After the Baby Arrives

The joys and challenges of motherhood are about to begin. It is important to remember to take care of yourself as well as your new baby. Caring for a new baby can be fun but it is also a lot of hard work.

How much and how often you should feed the baby? What do you do when the baby is crying, or sick? How do you prevent accidents? These questions can be overwhelming at first, but you will quickly adjust. A new baby needs a lot of care, but you will be skilled at taking care of your child in no time. There are people out there, including your family, friends, health care provider, and support groups, that will help you get through it. You are not alone.

You have experienced nine months of changes in your body. Those changes will continue in the next couple of months as you decide whether or not to breastfeed and as your body starts to recover from having the baby. It is important to follow your doctor's advice and take care of yourself during this time.

Make sure to rest when you can and not try to do too much. The effect of pregnancy and labor on a woman's body can be tremendous. If you are trying to lose some additional pregnancy weight, make sure you do it in a healthy way and consult your doctor before you start any type of diet or exercise plans.

In addition to the physical changes to your body, you may feel depressed. This can be a very normal phase following childbirth. Fifty to 75% of new mothers feel a little sad or depressed after giving birth. These feelings can range from very mild to serious, but there is help. Be aware of your feelings and continue to communicate with your family, friends, and your health care provider. Sometimes this depression will go away on its own, but medication or therapy may be needed. Both can help you feel better and get back to enjoying your new baby.

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