After Childbirth: Coping and Adjusting
It's easy to get too tired and overwhelmed during your first weeks after childbirth. Be sure to rest whenever you can, and accept help from others.
- Be kind to yourself.
Your new baby takes a lot of work, but your baby can give you a lot of pleasure too. Don't worry about housekeeping for a while. Allow your friends or family to bring you meals or do chores.
- Limit visitors.
It's okay to limit visitors to as few as you feel you can handle or to ask them not to visit for a while. It's also okay to set a limit on how long they stay.
- If you breastfeed, learn how to collect and store some breast milk.
A friend or family member can feed the baby while you sleep or recharge. Experts usually recommend waiting about a month until breastfeeding is going well before offering a bottle.
- Eat a balanced diet so you can keep up your energy.
Also, drink plenty of fluids throughout the day. Avoid caffeine and alcohol. Caffeine is found in coffee, tea, cola drinks, chocolate, and other foods.
- Get some exercise every day.
Walking is a good choice.
- Reach out to other new parents.
Ask your doctor or child's doctor to suggest support groups for new parents. Hearing that someone else is having the same experiences you are can help.
Don't be afraid to call your doctor, midwife, or lactation specialist with questions. That's true even if you don't know what's bothering you. They are used to parents of newborns calling. They can help you figure out if there is a problem, and if so, how to fix it. If you have the baby blues for more than a few days, call your doctor right away.
Nutrition for breastfeeding
If you are breastfeeding, your doctor may suggest that you eat more calories each day than otherwise recommended for a person of your height and weight.
Breastfeeding helps build the bond between you and your baby. It gives your baby excellent health benefits.
A healthy diet includes eating a variety of foods from the basic food groups: grains, vegetables, fruits, milk and milk products (such as cheese and yogurt), and meat and dried beans. Eating well during breastfeeding will ensure that you stay healthy.
Current as of: February 23, 2022
Author: Healthwise Staff
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Kirtly Jones MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology