After 9 months of anticipation and excitement, you can finally hold baby and be consumed by everything about them.
The rush that you experience after holding baby can take your attention away from post-birth discomfort for a little while. However, the transition from pregnancy to postpartum is going to involve some struggles and your body is going to need all the TLC it can get.
In this article, you will find everything you need to know about postpartum recovery – from the items you should have to any type of healing tips that will accelerate the recovery process.
Table of Contents
- What is Postpartum Recovery?
- Postpartum Stages of Recovery
- Postpartum Recovery Bleeding
- Postpartum Recovery C-Section – What to Expect?
- Postpartum Recovery Exercise – Get Yourself Moving!
- Postpartum Recovery Must Haves – The Holy Grail Products
- Postpartum Depression Recovery
- What Vitamins to Take Postpartum?
- Postpartum Recovery Gifts
- Postpartum Recovery with a Toddler
- Postpartum Depression Recovery Stories
What is Postpartum Recovery?
Postpartum recovery is the process of healing from giving birth. During pregnancy, labor and delivery the body goes through miraculous changes and it can take some time before your body goes back to how it used to be before these 9 months.
Regardless of whether you had cesarean or vaginal delivery, and how many days you labored, your body has been been through trauma and the process of healing is another journey that it has to go through.
Postpartum recovery is also about emotional healing. There are hormonal shifts happening, as your body is getting used to not being pregnant anymore, which can significantly impact your mood and how you feel.
It is also important to keep in mind that postpartum recovery differs from woman to woman.
Postpartum Stages of Recovery
Postpartum recovery is a very unique journey for every mama. However, this section of the article will identify some benchmarks as to what you can expect in each stage of the recovery process.
It will give you a good idea about what things are normal, and when you should consult your health care provider.
Stage 1: The First 3 Months
- The first week after giving birth is when your body is at its most fragile and vulnerable state. As you are slowly starting the healing process, you are also navigating the waters of motherhood by breastfeeding and caring for your newborn.
- If you have had a vaginal delivery, then you will be recovering from the stitches. And if you had a cesarean (c-section) then your abdomen will be recovering from the incision of several layers of muscle and tissue.
- Regardless of the type of delivery you had, you will experience postpartum bleeding which can last up to 6 weeks. The flow of blood will start as heavy and slowly wane as the weeks pass by.
- You will experience hormonal shifts as your progesterone and estrogen levels will fall significantly after the removal of the placenta which can result in fluctuation emotions. The shift can be quite drastic for some mamas which is also known to be a cause of postpartum depression.
- As your body starts to heal from the delivery, your perineal area will feel sore and the vaginal stitches will begin to dissolve. In case of c-section, the incision will begin to feel less sensitive.
- Hormonal changes can be a roller coaster in the first 3 months. However, breastfeeding increases the levels of oxytocin which is the “happy” hormone. This is why it is recommended to breastfeed as it can help combat the hormonal imbalance in postpartum.
- Breastfeeding can be a difficult process to get the hang of, but changing breastfeeding positions and using nipple guards have helped mamas become better at it.
- It is very much possible to get pregnant again. The first ovulation after birth happens 45 days after birth.
- At the 6 week mark, you will have your first postpartum check with your doctor or midwife. It is important that you ask any questions you may have, about your body, how you are feeling and if it is okay to become sexually active again.
- On the topic of sex, it is very much possible that your libido takes anywhere between months to even a year to come back. This is because postpartum recovery coupled with breastfeed causes vaginal dryness and increase in prolacting levels which affect the libido.
- The physical discomfort you are facing will also affect the quality of your sleep. More importantly, attending to a newborn will involve a lot of night feedings which also mean that you will be struggling with sleep deprivation.
Stage 2: 4 – 6 Months
- While you might have some slight discomfort in the region where your stitches were, most of the wounds should be healed at this point.
- Most mamas experience a lot of hair fall around the fourth month, which is a result of your hormones returning back to the pre-pregnancy levels. It may seem alarming, but it is very normal that this is happening.
- Your period should be returning back to its usual cycle in this stage. You might notice that your period is heavier and crampier than usual.
- You should be feeling better, in terms of your mental and emotional state, because the hormones have more or less readjusted.
- If you are breastfeeding then might have gotten the hang of it at this point, and figured out something that works best for you and baby.
Stage 3: 6 – 12 Months
- Your body has returned to its pre-pregnancy state at 9 months, and you should be ovulating regularly at this point.
- Don’t worry if your sex drive isn’t back yet, it is normal for that to happen especially if you are breastfeeding. You can seek intimacy with your partner in other ways such as spending quality time together.
- Your pelvic floor strength should be returning back to normal, but if you feel like your have persisting bladder control issues then it might be helpful for you to go to a specialist.
- In case of a c-section, you might feel that your abdominal strength hasn’t fully returned yet. In order to speed up recovery, you can do some low impact exercises that are postpartum friendly.
- Your weight might be back to how it was before pregnancy, but it is very common for mamas to be anywhere between 5-20 pounds more than their pregnancy weight after a year. Remember, the most important thing is that you are healthy and are able to care for your 1 year old. If it takes you longer to find balance in your body, take your time and be gracious to yourself.
Postpartum Recovery Bleeding
Postpartum bleeding, also known as lochia, is the vaginal bleeding after birth. It is part of postpartum recovery as the body expels the extra blood and tissue in your uterus that facilitated in growing baby.
You will experience lochia regardless of the type of delivery you have had. Postpartum bleeding is different from menstrual bleeding because it is heavier and lasts longer, typically up to 6 weeks.
What is normal in postpartum bleeding?
Here are some things you should expect from postpartum bleeding, which are common and nothing to be alarmed about:
- You will find that the blood is different in texture and content, than period blood, because it also has mucus and tissue that was in your uterus.
- It is darker and heavier in the first 10 days, and slowly starts to become lighter after 2 weeks have passed.
- Clotting is normal if it is the size of a quarter.
- You will feel gushes of blood as you stand, which is also normal is because of how the vagina is shaped.
What is not normal during postpartum bleeding?
If you are experiencing any of the following things during postpartum bleeding, you should call your doctor right away:
- Unusually large clots.
- Extremely heavy flow that is soaking through a maxi pad on an hourly basis.
- Foul, pungent smell. It should have the scent of a normal period.
- Shortness of breath, palpitations and light headedness.
- Nausea, vomiting or fever
- Swelling around the vaginal area
How to manage postpartum bleeding?
Here are some things you will have to do to manage postpartum bleeding:
- In the beginning you will be required to wear hospital grade pads to contain the bleeding, but after a week you can switch to sanitary pads.
- You should not wear tampons during postpartum bleeding as it can lead to an infection.
- Wear clothes and underwear that provide support to hold the pad in place. Try to wear things that you don’t mind getting dirty.
- Make sure to rest as much as you can till the bleeding starts to taper off.
Postpartum Recovery C-Section – What to Expect?
Postpartum recovery after a c-section can be different from vaginal delivery, and it is important to know what to expect:
- The postpartum bleeding you will experience, will also include mucous contents that were part of the uterus lining. The bleeding will be heavy in the first few weeks, and then it will begin to taper off and become more watery in consistency.
- You will experience contractions that resemble period cramps, but they are responsible for preventing excessive bleeding.
- In the first 3 days after birth, you will experience a lot of pain and discomfort in the incision area, which is why doctors will have you stay in the hospital for slightly longer.
- You will be advised to care for your wound and keep the area clean, and also to avoid lifting any heavy things, and having intercourse.
- By the 2 week after birth, your wound should be healing nicely without any redness or swelling and you should also be feeling a lot better.
- Losing the pregnancy weight is a process and it will take some time before your body bounces back to how it used to be.
- You will be asked to take care of your body as much as you can, which will also include avoiding the stairs. You can engage in a gentle walk as that will help keep things moving with your digestive system so you don’t put any strain on the incision.
- Similar to any other pregnancy, your hormones will all over the place during postpartum recovery. It is important to keep your loved ones close at this point so that you can count on their support when you feel like you are at your lowest.
- You might be prescribed some pain relieving medications if the pain from the incision gets too intense. These medication are usually safe for breastfeeding as well.
Postpartum Recovery C-Section Tips
Here are some c-section recovery tips that you should keep in mind to aid the healing process and make things easier for you:
- Continue to take things slow even if you are feeling a lot better after 2 weeks, which means avoiding housework and lifting things.
- You have been through a huge surgery, and your main focus should be taking care of baby, and yourself. Don’t worry about the house chores, and try to get a house cleaning service in this period.
- Avoid sneezing at all costs, and if you feel the urge to sneeze push the area where the middle of the nose meets the upper lip. That should take care of the sneeze.
- Avoid driving for at least two weeks.
- Keep a pillow under your knees when you are sleeping as it takes away the strain from the back and abdomen.
- Take stool softeners to ease bowel movements. Ideally, you should start taking them 3 to 4 days before the surgery.
- Wear clothes that won’t rub against the incision, such as high waisted pants and skirts.
- Try to stay mobile by going on short walks consistently. It will speed up the healing process and it will help you feel better emotionally and mentally as well.
- Take regular showers, in fact it is recommended to take shower to keep the incision area clean and hygienic.
- Use a pregnancy pillow to help you in holding baby, and feed them.
- If you are breastfeeding, try the side lying hold or football hold to keep baby away from your incision.
- Be diligent about taking your pain medications, that is also something that will help the recovery process.
- To avoid the gas pains after surgery, try to stay away from cold drinks and food.
- Get a wrap for your tummy so it will make things more secure and stay in place better. You will also feel more comfortable walking with a wrap or binder.
- If you feel like something is not right, and you feel anxious or paranoid, talk to your doctor.
Postpartum Recovery Exercise – Get Yourself Moving!
Depending on the type of delivery you had, and how your delivery was overall, you will want to get cleared by your doctor about exercising and moving around.
Most mamas, who have had a healthy delivery and birth, they can start some postpartum recovery exercises when they feel ready. But if the delivery was a cesarean, and had other complications like severe vaginal tears or diastasis recti, you will want to wait till its is safe for your to exercise.
However, once you ease yourself into a workout plan that works best for you, you will find that postpartum recovery is a lot easier and faster.
Exercising and staying mobile is important for us in any circumstance. But during the postpartum period, it becomes a lot more important because it helps:
- Bring back strength in the abdominal muscles that were stretched out during pregnancy and delivery.
- Give you a boost in your dopamine and serotonin levels, which help counter the hormonal fluctuations during postpartum.
- Improve the quality of sleep, and also relieves stress
- Bring your body back to how it was before pregnancy.
Postpartum Recovery Exercises That You Can Do
According to physical therapist Shirley Sahrmann, these exercises below will help increase strength and stability during postpartum, and don’t require any special equipment so they can be done at home.
Breath work and breathing exercises are something that are not as emphasised as much as they should be. Having proper breathing patterns helps contract and relax the abdominal muscles without moving the spine.
Once you have your breathing right, you can move on to other exercises.
Pelvic Floor Exercises
Kegels or pelvic floor exercises are something that you should incorporate into your postpartum work out routine. These exercises are low impact, and they help strengthen the pelvic floor muscles.
If working out is something you have struggled with all your life, you can always incorporate walking into your daily routine.
Postpartum mamas are advised to walk at least 15 minutes in day because it helps the body stay in motion and promotes better blood flow.
It will be refreshing for you to get out of the house, and you can put that new stroller to good use too!
An exercise ball can be your best friend postpartum. It is not great for just doing some low impact exercises, but it is also great for comforting baby (Many parents swear that holding baby while bouncing on an exercise ball does just the trick to calm them.)
Here are some postpartum recovery exercises that you can do on an exercise ball:
- Swiss ball bird dog hold: This exercise helps reduce lower back pain which is something a lot of women experience after birth.
- Swiss ball glute bridge: This exercise engage your core muscles and is great for building pelvic floor strength.
Postnatal yoga is low intensity yoga that is modified for postpartum recovery. Postpartum yoga not only has a lot of calming benefits that can help your emotional and mental well-being after birth, but it can also help strengthen core muscles.
Postpartum Recovery Must Haves – The Holy Grail Products
As you find yourself caught up in shopping for everything baby related, don’t forget to get some items for your postpartum recovery period. Having a baby will take a toll on you, physically and mentally, and it is important that you have everything on hand that will help with the healing process.
In this section of the postpartum recovery guide, we have put together a list of everything that you can possibly need after delivery – whether you had a vaginal delivery, or c-section, and also if you are breastfeeding.
These are some items that have been holy grails for mamas during their postpartum period, which you will also most likely find helpful:
Postpartum Must Haves After Vaginal Delivery
- Pads for postpartum bleeding in large and extra large! Make sure to have a stash, so you don’t have to worry about restocking frequently.
- Padsicles. These are chilled pads that feel amazing after a vaginal delivery, and you can also make them at home if you don’t want store bought ones. All you need is some witch hazel and aloe vera and pour it to your pad from top to bottom generously. Then fold the pad up, put it in a ziplock bag and stick it in the freezer. Padsicles are great for reducing swelling and inflammation, and act as cold compresses.
- Stool softeners. Bowel movements can be quite terrifying after delivery and you want to make that process as easy as possible. Talk to your doctor about which ones to get, and make sure you take one before you pass your first stool after delivery.
- Cooling wipes. After birth, your lady parts are going to feel inflamed and swollen and you will need instant relief. There are many brands that offer medicated cooling wipes that are great for providing comfort, which you should definitely have in your bathroom.
- Peri bottle. During postpartum recovery, you will want to make sure that your pelvic area is cleaned thoroughly and properly which is what a peri bottle helps with. You should get an upside down peri bottle, that offers a better angle to spray your lady parts.
- A soft robe. After delivery there is a very high chance that you will want minimal clothing on yourself, and a soft robe will allow you to do just that.
- Natural products. You will be using a lot of spray and balms down there to speed up the healing process and also to provide you with relief, and it is important that the things you use don’t have any toxic ingredients in them.
- Comfortable underwear. You will want to keep extra of these on hand because you will be changing frequently.
- Comfortable pillow to sit on. Pillows like Boppy, are quite versatile in the sense that they can be used for a lot of things such as feeding baby, positioning baby and are also great for sitting in a comfortable way.
Postpartum Must Haves After C-Section Delivery
- Belly wrap. This is essential to have when you have had a c-section because belly binding will help everything keep compressed, and also provide with lower back support. It is recommended to belly bind for at least 4 to 6 weeks after c-section delivery.
- High waisted underwear. These will not only provide you comfort and support, but they will also keep your incision protected.
- Pads. Regardless of the type of delivery you have had, you will experience postpartum bleeding because the uterus has to clean itself.
- Stool softeners so you don’t put any strain during bowel movement which can damage the incision.
- Comfy pants that you can pull over the incision, and allow for a lot of room to breathe.
- Gel or moisturizer that you can apply on your incision to prevent scarring.
Postpartum Must Haves for Breastfeeding
If you do decide to breastfeed baby, here are some great products that will make things easier:
- Breast pads. Your boobs will be leaking a lot and reusable breast pads will help minimize the mess. There are also breast pads available that you can pop into the freezer and are great for providing relief to sore nipples.
- Nipple cream. Your nipples will be very grateful for this, and it will help with the soreness and discomfort which you might experience in the beginning.
- Breastfeeding friendly clothing garments. There are lots of shirts and hoodies available that have an opening where you can breastfeed from. They are convenient to have especially when you go out.
- Nursing bras. You should wait till you start breastfeeding to get these because your breast size will vary.
- Breastfeeding pillow. Again, a super versatile thing to have which you will be using for a lot of different things, such as when you are sleeping, to sit comfortable, to prop baby up when they get older and of course to breastfeed.
General Must Haves During Postpartum
These are some things that are just nice to have during the postpartum period:
- A large water bottle, because you will be drinking a lot of water especially if you are breastfeeding.
- Lots of snacks. Trust us when we say that you will need to have a stash ready at all times.
- Entertainment material. Some nice books and a streaming subscription is always good to have since you will be resting a lot of the time.
- Bone broth that is chock full of nutrients which won’t only help you recover but will also keep you hydrated when you are tired of sipping water.
Postpartum Depression Recovery
Postpartum depression is a very real and common phenomena that some women experience after giving birth.
While no one knows the exact cause of PPD, it is often tied to multiple factors that are common causes of clinical depression.
Here are some symptoms of postpartum depression:
- appetite loss
- feeling extreme fatigue and sadness
- struggling to bond with baby
- insomnia and sleep pf poor quality
- intense feelings of negativity such as anger and shame
PPD can strike right after birth but some mamas may not realize it because they are so caught up in their new life with baby that symptoms of PPD may seem like a given.
Postpartum Depression Recovery Process
Postpartum depression is something that differs from person to person, which means recovery is also something that happens at a very individual level.
Here are some things that can assist the recovery process:
- Seeking help from professionals. Mental health is not something that should be taken lightly, and if you are experiencing symptoms of PPD, it is very important that you seek counselling and help for it. If you take care of your mental well-being, and stay healthy you will also be able to be a good mother to your newborn.
- Practicing self-care. It is very easy to lose yourself after the arrival of a baby because you are giving all your time and attention to them. But as a very important part of postpartum recover, it is absolutely vital that you prioritize self-care on a periodic basis. It can be as simple as leaving the house to take a 15 minute walk, or just working on your breathing for 5 to 10 minutes everyday. These moments are windows for you and your mind to relax and recharge before you continue on with your day.
- Having a healthy lifestyle. This includes having a healthy diet and incorporating some type of movement in your daily routine. Some low impact exercises or even a daily walk is great for getting your boost of dopamine and serotonin. And what you eat has more of an impact on your mental health than you might think. Make sure you are eating the right things that help fulfil your nutritional requirements and keep your tummy full!
- Getting plenty of rest. Lack of sleep and rest is linked as one of the common factors of PPD. While it may be a struggle to do this with an infant in the house, it is important that you and your partner work out a system where both of you are getting enough sleep to recharge.
What Vitamins to Take Postpartum?
An important part of the postpartum recovery journey is to replenish your supply of vital nutrients that your body can continue to draw from to heal.
Having a healthy diet is just as important to meet your daily nutrient intake, however, a lot of doctors recommend taking supplements because you might not meet the required intake of calcium, zinc, etc, just from food.
According to the ACOG, you should be taking postnatal vitamins for at least 6 months if you are not breastfeeding, and for 12 months if you are breastfeeding.
While your doctor will recommend you the needed supplements, here are some postnatal vitamins that you should take during the postpartum period:
- Iron. Iron is a very important supplement that you should be taking regularly because new moms tend to be iron deficient. If you feel fatigue and shortness of breath after birth, there is a very high chance that you need to up your iron intake. Iron supplements also help with postpartum hair loss.
- Vitamin D. The recommended dose of Vitamin D is 600 IU, however, if you are breastfeeding then it should be at least 6400 IU. This intake will ensure that both you and baby are getting the required dosage of vitamin D.
- Vitamin B12. These supplements are recommended more for mamas who follow a vegetable-centric diet. B12 is a nutrient that is largely found in animal protein, and nit having enough of it can have an effect on the quality of your breastmilk.
- Choline. Another nutrient that is mostly found in animal products such as eggs, dairy and poultry.
- DHA. This is an omega-3 polyunsaturated fat that is critical in developing your baby’s vital organs and nervous system. It is also something that is not produced by your body, so you need supplements for it.
- B Complex. B vitamins help with balancing the chemical fluctuations that happen after birth when your body is trying to return to its pre-pregnancy state and is figuring out what to do with the extra hormones. B vitamins help combat the feelings of stress and anxiety.
- Zinc, Vitamin A and C, help combat hair loss and allow your skin, and nails to be healthy again.
We would also like to emphasise on the fact that you should be getting your post-natal supplements from a trusted source. There are many brands out there that might have questionable ingredients and you want to make sure that you are taking the best things for your body and baby.
Postpartum Recovery Gifts
Whether it is a sister, friend, or anyone else you love and care who is going through postpartum recovery, they will truly appreciate things that will help them in one way or another.
Postpartum recovery gifts are a very thoughtful gesture and can potentially help the mama in question more than you might imagine.
Here are some great postpartum recovery gifts that you can give:
- Homemade food. Lots of it. This is one of the most thoughtful things you can give to someone who is in their postpartum period because they won’t have time to cook and feed themselves.
- Things like healthy cookies, protein bars, nuts, granola etc are great for them to snack on especially if they are also breastfeeding.
- A comfortable pillow that they can use for breastfeeding or sleeping/sitting comfortably.
- Witch hazel pads that they can pop in the freezer.
- Ice packs.
- Water bottle that can be opened with one hand.
- A comfy, soft robe or some good quality lounge wear.
- Gift card that she use to buy something they want.
- A caddie she can use to carry things around, such as snacks, reading material etc, if she’s breastfeeding.
- Sheet masks because they won’t have time to do a proper skin routine.
- Delivery vouchers.
- Some toys to keep the toddler occupied if she has one.
Postpartum Recovery with a Toddler
Postpartum recovery is not an easy process on its own. Things can get a lot more difficult when there is a toddler in the picture as well.
However, the most important thing to remember is that it is something that you have been through a lot and postpartum recovery with a toddler is also something that you will manage.
Your toddler will go through certain behavioural changes which can be stressful to observe. But it is important to know that this is just a phase, and your toddler will be okay. Children are more resilient than we give them credit for, and it’s only a matter of time before they start to welcome the baby.
In this section of the postpartum recovery article, we will give you some great tips on how you can make things easier with a toddler in the house.
Tell your toddler about their new sibling before birth
A lot of parents wait till after birth to tell the toddler about their new sibling. We don’t agree with this approach entirely because it can be quite a shock for them to adjust to.
When you make the arrival of baby into something that they can look forward to, they will adjust a lot quicker when baby comes because they will be anticipating it.
Involve toddler with baby duties
You can give your toddler small tasks that involve helping out with their sibling. Things like fetching a fresh diaper, rocking the bassinet, choosing their clothes, etc, are all things that your toddler will be excited to do.
These tasks will help them feel more like a “big sibling” which is a special feeling. When you give them credit for doing the tasks, they will feel a sense of accomplishment instead of seeing their sibling as competition.
Have scheduled one on one time with toddler
One of the reasons why it comes becomes difficult for toddlers to adjust to having a new baby in the house is because parents get too involved with the baby. While this is completely understandable because a newborn needs a lot of care and attention, it might make your toddler feel neglected.
What you should do is take some time out to spend only with your toddler. You and your partner can take turns so one of you is also with the newborn. The one-on-ones don’t have to be too planned out either, a simple walk to the park or a trip to the grocery store will make them more happy than you think!
For example, exercise is important during postpartum and you should have a daily walk scheduled into your routine. Sometimes, you can also consider bringing your toddler along.
Have a distraction kit
Desperate times call for desperate measures. There will be instances where things get extremely overwhelming, and both your children demand attention at the same time.
It is best to be prepared for these type of situations, and what we recommend is having a distraction kit ready for your toddler.
This can have things like a new toy that will keep them occupied for some time, some stickers that you can give them, or anything else that you think will help distract them from a tantrum.
The distraction kit is something that you should only pull out rarely because otherwise your toddler will be on to you!
Cuddle with caution
Your body is in a very fragile state after giving birth, and it will take it some time to heal and recover. During the postpartum recovery period, you have to make sure that you don’t pick your toddler up, and have cuddle sessions with caution.
Talk to your toddler and let them know that mommy is getting better and that is still hurt which is why she can’t pick them up.
Find a sweet spot that allows you to be comfortable, where your hemorrhoids or incision are not being flared up but you can also be physically affectionate with your toddler.
It is also wise to start practicing gentle cuddling while you are still pregnant, so your toddler also gets used to it.
The most important thing to remember is not to let the mom guilt get to you. You are doing your absolute best, and after you get passed the learning curve (which will be super quick) you will feel a lot more confident about mothering both your babies. Know that your toddler will be fine, even if they are taking a while to adjust because they now have a new member in the family who loves them a lot.
Read: How to deal with mom guilt with a toddler
Postpartum Depression Recovery Stories
Postpartum depression is real, and it is important we talk about how women go through this phenomenon. Here are some stories of mamas who through PPD, but made through it with some help:
” I went through (PPD) with my second baby as well and not my first. It didn’t really hit me til she was almost a year old (pretty late I know). I wouldn’t really cry and be sad I just had no motivation to get out of bed and felt like I was being a bad mom to my kids and wasn’t giving them enough attention. I was put on antidepressants and while they did help the main thing that got me back to myself was returning to work. That time away from my kids a couple days a week helped me a lot. I recommend you take the time to talk to your OB or primary doctor and ask for help.”
“Talk to your doctor please! I kept waiting and waiting for mine to go away and I don’t think it did until my daughter was 12 months, when I finally decided to put her in childcare and went back to work part time. I think that big change finally made me dig out of my funk but it was hard and I still don’t feel totally back to normal. If I am pregnant again I will definitely talk to my new doctor about medications. I was hesitant to ever even consider it and I don’t know why, because I was miserable!”
“Reading other parents talk about their similar struggles helps me feel less alone in my feelings. But mostly, it’s having a really supportive partner. If you can get help with caring for the baby, taking breaks for yourself, I think that’s a huge benefit and aside from meds and/or therapy, is the most important.”
“It gets better! Get any type of help you can. My mom practically moved in for the first three months because I couldn’t be alone with her and thankfully my husband was awesome and assured me everything was going to be okay. For me, time and Zoloft did wonders. Do not be ashamed! Bringing a human into this world is no small feat. I remember waking up and seeing the sun and thinking “yes, we survived another night.” And after awhile it all just fell into place. Our daughter will be 2 in October. All 3 of us have come a long way and I wouldn’t change it for the world. Hang in there. It gets better.”
“Don’t just try to cope! Get a therapist, and if you’re not breastfeeding look into medication. Trying to deal on my own was a nightmare and almost killed me. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, so there’s no reason to hide it. Be up front about the issue and get help! Also, yoga and meditation were beneficial extras.”
“I really want to thank everyone for sharing their stories and I really urge anyone who is reading these and feeling this way or even just feeling a bit off (or if you know someone who is) — TELL SOMEONE. Don’t wait and hope it goes away. Find someone who will listen to you and take you seriously. You’re not a shitty parent or person for this. You’re an amazing person who is looking out for not only your own well being but your child and those around you as well. You deserve to be taken seriously and you deserve to be the best person and parent you can be by getting the help you need.”