The Postpartum Period is the name given to the first 6 weeks after your baby’s birth. This can be an incredibly exhausting time as you juggle your baby’s needs with your own recovery after giving birth. However, while it may be difficult, it’s also one of the most special times in your life.
Here are some of the many amazing things about the postpartum period.
The great thing about newborns is that they can sleep for up to 19 hours per day. They wake up frequently to feed since their stomach is so tiny, but mostly they’re a sleepy delight. Once you get them off to sleep after yet another feed and nappy change, take time to bask in the cuddles. The housework can wait. Your main job during the postpartum period is to care for your baby and yourself.
An excuse to rest
In our blog post about the amazing things about being pregnant, we mentioned that naps are important during pregnancy, but the importance of rest doesn’t end when the baby arrives. Your body is doing a lot of work to repair itself after giving birth. Combine that with a lack of sleep and you have a seriously stressed-out body. Be kind to yourself and don’t be afraid to prioritise rest.
No more swelling
Towards the end of your pregnancy, the pressure from your womb really slowed the circulation in your lower body, causing extra fluid to collect in your ankles and feet. Once that pressure gets released, your feet gradually return to normal. Meaning you can wear all of your pre-pregnancy shoes again!
Eating without heartburn
Heartburn during pregnancy is caused by a hormone called Relaxin (not by a hairy baby!). Relaxin’s job is to soften your joints and ligaments to allow your pelvis to flex during birth. However, Relaxin also loosens the opening of your stomach, allowing stomach acid to move upwards and cause pain. Now that Relaxin is gone, make sure to enjoy all the foods you’ve missed throughout your pregnancy!
Eating and drinking whatever you like
There are many foods we avoid during pregnancy to reduce the risk of contracting illnesses like Salmonella and Listeria. Now that you’re no longer pregnant you can be reunited with runny eggs, rare steak and raw cookie dough!
Not needing to pee
In the Third Trimester, peeing was a huge part of your life as your womb squashed your bladder making it unable to hold anything. Now that your bladder has some space, you can finally stop planning your day around toilet breaks.
Taking deep breaths
Now there’s much more space in your abdomen, your lungs can fully expand again! Use your new ability to take deep breaths to calm yourself when your newborn is testing your patience!
Turning around without bumping your bump
As your bump grew larger, it became much more difficult to move around without bumping into walls, doors or your other children’s heads. Enjoy your new-found mobility!
When you do sleep, enjoy the freedom of sleeping on your front, back, side, wherever you want! For many months you’ve been restricted to sleeping on your side to ensure good blood flow to your womb. Now you have the freedom to choose your sleeping position, as well as the ability to change position easily.
No more worrying about labour and delivery
It’s all over! After months of worrying about the pain, wondering what kind of birth you’ll have, whether your birth partner will remember to bring your favourite pillow… it’s all done. You did it!
The bonds you form with the people who help you through
You will always remember who was truly there for you (and who really irritated you!) during your postpartum journey. Those who helped you, who never judged you and who always reassured you will hold a special place in your heart forever.