Baby arrives! Welcome to the postpartum! And postpartum lasts forever.
Just like motherhood is forever.
You may experience a big relief of some pregnancy symptoms, such as heartburn, constipation, swelling, or shortness of breath. Or you may begin to experience new pain, maybe an epidural headache, sore breasts, bleeding nipples, burning between your shoulder blades, neck pain, or back pain. Many moms experience the return of pains that seems to take a break during pregnancy, like migraines and allergies.
Your body will start to shift into what’s next: either the hormonal recipe for lactation (if you choose to breastfeed) or back to its non-pregnant stage (and menstruation).
Take Time to Heal
In the immediate days after birth, your uterus will shift to a lower position in your abdomen, as it is now empty. You may feel cramping and there will be lochia discharge for six weeks or so. The uterus will continue to shrink over the next six to ten weeks as it returns to its original size of a closed fist. Remember that your placenta left a scab inside you when it detached after birth. This scab starts at about the size of small dinner plate (think 8 inch diameter) and shrinks as it heals.
Every time you over-exert yourself the first few weeks postpartum, you are essentially picking this scab. Your bleeding/lochia may increase, and you set your healing back a bit.
With baby bump gone, your center of gravity will shift backwards towards normal. But the skin and adipose layers will still be there. I lovingly refer to this as “mommy squish” and yes, it goes away in time. Shelf the need to address it the first few months postpartum.
The Fourth Trimester
The first three months of postpartum are often called “Fourth Trimester” because baby needs you just as much (or more!) as the past three trimesters spent inside you.
It can be overwhelming and exhausting. So slow down. Going slow in this recovery phase is more beneficial in the long-run. You will prevent injuries and create a strong foundation for future success. Please eat nourishing food and replenish yourself with healthful choices.
Focus on bonding with baby and settling into being a parent and having this family.
This is a major life change combined with extensive hormonal swings and sleep deprivation. The postpartum time is when many (moms and dads) are vulnerable to depression, anxiety, and other mental health concerns. It is okay to feel sad, scared, anxious, overwhelmed… and like you’ve lost your old self. Please reach out if the emotions seem too big because you matter and we care about you.
This is a great local resource for postpartum mental health http://www.ppsupportmn.org/
Postpartum Chiropractic Care
Dr Kristen provides individualized postpartum recovery care plans specific to your goals and capacity. Remember slow is fast! You will be advised in the lifestyle choices that help prevent postpartum depletion. You will receive specific postpartum chiropractic adjustments that help restore proper alignment, body balance, and promote healing. Since we understand how difficult it is for moms of newborns to get out of the house, we accommodate your care frequency as to not overwhelm you. You got this, mama! Never feel alone or abandoned during this postpartum abyss of overwhelm, we care about you and we are here for you.
Check out our community events page for our Mommy Meet-up group and Baby Hours.