Most moms worry about their first week home with their new baby, but most of the worry surrounds baby’s health and well-being. Sometimes, mom’s health gets pushed to the back burner in favor of the baby’s, as is natural, but it’s important to consider the mental and physical health implications that mothers may face in the first few weeks postpartum. When you’re home with that new baby, your own health and stability will ensure the best care for your little one and what your OB-GYN wants you to know about your first week as a new mom can make you feel a lot better.
Dr. Kenneth James, MD, OB-GYN, from Saddleback Memorial Medical Center in Laguna Hills, California, encourages all of his patients to try to be of healthy mind and body throughout pregnancy in order to ease the postpartum period that follows. “I tell all pregnant women,” he says, “it is the baby that is the hard part, as compared to pregnancy and delivery, so stay healthy in mind and body and you will do amazingly well.”
Physiologic changes and emotional changes occur immediately after birth and being healthy and well can help prepare for this, James continues. “Fluid balance — between releasing all excess fluid accumulated in pregnancy balanced with increased intake to satisfy breast milk production — is difficult on many women, but important.”
Cultural, sociological, economic and personal biases come into play when new parents bring home a child, too, James tells Romper. “Many of us do not have family living close by to rely on,” he says, “and I encourage all my patients to seek out either friends, family and/ or professional agencies to help. Postpartum doula services are readily available, as are baby nurse services and nanny services.”
No one should be too proud to ask for help, James says. “I encourage my patients to seek out therapy in all forms: psychologists, psychiatrists, hypnotherapists, spiritual guides or any other form of alternative healing.”
Dr. Yen H. Tran, DO, OB-GYN, from Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center in Fountain Valley,…