How Good Postpartum Care Can Prepare You for Life with a Newborn
How often have you heard stories of women leaving maternity wards and immediately having to be responsible for their homes and families, with virtually no postpartum care to speak of? They come home with a new baby, a new body, and if they’re really lucky, a postpartum doula that will visit a few times in the first few weeks postpartum. But is that enough? Can women really be expected to run a home while they recover, learn to care for a newborn, and do it all with limited support?
Here are 5 things I wish I had known before I came home from the hospital with my firstborn. I believe if I had known them, my postpartum recovery would have been so much easier!
1. Breastfeeding might be natural, but it’s not always easy.
A lot of women expect that breastfeeding will come naturally, and feel discouraged if it doesn’t feel that way at first. It is very normal to need some help! Lactation consultants are a wonderful resource during the early postpartum days, as they can offer advice and help with establishing a good latch. Having a lactation consultant as part of your postpartum care team can be invaluable.
2. Rest is essential.
It can be easy to forget for new mothers that the first three months postpartum are a time of intense transition for their bodies, essential bonding moments with their baby, and a hormonal rollercoaster. That’s why this time is often referred to as the fourth trimester. Postpartum recovery is not instantaneous. Getting lots of rest in the days and weeks after giving birth is not just a good suggestion, it is essential to a new mother’s healing, recovery, and long-term health.
3. Good food is integral to postpartum recovery.
Along with rest, proper nourishment is an integral part of beneficial postpartum care. Having your partner, doula, or a friend organize a meal train is a great way to utilize the help of friends and family who aren’t sure what you need. It can be easy to forget to eat well with a newborn around, but your body will thank you for prioritizing feeding yourself well.
4. Being taken care of is as important as taking care of your baby.
Taking care of and bonding with your newborn is undeniably an important piece of the fourth trimester. Often, new mothers overlook their own needs for relaxation, care, and nourishment in their efforts to care for their new little one. However, women who have a strong support network and feel cared for during their postpartum recovery are less likely to develop postpartum depression and anxiety. A healthy, nourished mother is better able to bond with and care for her baby during the fourth trimester and beyond. Don’t forget to prioritize your own needs as you plan for your postpartum experience.
5. Sleep deprivation is to be expected…prepare for it ahead of time.
Unless you are one of the very few parents whose child sleeps through the night within weeks of being born, you will likely at some point experience sleep deprivation. Planning for the fact that you will need extra time to rest during the days and weeks following your child’s birth is key to your postpartum recovery. While you might not be able to sleep through the night for quite a while, planning time for rest and relaxing activities such as massages into your fourth trimester can help make sure that you recover well. If you are able to secure a doula or night nurse to help, that can also provide you some time to catch up on your much needed rest.
Planning for your fourth trimester doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Booking a Boram Postnatal Retreat is a wonderful way to start your postpartum recovery on the right foot. With dedicated lactation assistance, a 24/7 baby room staffed by professionals you can trust, nutritious meals, relaxing services such as massages and foot baths, and beautiful rooms…you’ll have nothing to worry about except snuggling you new baby and getting some well-deserved rest.
Whether you are a first-time mother looking for education and support, or a seasoned parent who knows how much of a difference postpartum care makes in the fourth trimester, we invite you to learn more about all we have to offer new mothers and babies by reading more about Boram and our mission to support mothers and provide them a strong start to their journey.
If you have specific questions about the care that is available at our dedicated postpartum facility, reach out today to connect with us. We would love the chance to offer you a relaxing and supported start to your journey into the fourth trimester.