Taking Care of Yourself After Delivery at UPMC
After delivery, it's natural to focus all your attention on your newborn. However, it's important you take care of yourself too. A healthy mother is necessary during this time because your child requires so much of your attention and care.
Changes for Mother
The postpartum period begins after the delivery of the baby and ends about six to eight weeks later, when your body has almost returned to your pre-pregnant state. Changes you may experience during this time usually include the following:
- Emotional changes: feelings of exhaustion, depression and other mood swings
- Coping ability: balancing activities such as meal preparation, shopping and cleaning
- Sexual drive: decreased sex drive and fear of being hurt or discomfort
Attending to Your Needs
Follow these tips to rebuild your strength in the first few weeks after childbirth:
- Getting adequate amounts of rest.
- Paying attention to discomfort and other negative symptoms.
- Eating a balanced diet to strengthen your metabolism and aid in healthy breastfeeding.
- Getting an extra 300 calories and drinking at least eight cups of fluids every day are recommended.
- Finding a relative or friend to help you create personal "me" time to relax and decompress. This includes limiting visitors and phone calls to hours that suit your schedule and asking assistance from family and friends.
- Continuing a gradual exercise routine. Check with your doctor or midwife before beginning physical programs. Foot exercises to increase blood flow, pelvic tilting to improve posture, abdominal strengthening and repair, leg sliding and curl-ups can help get you back on your feet in no time.
More Postpartum Symptoms and Self-Care Resources
- Caring for mother physically and emotionally: Nap when your baby naps. Take warm, shallow baths several times a day if you had stitches after delivery. Wear a supportive bra and use warm compresses to help with milk letdown.
- The new mother: Taking care of yourself after birth - You will need plenty of rest, good nutrition and help during the first few weeks after your baby is born.
- More than just the baby blues: As a new mom, your body is going through lots of changes — not just physically, but emotionally, too. If you can’t seem to shake the “baby blues,” there may be a bigger issue at hand than lack of sleep. Discover the warning signs that help is needed.
UPMC experts are here to help you return to your optimal health after a pregnancy in Williamsport and Wellsboro, PA and the surrounding areas.