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Caring for Yourself
At first, becoming a new mother makes self-care challenging, but this is a time when it’s also most important. Taking care of yourself first will allow you to take care of your baby.
Before, during, and after labor, your hormones are in constant flux, yielding potentially powerful emotions. A traumatic birth experience can negatively impact your mental state, too. As your body transitions, you may experience feelings of anxiety, overwhelm, baby blues, postpartum depression, and even post-traumatic stress disorder. These mixed emotions are completely normal—and accompany any massive life change. It’s important that you stay tuned into these feelings, and share with your loved ones, other moms, and your care providers.
In addition to taking care of yourself psychologically, be sure to take care of yourself physically through healthy diet and physical activity. Seek out services and supports in your community for everything ranging from pelvic floor and abdominal rehabilitation to pain to sexual dysfunction. If you are breastfeeding, your newborn will directly benefit from this self-care as well.
Need help staying healthy and happy after labor? Find postpartum counselors, nutritionists, postpartum doulas, newborn mom groups, and bodyworkers in your area on the CiC Provider Network. You can also find some helpful information, including video clips, from Women’s Health Foundation and Healthy Women.