Accepting Motherhood and Being a Healthy Mother

Taking good care of yourself is part of taking care of your baby.

The first weeks after childbirth are a time of change. There are many new things to adjust to.
The best things you can do for yourself are:
  • Get as much rest as you can
  • Eat healthy, good foods
  • Accept the help that people offer
  • Talk about your feelings with your partner and other people you care about.

Taking good care of yourself is part of taking care of your baby.

Childbirth affects all parts of your life.

It affects your:

  • Body. You will leave behind the stress of pregnancy and start to deal with the physical demands of caring for your baby.
  • Feelings. You may feel joy, excitement, fear, confusion, and love. Your feelings are very strong and change very quickly.
  • Social life. You see that your role in society has changed. There may be tension between your new role as a mother and other roles, in the workplace and in your family.
  • Mind. You are leaving behind who you used to be and you are starting a different stage of your life. It is a time of change, and it may not be easy.

All of these changes seem to come at once. They are all mixed together. You may not know why you feel so swamped you just know that you do. And you may be surprised that you feel this way!

All of these feelings happen at a time when you are so tired. Some people feel tired deep in their bones. Everything seems worse when you are tired.

Talking with your partner about your feelings is important. If you feel tired, lonely or angry, say so. You may find that he feels the same way. Talk about what is bothering you. You need to know what the problem is before you can start to solve it.

Talking with other new mothers can also help you. When they tell you about their lives, you will hear that you are NOT the only one who feels this way.

Your Body After Childbirth

Your life will get better. Your baby will begin to sleep at regular times. You will learn to give him a bath, dress him and feed him. You and your partner will be able to talk to each other without the baby crying or one of you falling asleep. And one day your baby will smile just for you, and you will know that being a mother is the best thing in the world.

The time after childbirth is called postpartum. It affects your body in many ways.

During the first 6 weeks after childbirth, your body is going through many changes:
  • Your uterus is getting back to the size it was before you were pregnant.
  • While you are breastfeeding, your body is getting used to making milk. • You are losing the extra fluid your body made while you were pregnant.
  • Your hormones are changing from the high levels of pregnancy to a lower level.
  • You are recovering from the physical effort of giving birth. If you had a cesarean, you need to recover from the operation (surgery). If you had a vaginal birth, your stitches may be healing (if you had stitches).

Tips for Good Postnatal Health

After your baby is born, here are some ways to help yourself:
  • Get as much sleep as you can.
  • Eat many small meals instead of three large ones
  • Accept that you need help: go to your friends, neighbors, and family.
  • Do not let motherhood take over your entire life. Being a little bit selfish can be a good thing.
  • Find time for yourself without guilt. Learn to relax into motherhood. For example, take a nice long bath.
  • Read all you can on the subject.
  • Express your feelings. Write them down. Tell people how you feel.
  • Find someone who wants to listen. It’s good to find someone who is going through the same thing. Just talking about it may help.
  • Join a group of new parents in your community. Share your problems with someone who will not judge you.
  • Do not isolate yourself.
  • Make a real effort to talk with your partner. Hold on to the love and friendship that you have.
  • Solve the problems you can and accept the others.

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