postpartum resource guide

The Postpartum guide is designed to help new moms easily find the answers and resources to questions about what is often referred to as the 4th trimester.

What is Postpartum?

Any Mom Who Recently Gave Birth Is Postpartum. Postpartum is just as important as any other stage during pregnancy and often the most overlooked by pregnant moms, new parents, nurses and doctors.

    Postpartum Mom Help Tips:

    Postpartum moms are in a tender state, dealing both with the physical recovery from childbirth, and the emotions and concerns of caring for an infant.
  1.  Establishing a strong support group of friends and family ready to help you after your birth is important. Postpartum moms often feel like they should not have to ask others for help and/or feel guilty for not instinctively knowing how to care for baby. If you feel this way your are not alone and its time to reach out to friends and family for help. A good practice is to make a list of friends and family nearby and write down how each person could be of assistance. Ask yourself questions like: Do I have several friends who have children? They might be perfect to have on a list to call if you have questions, or maybe they could come over and watch your baby while you sleep for an hour, or whatever you may need to do to take care of yourself. You might have friends that love to cook, ask them if they would be willing to prepare a few simple meals for your family. Alternative ideas are to have them help with laundry, running errands, cleaning, or just being a good listener.  Looking at the list will make you feel more in control and will is a great reminder of the circle of friends and family you are surrounded by.
  2. Consider hiring a Postpartum Doula. A Postpartum Doula is trained to help moms with breastfeeding, baby care, mom care, and also cooks and cleans. Learn more about Postpartum Doulas at Dona International.
  3. An infant feeding expert can be a lifesaver. There are lots of options when it comes to feeding your baby and it is good to have a  understanding of all of your choices. While most moms opt for breastfeeding there are plenty of moms who exclusively pump, pump and supplement and also formula feed. How you choose to feed your baby depends on your lifestyle and is your choice. Don't let anyone shame you or make you feel guilty for your feeding choice. This is your baby and your choice.
  • If you plan on breastfeeding or pumping be sure to have a lactation consultant, doula or midwife in your area ready to make a home visit within the first you days of your babies birth. Having a specialist do a scheduled house visit will help answer any questions that you may have. If you are pumping and bottle feeding be sure to bookmark this GUIDE.
  • If you are formula feeding your baby you can always call your babies doctors office for advice and help. Also, many lactation consultants have experience with formula feeding and are more than happy to help.
  • Be very clear with your feeding expert on how you plan on feeding your baby.  This is VERY important. Lets say you choose to exclusively pump and your feeding consultant is trying to persuade you to breastfeed instead. You want to make sure your baby feeding consultant values how you choose to feed your baby.
  • Be flexible.  You may have chosen to strictly breastfeed your baby and after consulting with feeding experts realize that you are not producing enough milk for your baby.  Figuring out how to feed your baby is similar to a birthing plan, you have to have a back up plan.  So be flexible, nurture yourself and your baby, and remember it is OK if not all things go as planned.

Postpartum Medical Signs/ Symptoms that all mothers should be aware of.

In the period following birth it is important for moms to do self checks regarding their own health. It is so easy to be overwhelmed with your new baby that you forget to care for yourself. Your doctor, nurse or midwife may have gone over some symptoms to watch out for regarding your own postpartum health. AWHOON (Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses) has created a flyer,  SAVE YOUR LIFE with the top signs to watch for in the weeks following your pregnancy. It would be a good practice to print this out so you can have this as a reference tool to look at daily. In addition to the flyer, be sure to have your doctors and your babies doctors numbers handy for yourself and your family to easily access. Also, Trust Your Instincts, if you feel that there is something not right with yourself or with your baby, listen to your gut and get medical attenttion.

Postpartum Hormonal and Body Changes:

Your body just went from 9 months of supporting two human beings, back down to one.  As you can imagine your hormones are in for a bit of a wild roller coaster ride, while they adjust back to normal. Postpartum Hormonal and body changes include:
  • night sweats
  • mood swings
  • anxiety
  • sleep changes
  • hair loss
  • incontinence
  The good news is that most of these hormonal and body changes will revert back to the way things where pre-birth within a mater of months.  Take a look at the Mayo Clinics page to learn more.