Becoming a new parent is one of the most life-changing experiences you’ll ever have. The excitement, anticipation, and joy of welcoming a new life into the world is just unlike anything else and it’s completely amazing. However, what many new parents don’t expect are certain challenges that can come with the postpartum period. Here are some unexpected struggles to be aware of during the postpartum period so you’re ready and equipped with how to deal with them!
The physical challenges that come with postpartum can be overwhelming. After childbirth, you can experience pain, soreness, and fatigue. In addition, most peoples bodies undergo physical changes from incontinence to a change of shape and size. It’s important to take care of yourself during this time by getting plenty of rest, eating a healthy diet, and staying hydrated. A little time to pamper yourself goes a long way too, a mummy makeover at home can make you feel much more like ‘you’ again if you get a spare hour.
The postpartum period can also be a challenging time for your mental health. Many new parents experience mood swings, anxiety, and depression during this time. It’s important to remember that these feelings are normal and that there is help available. You can talk to your healthcare provider about how you’re feeling or seek out support from a mental health professional. You can also reach out to friends and family for emotional support.
One of the most significant challenges of the postpartum period is sleep deprivation. Newborns need to be fed every few hours, which means that parents may have to wake up several times throughout the night. This can be exhausting and make it challenging to function during the day. It’s important to get as much rest as possible during this time. Try to sleep when your baby is sleeping, and ask for help from family and friends. You may also want to consider using sleep aids, such as earplugs or a white noise machine, to help you sleep.
Breastfeeding is an essential part of postpartum for many parents. However, it can also be incredibly challenging. From issues with latching, engorgement, or low milk supply, it’s important to seek help from a lactation consultant if you’re experiencing any difficulties with breastfeeding. They can provide you with tips and advice to help you and your baby succeed with breastfeeding. Get yourself a big water bottle to help with hydration, and some decent breastfeeding clothes. You can find maternity bras here if you’re still pregnant that work well as nursing bras too once you’re into the postpartum period.
Having a new baby can put a strain on your relationship with your partner. You might find that you have less time for each other or just that you’re both exhausted and irritable which can be a catalyst for arguments at times. If you have a support system, utilise it so you can spend some one on one time with your partner every now and again, give each other grace if you’re feeling down or moody and dont make it a competition of who feels the most tired. Things do get easier, and you’ll get back to being yourselves again eventually.
It’s so important to take care of yourself during this time, there are resources available to help and things you can do to plan ahead. By taking care of yourself you can navigate the unexpected struggles of postpartum, and better enjoy this exciting time with your new baby.