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Recovering After Birth: from Emotional Aspects to Kegel Exercises & More

Recovering After Birth: from Emotional Aspects to Kegel Exercises & More

So the big event is over, but the adventure's just begun! The first 6 weeks after birth, often called the postpartum period, is a time when you’ll be recovering from birth and going through major lifestyle changes. You'll find that soon after giving birth, you will begin to adjust to your new exciting role as primary nurturer. There are two sides to recovering after birth: emotional and physical.

Emotional adjustment

A new baby brings immeasurable joy. So you may wonder why you're occasionally feeling down. Don't worry; it's natural to experience postpartum blues. This roller-coaster ride is normal for both first-time and "experienced" moms and is caused by hormonal changes in your body. Support from your partner, family and friends will help you through these times. If you're feeling isolated, invite a friend or family member to spend time with you and your baby. And remember if you are emotionally overwhelmed, you can always speak to your doctor.

Physical recovery

Your road to recovery can begin while you're still in the hospital. Start with simple Kegel exercises. Squeeze muscles that surround the urethra as if you were stopping the flow of urine.  Kegel exercises may be difficult to do at first, but keep at it, and it'll get easier. It is worth recognizing that recovering after birth can take your body up to about 9 months before getting back to where it was before pregnancy. When you're home and have gotten your doctor's okay, you can gradually build up to stretching, walking, swimming and stationary cycling. Call a local fitness centre or talk to other moms for information about post-pregnancy exercise classes. Many places offer Moms-only, or better yet Mom & Baby exercise classes.

Be good to yourself

Eating the right foods can speed up your emotional and physical recovery. Now is not the time to go on a crash diet, especially if you're breastfeeding. Instead, continue the healthy eating habits you began during pregnancy. Staying on a good postpartum nutrition course will help you maintain the energy you need to recover and to take care of your new baby.

Learn more about healthy advice while breastfeeding.

Take the time you need to adjust and make the most of this experience. Find ways to involve family and let nonessential chores slide while you bond. It's okay if the dishes and laundry pile up a little. And don't be shy about asking for help with babysitting and household chores from friends and family.

If you don't find the information you're looking for, please feel free to contact us for additional support.