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Embracing mamahood: What to expect after birth

ByTiffany ReyesNovember 25, 2022
The day of your baby’s birth has finally come. Now, you’re sleepless, tired, and breasts leaking (or engorged) with milk. Being a new mom means several changes on the physical, emotional, psychological aspects. Essentially, a new you has also emerged– for when after a baby is born, a mother is born too.
Here are some changes you must expect post delivery.
On your body
Edema - Most moms usually experience edema or water retention, or what we usually call manas. This is because a woman’s body, during pregnancy, produces 50 percent more blood and body fluids for the baby’s growth. Post-birth, these fluids can’t just suddenly disappear from the body. Your feet and legs will be swollen and doctors usually advise comfortable walks around the house to help normalize blood circulation and lessen the swelling.
Watch out for postpartum bleeding too – it’s like menstruation that waited for months! Prepare plenty of maternity napkins, or even disposable panties for less work. Make sure you also have no signs of hemorrhage, signs of eclampsia, low or high blood pressure, infection, and thromboembolism or blood clots.
Wrist pain - Carrying your baby with utmost care like using your wrist to protect the newborn’s neck will put a pressure on your carpals. Add edema to the equation and you’ll most likely experience carpal tunnel syndrome and thumb tendonitis (De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis), which may make your thumb and side wrists really feel painful. You can check out baby rockers to help lessen those carry-the-baby moments.
Vaginal tear or CS stitches - You should monitor your birthing wounds (vaginal tear) or your operation scar if you gave birth via Cesarean section. Every day, ensure the wound is healing properly and it doesn’t have puss. Find a reliable binder that will help your uterus return to its pre-birth state.
Meanwhile, do those stretchmarks bother you? Fret not, for there are many products in the market that help lessen stretch marks. Or you can just be proud of your mama mark!
Hairfall - Yikes, this rings true for many moms. The hair shedding usually occurs months after giving birth, and this is due to dropping estrogen levels. Conquer it with a postpartum anti-hairfall shampoo.
Back pains - Cradling your newborn baby for hours may mean more back pains. Clogged ducts may also harden parts of your back and chest. To prevent these pains, try shoulder rolls and stretching, plus warm baths. Or you can beat that with a lactation massager.
Sex drive - This will definitely go down for a while – it is nature’s way of preserving mama’s body and family planning. It’s something couples must expect and respect. After all, taking care of a newborn entails lots of time and effort, so energy for sex might just be found nowhere.
According to WHO, all women should also “be asked about resumption of sexual intercourse and possible dyspareunia as part of an assessment of overall well-being 2–6 weeks after birth.”
Changes in your emotions
Your hormones are going haywire after birth, on top of huge life changes that might trigger depression and anxiety.
But it should not be something you should be shy about. Speak out, seek help, and get your partner’s help. Postpartum depression affects at least 13 percent of women globally and is considered a significant public health problem. The World Health Organization encourages said women “ to tell their healthcare professional about any changes in mood, emotional state and behavior that are outside of the woman’s normal pattern.”
You may find yourself not knowing what to do, feeling inadequate, or bearing the ultimate mom guilt. Mama, just be kinder to yourself! Get help whenever you can, and when times are hard, remember how much you wanted this baby, and how much joy the baby brings. If you’re feeling otherwise, discuss it with a family member, friends, or a medical expert.
Apart from proper medication and psychotherapy, experts also swear by journaling. New moms are overstimulated so they need more activity that will help them gather their thoughts, like journaling. Or perhaps seek some order in your daily chaotic schedule with a classic planner.
Aromatherapy may also help momma relax, especially when it’s dad’s time to take care of the baby.
Find your new mom squad if you feel like you want to meet people who are in the same boat. After all, it really takes a village to raise humans. Check out edamama’s Connect for a community of fellow mamas, plus experts from various medical fields.
Life doesn’t come with a manual, it comes with a mother. We're here for you, Mama! At edamama, you get to Discover tips, stories, and all things motherhood, Explore opportunities for fun and learning, Connect with experts and fellow mamas, and Shop for your and your little bean’s essentials.