The day you give birth to your baby(s) your struggle as a mom has started, Now, it is not about self-care only, It’s about the whole family. During this postpartum period, moms’ focus tends to change as it is hard to get pro in everything they do. They have to juggle with so much stuff at the same time which results in neglecting themselves.
That being said, postpartum care needs a lot of work on yourself and your baby. If you choose to breastfeed or not, you should know what health conditions you might develop during postpartum (some last for the time being) and if that happens what you should do. This post is about what is a good practice to follow while you are in your postpartum as far as your health is concerned.
1. Healthy Diet
The #1 priority of a breastfeeding mom is to eat healthy and wealthy. This is the only time after pregnancy when you have an excuse to eat more when you don’t have to worry about putting too many pounds on. Most of the women lose weight while breastfeeding. It helps your uterus to come to its original size more quickly. Whereas, some women gain weight because they need more energy and food. Somehow their bodies tend to put on weight in order for them to stay on the milk supply level. Once they quit breastfeeding they lose weight.
For moms who choose not to breastfeed need energy to keep up with the newborn, family, chores, work, and so much more. You have to be on top of your diet.
Eat healthy as much as you can, mil, banana, dates, almonds, organic ghee, Cheese, oatmeal, semolina etc. To know what you should and should not eat Read Postpartum diet for moms.
2. Regularly taking prenatal vitamins
Your prenatal vitamins are as essential as your meals throughout your day. You have to take your vitamins religiously while you are breastfeeding the way you have been taking during your pregnancy.
3. Drink Plenty of water
Water is as essential as air at this time. Constipation is a severe consequence after delivery. It gets painful for moms no matter what delivery process moms have gone through. You have to stay hydrated so that your bowel movements will get back to normal soon. For breastfeeding, you need way too much water. Take as many liquids as you can.
4. Sleep whenever you CAN
Once you give birth, your sleepless nights start. In the beginning, it’s all the excitement for a new being at home and you don’t feel about sleep deprivations. Once you get into a routine, your baby starts staying awake and alert throughout the day and your sleep and rest graph starts falling down. Sleep deprivation is not going to be healthy at all. You have to catch up on your sleep debts while everything else has to weight. Learn how you can cope up with sleep deprivation being a mom.
Try to sleep better or nap throughout the day
5. Take plenty of rest if you feel tired and exhausted
Breastfeeding is a tiring process. You feel so much low on energy. Night feedings, holding a baby burping, swaddling, rocking, moving around, dealing with a colic baby, everything is so exhausting for a mom. Stay active and rest whenever you can. Do not drag yourself to do something if your body does not feel ready for.
Postpartum Health Issues and Discomforts for Moms
These are some Health Concerns you might get while breastfeeding. I myself have experienced a few. They are not to be neglected or delayed at any stage.
1. Cracked Nipples and clogged ducts
Cracked nipples or clogged duct on your breast are super painful. Although, breastfeeding is not an easy process, yet it is certainly the most beautiful experience of motherhood. It gives you cracked, bleeding nipples which are so painful for a couple of weeks.
Mastitis is an inflammation of the breast that is caused by clogged duct, infection or allergy. One of the symptoms is fever due to infection. Clogged duct or engorgement can also be caused by stress, anemia or weak immune system. Immediately talk to your doctor, you might have to take antibiotics to treat an infection.
Keep a close eye on your health while breastfeeding.
2. Postpartum Hair Loss
Postpartum hair loss is totally normal. It happens because the hormones are now coming down after childbirth. If your 3 or 4 months mark postpartum hair loss is not going away for a long time that means your body needs more nutrition.
The hair loss is going to happen when your little one is around 3 to 4 months. For some women, it starts a little late. What I have figured out the reason for the hair loss is, your body needs more iron, zinc, vitamin D.
You need to check your stress level, exhaustion, sleep deprivation if your hair loss is not going away, technically, everything adds up.
3. Postpartum Depression and Anxiety
This is one of the most common emotional and physical health concerns happening to moms. New moms tend to feel lonely and they need some adult talk. Its hours and hours of struggle with the baby. Sleepless nights adjusting with newborn sleep, household chores and responsibility of feeding other members of the family are considerable reasons for someone to feel depressed.
The best way to deal with this is to keep yourself busy, surround yourself with positive people, and stay connected with people around you. Read, write whatever that keeps your mind distracted and you feel productive at the same time.
You can read about how you can improve your emotional health with the right nutrition. Nutrition plays a significant role in your emotional, physical and mental health.
Talk to your doctor if you have serious thoughts of harming yourself or the baby.
4. Thyroid Disorder
Keep an eye on your postpartum symptoms. Too much hair loss, fatigue, weight gain, or weight loss, swelling, feeling cold more than usual, depression and anxiety, are some of the common thyroid symptoms. If you feel something is not fine, it doesn’t hurt to get your thyroid levels checked.
During breastfeeding it is very common to lose weight, some women don’t. If you think you are not losing weight while you are not eating that much, and if you think you feel dryness in your hair, skin. Nails, continuous cycles of hair loss, there are high chances that you might be having thyroid issues.
Postpartum thyroiditis is an autoimmune disease which can occur during the first year a woman has gone through childbirth.
I was having the symptoms by my 6-month postpartum appointment and I found out thyroid as a culprit.
5. Dizziness and lack of energy
If you feel dizzy or you may feel low on energy which your little one is getting from you. Take iron, calcium-rich food. Take supplements for calcium or magnesium if you have too much leg cramping or dizziness. Because it happens. If you are not eating the way you should eat and the way your body needs according to your lifestyle, you need to take extra supplements in order to function better.
When my daughter was about 4 months, I was having serious dizziness, fatigue, exhaustion, foggy brain, poor concentration. I was struggling with two little ones and honestly, I used to forget that I had to eat. I was literally juggling between so much.
Then, my kids’ pediatrician suggested that it was time to start solid whereas I was planning to start around 6 months mark. But it was much needed to be started right away. She needed more nutrition. As soon as she started solids, I was feeling way better.
6. Torn Abdominal muscles: Walk, exercise or yoga with Caution
If you had a normal delivery, then as per your doctor’s suggestion you can start exercising whenever you feel comfortable. You should feel energetic and your body shouldn’t ache. Although, the walking is highly recommended right from the next day you would deliver.
You might have heard of the term diastasis recti. It is actually tearing of the abdominal muscles. It happens during pregnancy, not to everyone though because of muscles stretching. You need to be extra cautious if you experience diastasis recti.
When my daughter was born. I went for my 6 weeks postpartum appointment. The midwife advised me not to do any abdominal exercise at this point because my muscles haven’t come back to their original position. Exercise would do more harm than good.
Yoga is good for this condition. But you can do yoga only if you have time, quiet and patience for yoga.
7. Chances of Developing Ovarian Cyst while breastfeeding
Another thing for breastfeeding moms is that they might get an ovarian cyst. Normally, it is a follicular cyst which develops because the eggs travel down the tube in search of a sperm the fertilization doesn’t rupture or release. This eventually forms a cyst.
These cysts can cause abdominal discomfort depending on what side of ovary they are. Within a few days, it gets ruptures which results in internal bleeding and severe pain.
It happened to me around 9 months postpartum. I went to ER, they found out the cyst but they couldn’t do anything about it. I came back home and after a couple of days of pain finally, the cyst ruptured and it was an EXTREMELY PAINFUL experience. I had to take pain medication 800 mg of Ibuprofen prescribed by the doctor at ER and I was feeling much better.
If something similar happens to you, unfortunately, you cannot do anything about it. Just Take Ibuprofen 800 mg and you are good to go. ( only if you don’t have any allergies).
These are some of the health concerns for breastfeeding moms that need not be ignored. Do you think is there anything else which a mom needs to be aware of for her postpartum?