Entering motherhood is an adjustment on several levels. Navigating through sleep deprivation, juggling new responsibilities, and minimizing personal stress are all aspects that new moms must prioritize — all while caring for a life other than your own. As a means of making the transition to motherhood as seamless as can be, establishing a postpartum care plan is important. If this concept seems foreign and you don’t know where to start, no need to worry! We have gathered some great suggestions to make your postpartum experience as easy as possible.
How To: Adjust to Motherhood
Although mothers spend nine months preparing for the birth of their child, the entrance into motherhood can feel incredibly sudden. It is almost as if all of the classes attended, textbooks read, and podcasts listened to fly out the window. However, there are many general tips that new moms can follow to help make the transition as smooth as possible.
1. Get plenty of rest. As the saying goes, “sleep when your baby sleeps”. In order to cope with the tiredness and fatigue that new moms experience, prioritizing rest when you can is an extremely important tool to adjusting to motherhood. Between feeding, settling a riled up baby, and keeping your life organized, restlessness is inevitable. However, to allow yourself to be the best mother you can be, making an effort to be well rested is key.
2. Seek help if you need it. When it comes to raising a child, do not let your ego get in the way of asking for help if you need it. Struggling to adjust to the schedule and tasks that motherhood brings is normal, especially during the postpartum period — the first sixth months after childbirth — when a mother’s body needs time to heal. By having friends and family prepare meals, run errands, or anything in between, don’t be shy to ask for help!
3. Eat healthy meals. On the topic of preparing meals, make sure that as a mother, you are eating healthy ones! Of course, this does not mean you have to give up all of your cravings and substitute them with vegetables. However, providing the proper nutrients to yourself and your child are necessary during the postpartum period. Especially if breastfeeding, be sure to increase your fruit, vegetable, protein, and fluid intake.
4. Take precautions to reduce stress and clear your mind. Whatever it is that calms your mind, be sure not to give it up in the process of adjusting to motherhood. Amidst all of the chaos, you still deserve time for yourself. Whether that means going for a walk to get fresh air and a change of scenery, or taking a warm bubble bath, don’t feel guilty with taking a few moments for yourself.
5. Be patient. Motherhood is an adjustment for all of those involved. The entire family dynamic takes a shift when a child is born, but it is crucial that partners work together to form a cohesive unit. In listening to one another, communicating openly, and being patient, the transition will go smoother than anticipated.
How To Deal With Postpartum Changes
Childbirth brings along many changes other than lifestyle adjustments. With hormone levels at an all time high, mothers may experience emotional changes that may be difficult to cope with at first. Baby blues, or postpartum depression, are not uncommon for mothers to experience. Symptoms may include: insomnia, sadness, unexplained crying, extreme irritability, mood changes, and restlessness.
If you find yourself experiencing any of these symptoms at an abnormally high rate, getting a doctor involved may be necessary. If these feelings protrude for longer than two weeks after childbirth, medical help can be a helpful tool in combating that.
Bodily changes are also difficult for new mothers to come to terms with at times. Weight gain, breast enlargement, and differing figures are all normal results of child bearing. Therefore, mothers must be sure to not get in their heads about these things. As with most instances, changes occur with time. Therefore, being patient and kind to yourself are other keys.
Finding Your Own Postpartum Care Plan
Although there are many general tips that new mothers can follow to deal with postpartum adjustments, in the end, developing a postpartum care plan is an individualized process. New mothers must assess their own situations and make the plan that is right for them. Hopefully, the transition into motherhood goes as smooth as possible, but as always, no adjustments come without bumps in the road. Always remember that no matter what, you are doing your best and your child will love you no matter what!