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Postpartum Survival 101
Never fear, postpartum survival help is here! One of the primary goals of this blog is to help new moms. Period. Since I am a postpartum doula, I LOVE that I get to do that often. #bestjobever!
Since I work primarily nights with my clients, I get to experience time and time again the mom who says things like, ” Wow! I feel like a new woman after getting some uninterrupted sleep!. Thank you so much! Now I feel like I can function again!”
It’s so wonderful knowing that my work is needed and appreciated. In many cases, it may even help prevent common postpartum challenges such as mastitis, postpartum anxiety or depression. Lack of sleep can do nasty things to a new postpartum mama. Ouch!
But, not every woman can have a postpartum doula to help with night feedings, feed the mom, tidy up the messes or fold the baby laundry!
This is why I started this blog…. as a virtual doula, of sorts! If I can provide you, the new mom, with educational resources and planning help, I am confident that your postpartum experience will be MUCH better!
Expert Postpartum Survival Help is Here!
Life with a newborn is not easy. Even if everything goes textbook perfect for the labor and delivery, most women report that the postpartum recovery and adjustment to motherhood is much harder than expected. While this, too, can vary from woman to woman, there are always challenges when adjusting to the “new normal” that a newborn brings to the home.
If you are still pregnant, make sure that you start by reading my post on postpartum recovery and how to write a perfect postpartum plan. You can find them both here.
6 of the Most Common Postpartum Survival Challenges with Problem-Solving Tips to Help!
In this post, I am featuring some of my favorite mom bloggers who offer expert postpartum survival advice on the most common postpartum challenges facing new parents. Read on….
Problem #1: Breastfeeding Challenges
Although many women understand the many great health and emotional benefits of breastfeeding (for both mom and baby), it certainly can come with its share of challenges! Some women find it easy and “natural” but other women have some pretty major hurdles to overcome. You never know what YOUR experience will be.
If you are planning to breastfeed, please make sure that you plan to surround yourself with a strong supportive community who will support your decision and be your cheerleader when times get rough. Most women find that the first 2 weeks are the hardest. Getting past those first 2 weeks is not always easy, though.
Here is a great post by one of my favorite “crunchy” mom bloggers, Genevieve Howland. Her popular blog is called Mama Natural. This post is a very informative, helpful read and she really nails it when she says, “Breastfeeding is not for the faint of heart!”
It DOES get easier if you stick with it! If you struggle in the beginning days, DON’T WAIT to get help! Here are 10 helpful tips from Mama Natural.
by Genevieve Howland
Problem #2: Trouble Getting Anything Done
Are you having trouble getting anything done? Maybe your baby just wants to be held constantly and you can’t even put her down for one stinkin’ minute! Getting any housework done is unthinkable! You can’t even go to the bathroom, much less have time to exercise or take a shower!
Mom blogger, Liliya, has written a great little post about how she personally has dealt with this problem. It’s the ultimate guide to postpartum survival! She gives some really great tips for getting things done with a newborn that I wanted to share to encourage you and to give you some hope and perspective!
by Love, Lilya
Problem #3: Relationship Challenges
Are you concerned how the new baby will affect your relationship? Having a new baby can really impact your relationship with your partner. This is especially true if you are a brand new parent. It will take some time to get used to the new family dynamic that a baby brings!
That being said, there are definitely some things that new parents can do to safeguard their relationship during this often fragile new season!
Another one of my favorite mommy bloggers, Alli Wittbold, has written this pretty remarkable post about how to prepare your relationship for your new baby. Her tips are amazing and I agree that reading this post before the baby arrives would be most useful!
She blogs along with Trina Fitzpatrick to create Mom Smart Not Hard. It’s another amazing resource for new moms. Check out this great post here!
by Alli Wittbold
Problem #4: Postpartum Mood Changes
What is the difference between “The Baby Blues” and Postpartum Depression? While many women experience some form of hormonal-causing mood changes during the first 2 weeks postpartum, there is a definite difference between “normal” baby blues and postpartum mood disorders.
After delivering a baby, your hormones are going crazy inside! All these hormonal changes can cause all kinds of weird symptoms including night sweats, mood swings and extreme exhaustion! The “Baby Blues” is quite normal for the first 2 weeks as your hormones adjust back a more stable level.
But, there are some women who have much more severe symptoms of anxiety, depression and other mood changes well beyond the normal 2 weeks. One such mom was Kimberly Zapata, the founder of Greater Than: Illness, a nonprofit dedicated to empowering teens and young adults struggling with mental illness.
She wrote this amazing article which was published on another great mom blog, called Scary Mommy. Scary Mommy is a popular blog for new moms that has lots of great contributors each month.
Educate yourself before baby by reading this great post now!
by Kimberly Zapata
Problem #5: Ouch! My Whole Body Hurts!
From after-pains, to sore nipples, to sore achy muscles from pushing… many women find that their whole body aches after delivery! If you have stitches in your perineum, you will also be tender and sore “down under”. Moms recovering from a cesarean birth have another whole set of recovery challenges, as well! Read one mom’s cesarean recovery experience here.
Ah, the joys of postpartum recovery! All this to bring a new baby human into the world…. but it is SO WORTH IT!!
As you learn about postpartum survival tips, you have probably heard that there are some rather “unpleasant” physical and emotional challenges to recovery and while that is true, DON’T BE AFRAID though! It’s nothing that you cannot deal with! Remember… by this time you have already survived pregnancy and childbirth. You can do this, mama! You are strong!
If you want to know more about what to expect during your postpartum recovery, (and you SHOULD) I have dug up this helpful post for you. It will help you better understand what to expect and plan accordingly. The author, Katie Clark, has written about her own personal postpartum story. She is another great mom blogger writing about all things mom and family. You can find her blog here.
Problem #6: Sleep Deprivation
Last but certainly NOT least is perhaps the greatest postpartum survival challenge of all: Sleep deprivation. Not only is lack of sleep exhausting and no fun, but it can also be a trigger for postpartum mood disorders, mastitis and other postpartum complications. Not only that, but lack of sleep can really compromise your immunity and ultimately, your baby’s health as well.
I cannot stress enough the importance of getting good sleep during the early months! But how, you ask?
As an overnight postpartum doula, I have worked with many families to help them figure out their postpartum sleep concerns. I need to say that YES, it really IS possible, but you need to be very strategic. It takes partnership, planning and strategy to make sure that both parents are getting good sleep.
This is my own post that teaches new parents some of these strategies. 🙂 You can find that post here. This post is a teaser for the more extensive new parent sleep resource that I wrote as an eBook.
I have written this resource for tired parents who need QUICK solutions that they can start applying TODAY! It’s an “easy-read” survival manual (eBook download) on the subject of postpartum and newborn sleep.
In this book, I have included ALL of my best doula tips that I share regularly with new parents to help them maximize their sleep during the early weeks.
by Karen Kostohris, CD(DONA), CPD, CLC
This is NOT your average book on baby sleep, but an easy step-by-step, hands-on survival guide for new parents! I teach new parents how to maximize their sleep during the postpartum period.
I have compiled all my favorite sleep tips into a very practical and useful book on sleep for new parents. This quick, easy read is a very affordable eBook that will be a game changer for your family!
Please Share YOUR great tips! 🙂
Do you have any other great tips for surviving the postpartum season with your newborn? What has worked well for you? Please share your tips! I’d LOVE to hear them!