After the Baby - Six Things You Should Know
Get plenty of rest
The first few weeks after having a baby are a whirlwind of activity. You may find that you suddenly have "no time" to do the things that you usually accomplish easily. Your sleep patterns may be disrupted and your bio-rhythms turned upside down. Be sure to nap frequently when the baby is sleeping, try to take turns with your partner or family in getting up at night.
You're on a learning curve
You, the baby and your family are all learning about each other. If this is your first baby, you've wandered into completely foreign territory. If this is your second or more, remember that every baby is different. The first 6 weeks are a time of incredibly rapid learning for the baby. Love and nurturing stimulate brain development in babies. Cindy Carson of the child advocacy group First Call explains that when a baby is born he has billions of brain cells, and that many of these brain cells are not connected. "They only get connected through experience, says Carson, "so when you talk to your baby, cuddle it, and handle it, these experiences will start to make connections."
Sometimes new mothers become so wrapped up in the needs of the baby that they unintentionally leave their partners out. Schedule some alone time with you and your partner in order to stay connected. Consider pumping if you're breastfeeding so Dad can enjoy feeding the baby as well. Include him in the learning process of how to care for a newborn. A book that new fathers may enjoy is
Be alert to the warning signs
Call us if you have uncontrollable sadness, anger or anxiety. These may be signs of postpartum depression. Call us if you have fever, worsening pain or malodorous discharge. You should generally feel better over time after giving birth, check in with your doctor if this is not happening.
Schedule your 6 week post-delivery checkup now
Your 6 week checkup is an important part of your prenatal care.
Ask about the free photography session that we offer all of our patients at this time.
The "S" Word
Many mothers resume sexual activity by 4-6 weeks post-delivery. Just because you're breastfeeding doesn't mean that you can't get pregnant! Be sure to discuss birth control options with your provider at the 6 week visit. Lots of contraceptive choices are safe with breastfeeding.
Asela C. Russell, MD
Leslie T. Scariano, MD
Jackie Ziernicki, MD
Grace M. Holub, MD
Heather Fitzler, MD
Center for Women:
Parker Adventist Hospital
Skyridge Medical Center
Castle Rock Adventist Hospital
American Heart Association