can be awkward, uncomfortable and even unproductive in the beginning. The right advice and support will help you get through the frustration phase and hopefully it will become an enjoyable experience for both Mum and baby.
- We have specialised midwifes who are lactation consultations who can assist you through these difficulties and provide the support you need. They can see you regularly after your birth to ensure you feel confident and comfortable with your feeding.
Every woman’s recovery will be different and depends on many factors.
Before returning to driving it is important to consider a number of factors:
- Your ability to brake in an emergency which may be compromised by wound pain and reduced freedom of movement.
- The influence that fatigue or sedating medication may be having.
- Your ability to correctly wear a seat belt.
- Your insurance cover and clarify any policy exclusions related to driving after abdominal surgery.
Looking after a new baby 24h a day is exhausting both physically and emotionally, so when you get into bed you may just want to sleep, this is normal. It is important to allow time for your cervix to close, your bleeding to stop and any tear or lacerations to heal. Ultimately it is up to you, listen to your body, you will know when you feel ready.
WHAT TO DO NOW
This is a busy and demanding time so it is normal to feel overwhelmed sometimes but there are a number of things you can do to help you and your family enjoy the early weeks at home
- Get as much rest as you can
- Do not life any weight heavier than your baby
- Take a gentle walk every day
- Eat a healthy, high fibre die and drink plenty of water
- Book your six week post natal appointment
- Make sure you complete the paperwork to register your babies birth and gain a birth certificate
- Apply for a Medicare number for your baby
- Join a new mothers group – talking with other us who have had a similar experience to you, can be very helpful
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