Having a baby is one of the most incredible things in the world. . . but it’s also, undoubtedly, one of the hardest. It’s important to be abundantly patient, aware, and kind to yourself post-delivery. Whether you’ve experienced hints of Postpartum Depression or you’ve felt pretty settled thus far, noticing warning signs and tuning into health changes—to your mind, body, and otherwise—can make a huge difference for both you and your baby.
Here are a few health changes to look out for to better support the well-being of yourself and your family.
First, you might be struggling with mood changes that are impacting your personal life, professional life, or both. You might assume that this stems from a mental health condition or the obvious, giving birth. However, it could also be related to lifestyle choices such as diet.
Ask yourself: Have you been prioritizing your own mealtimes and rest times in addition to your baby’s? If the answer is no, that’s where you need to start. Strive, as much as possible, to have a healthy and balanced diet. And don’t be afraid to seek support from your significant other, family, or friends when it comes to mealtimes or professional consult from a doctor or nutritionist. And don’t forget to sleep, too!
Next, you should think about the physical changes that you may need to have checked out by a doctor. Any unexplained change that has lasted more than a couple of weeks, or anything out of the ordinary as far as your postpartum body goes, is a cause for concern.
Keep in mind that healing (both physical and mental) will, of course, take time. But, don’t be afraid to talk with a doctor! There are no such things as a ‘stupid’ question. You’ll want to avoid wrongful death to your baby if any of these changes could impact him/her and you also want to keep yourself safe to be the best parent you can be!
Are you experiencing pain that is either recurring or constant? While some of this is normal (childbirth is not easy on the body!), you’ll also want to think about what may be chronic pain as opposed to postpartum pain. Try, as much as you can, to identify where the pain comes from and when it’s happening. Although you’ll probably be wary about taking medication for issues like this, don’t be afraid to ask your doctor for options, especially if you can no longer manage levels of pain without support.
Mental Health Concerns
Finally, you might have concerns about your mental health. There are countless reasons why you could be feeling stressed, especially if this is your first child. You are, of course, trying to be the best parent you can be, trying to do everything right, and trying to remember to prioritize yourself, too.
Stress, anxiety, and mixed feelings about motherhood are natural. What’s important is that you reach out to a professional if you feel negative, unhappy, or ‘stuck.’ Doing so will ensure that you avoid a situation where you feel lost, alone, or unable to cope. Don’t suffer in silence because this can quickly become worse. Remember that the people want to help you, especially in your motherhood journey. You’re never too much for those who love you.