Immediately after delivery, every new mom enters postpartum. This time can contain emotions of excitement, fear, happiness and frustration. Wherever your emotions fall, know that you are not alone in this process. Here are three steps to help in the transition to postpartum:
Step 1: Schedule your postpartum visit
The act of delivering a baby takes a toll on your body during labor and the months that follow. Make sure your body is recovering properly by scheduling your postpartum checkup six weeks after you give birth. This is the suggested time, but some new moms may need to see their healthcare provider earlier.
Step 2: Establish your postpartum care team
It can feel overwhelming to care for your baby. Establishing a support team for your postpartum journey can help with that transition. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) suggests including the following people on your team and how they can help:
Family and friends
These are the closest people to you and your baby. You can trust them and allow them to help with:
- Caring for your newborn and other children (if applicable)
- Offering breastfeeding support
- Keeping your household running (making meals, doing chores like laundry)
- Making your postpartum health care visits or helping to drive you if you had a c-section
- Providing emotional support
Maternal care provider
This can be the same provider that helped you through pregnancy or delivery, or you can add in a new provider like a certified nurse midwife, doula or other healthcare professional for your postpartum journey. This support team member will be your first resource for any questions related to health after delivery.
Other medical professionals
Postpartum care can include other medical conditions or speciality issues like breastfeeding or mental health. Every woman experiences postpartum differently, and some women encounter postpartum depression or anxiety. Whatever your experience is, there are support options for you including classes at Amma Parenting on breastfeeding, new mama and even for experienced mama’s who want help figuring out juggling life with more than one child .
Your baby’s primary care provider
Now that your baby is out in the world, it’s time to find a pediatrician who can help care for your baby’s health. This will be the support team member focused specifically on the baby’s health needs and your related questions.
Step 3: Reevaluate your routine
You probably anticipated your life changing after welcoming your baby into the world, but who can prepare for the change in sleep schedules, feeding schedules and the disruption to everyday tasks like cooking, dishes or laundry? Here are a few key pieces to include as you adjust to your new routine:
- Sleep. “Sleep when the baby sleeps” is essential. Getting adequate sleep allows you to continue providing the best care for your baby and for yourself. Prioritize sleep over chores.
- A simple enjoyment. Caring for a newborn is exhausting. Including a food, activity or even a song that brings you happiness is essential for new moms. That little bit of enjoyment will keep you going through the difficult and sleep-deprived times!
- Help from others. Motherhood is hard. While you take on the role of caring for your baby, accept the help from your partner, friends and family to keep the rest of your life going. There is nothing wrong with leaning on your support team when needed.
See more must-haves for new moms creating a routine.
The postpartum experience is a time of change, adjusting and first memories with your baby. Every woman experiences this time differently, but all new moms should get to enjoy these moments with her growing family. At Southdale ObGyn, our providers are here to support you through the challenges and adjustments so you can focus on the good. See provider-approved resources for postpartum and lactation and schedule an appointment to get your questions answered. We will help guide you through this new role for you and your family.