Congratulations! You made through 40 weeks of pregnancy and probably quite a few painful hours of childbirth. You’re now a proud mama and ready to get back to your pre-pregnancy lifestyle. Here’s what you need to know about the postpartum recovery period and the best ways to start feeling more like yourself.
How Long Does It Take to Recover after Having a Baby?
Regardless of how you gave birth, the first six weeks after delivering a baby is considered the recovery period. Even if you breezed through labor and delivery, your body has been pushed to the max, so it needs to time recover and heal properly.
Keep in mind that everyone is different so new moms will recover at different rates. Some symptoms resolve within a week, while others, such as sore nipples and backaches, may take longer to resolve. If you gave birth vaginally, you’re probably wondering how long it will take for the soreness to go away and your perineum to heal. Typically, recovery can take anywhere from a few weeks to a month or more, especially if you had an episiotomy.
Warding Off the Baby Blues
At one point or another, most women will experience postpartum depression. But why does that happen? In between hormonal fluctuations and taking care of a new baby, it’s perfectly normal to feel overwhelmed and down at times. It’s important to take time for yourself and do things that make you feel like your old self. Whether it’s getting your nails done or having a facial, having time to recharge your batteries can help to boost your mood. But if you continue to feel down, it’s also important to ask for help. Never suffer in silence. Talk to your partner and if necessary, enlist the help of a professional.
Returning to Exercise
If you had uncomplicated labor and delivery, your doctor will probably allow you to resume exercise six weeks postpartum. In addition to dropping the last few pounds of baby weight, regular exercise alleviates stress and gives you a chance to be yourself again. Not that you don’t love your role as a new mom, but practicing self-care is a must when warding off the baby blues.
Feeling Beautiful Again
Every woman deserves to feel beautiful. However, after having a baby, it’s not uncommon to feel less than desirable, particularly if you had a difficult vaginal birth. In addition to getting back to your pre-pregnancy weight, vaginal rejuvenation can make you feel more like yourself.
Above all else, take this time to enjoy being a mother. You’ve brought a new life into the world, which is no small feat. If you just can’t seem to shake the blues, ask friends and family for support.