5 Postpartum Things Your Midwife Wants You to Know
Prioritize your rest
Yes, we’ve all heard “sleep when baby is sleeping” but taking time to rest when your little one is asleep is honestly THE BEST THING YOU CAN DO FOR YOUR RECOVERY! No matter how your baby arrives, your body needs to recuperate from the birth.
Healing from potential blood loss including wounds or stitches that you may have sustained, medications you may have had, the demands on your body as you establish lactation as well as recovery from pregnancy itself requires plenty of rest and time. Recovery is different for everyone and if you’ve had a caesarean section, recovery might take longer.
This isn’t forever! But if you can prioritize rest (above visitors and housework) for at least the first 4 to 6 weeks after giving birth, you are giving yourself a more positive start.
If you are planning to breastfeed, research a little beforehand
Many women say they are keen to “try... and see how they go” when it comes to breastfeeding, but what many people don’t warn you about is how hard it can be at the start.
Equipping yourself with knowledge regarding attachment, supply, troubleshooting ideas, and where to get support can make this journey MUCH easier for you.
Trying to “learn on the go” when you are already exhausted and overwhelmed is not an ideal plan. Breastfeeding has plenty of benefits that you and your baby can gain from. Read here to learn more.
You could try these to better prepare yourself before the arrival of your baby:
- Enrol in a breastfeeding class
- Consult with a midwife or lactation consultant
- Research for reliable information from reputable websites such as The Australian Breastfeeding Associate
Get ready for a lot of conflicting advice… even in hospital
New mums frequently report how confused and overwhelmed they get when receiving differing and sometimes conflicting advice from family, friends and even midwives in hospital. It is understandable why this happens though – when you consider the fact that there is rarely one set way to do things.
There are many variations of what can be considered as “normal”, what tips and tricks have worked, how to settle down with your little one, how to hold them or even when feeding time should be. It is a matter of finding out what works well for you, and this takes time, practise and experience.
Don’t ever be afraid to question the advice you are being given. Understanding the rationale behind the advice can help you in making an informed choice, deepen your learning and equip you with the confidence to trust your own instincts.
Learn about the Fourth Trimester
The emerging philosophy of The Fourth Trimester highlights the first 12 weeks after the birth where your baby begins to adjust being outside of the womb while you adjust to your new life as a mum as well as the need to support the inevitable changes during this period.
Just as a new puppy needs to feel the reassurance of hearing his mother’s heartbeat and feeling her warmth, a new baby also needs to feel reassured and comforted as they get accustomed to the outside world.
Lots of cuddles, skin-to-skin time, soft voices and rocking, swaddling and movement will not spoil your baby in these early days. Rather, it will soothe and calm them. Learning about settling techniques, to read about your baby’s cues and to communicate with them takes time and patience.
It is common to experience a range of emotions after the birth
Whilst it is an exciting and joyful time for you, the arrival of your baby can also be a very overwhelming, exhausting and challenging time.
Reflecting on your labour and birth, feel overwhelmed by the steep learning curve of the early days, have poor confidence in your instincts, and deal with changes to sleeping patterns and hormonal fluctuations can make for a turbulent time.
Voice your concerns early and have open and honest communication with your partner, family and support system – not forgetting your healthcare team, are vital in this journey.
It is important for you to receive the support you need sooner rather than later, especially if you are feeling like the bad days are outweighing the good days. Your mental health and/or your partners are equally as important. Your doctor, midwife, Maternal Child Health Nurse or GP are good places to start.
Michelle, our midwife here at Create Health, would love to support you along this new and exciting journey. In addition to your 6-week obstetric follow up review with your doctor, our patients here at Create Health are offered a 3-week Postnatal Wellbeing appointment with Michelle. She is happy to address any concerns you have and if you would like to discuss and debrief about your birthing experience.
You can contact us here or call us 9873 6767 to schedule an appointment.