Do you want to know what to do when you feel totally overwhelmed? Are you curious how to survive the postpartum period? This 6-step guide is sure to lead you to feeling at home in your new role in the first 6 weeks. Whether you are a young, stay at home postpartum mom who just realized what happened, or a kind relative looking for ways to help a young mother, these 6 things are sure to help bring calm to the home and put a comforting damper on the baby blues.
“Being a mother is about learning about strengths you didn’t know you had and dealing with fears you didn’t know existed.”-Linda Wooten
The Problem: Lack of Help and/or Feeling Alone:
Us moms have just worked very hard to bring a child into the world.
Now everyone is paying attention to the baby.
We feel left out.
The response from family and friends is so underwhelming. It feels like no one can truly understand what we just went through.*
We cry about everything and nothing. We feel sad, maybe really happy, and then super sad again.
It feels like we will never live beyond these feelings. This is no way to survive the postpartum period.
First of all, I felt the same. You are not alone. I have been around and read about many women who expressed similar emotions. Hopefully this will shed some light on the situation in a practical way.
Secondly, YOU deserve to be cared for. You deserve to find your way of normalcy, wellness, peace, and happiness.
Women can only give if they have received.
Receive the gift of self care.
Six Steps How to Survive The Postpartum Period:
You feel as if your sanity is lost. Me too. This is normal. We were meant to live in communities where family and friends cared for you. You were meant to be pampered and loved. If you are lucky enough in this lonely era to have someone offer help to you, show them this list. Now, if you are alone, I encourage you to follow these steps that will lead you back to feeling ok and then, better than ok. You will survive the postpartum period victoriously.
Get sleep. If you are having any difficulty with that, try a sound machine, like I did. If that doesn’t work, take advantage of step 6 to figure out what works for other moms like you. Having sleep will help restore your energy after giving birth to your little one. So, this is the MOST important thing you can do for yourself. Don’t skimp!
2. Love on Your Baby
Kiss your baby, smell his scent, gaze into her eyes. Love on that baby. The bond between mother and baby is life giving. It will help you to feel connected to this child. It will help your body to release more oxytocin so that your uterus will keep contracting, helping to decrease risk of infection, and also aiding in the let down of your milk. This physical bonding experience can also help prevent SIDS.
3. Eat Protein
Your baby lives by taking nutrients from you, the mom. If you are not well fed, those nutrients will be sucked out of your bones and you will lack vital nutrients needed to thrive. Protein is one of the most important things. If you eat nothing else, eat protein. Find whatever protein you can do and make it your obsession. Yogurt, eggs, salmon, chicken, canned sardines, and deli turkey were my go to’s. Ground meat made me nauseous. Do whatever protein that fits your lifestyle, and go crazy. It will help your skin to stay young looking, it will help you to heal faster, and it will give you the immediate strength you need to do whatever it is that you need to do (including nothing if that’s what is needed). Eat ’til you’re full, and don’t feel bad about it. Please.
4. Stay in Bed
Don’t leave the bedroom except for a slow daily walk. This one was soooo hard for me. I am a total go-getter and I cannot stand being put on hold if I can just do the thing myself. I failed this test with my last pregnancy, but I did do it more than some moms that I have heard of. This is so important for avoiding future issues. Another post is coming soon on what you can do in bed to guarantee a strong recovery! Hint: exercise???!!!! Be sassy. Write out a list for people to do for you. Do what works for you so that you stay in bed.
5. Write out Your Feelings
Get your journal out and write down everything you are feeling. This is your safe space to vent and to see your thoughts in front of you. Write down the answer to these three questions:
- What am I feeling?
- Why am I feeling this way?
- What is one thing I can do about it right now?
This will help you to be able to recognize what you care about, why you care about it, and figure out what you want to do about it. Ultimately it will help you to know what to ask for in life, of yourself, and of anyone around you who is supportive.
6. Find a community that fits your niche.
Get on social media and find people who inspire you. Find groups who are similar to you. Get engaged with the community, make friends, and be vulnerable. I may do a post on how to make friends at some point if there is any interest. It is soooo important to have people who can back you up, offer support, suggestions, listening ears, whatever YOU need. I naturally go into a shell, and I did not realize how much I was missing until a good friend pulled me out of it after years of being acquainted with me. There is something so inspiring about connecting on a personal level with a fellow woman who has similar values as you.
How do these things help me survive the postpartum period?
They set you up for success now, and even more functional success later.
The chance of being overwhelmed by what will happen is pretty high.
- When you are sleepless, you will go crazy.
- On the chance that baby and you don’t feel connected, you will feel even more sad and or empty than you already are.
- An empty stomach is a sure way to lose control and binge out on empty carbs.
- If you get out of bed too soon, you could end up with a prolapsed uterus.
- If you go too long without checking in with yourself, you may make choices that your true self would not approve of, which you may regret later.
All of these things will help your mind to get grounded in whatever direction you need to go
Why do these things matter?
Because you matter. You and your baby have a beautiful relationship. Give yourselves what you need. They are very easy steps, and they are necessary for your survival. They will set you up for success in all ways.
The truth is, motherhood is difficult. It takes grit to get anywhere as a mom. That being said, it is worth it. I realized that first hand when I pulled my son out of the water after giving birth for the first time, and I realize it in new ways every. single. day.
I challenge you to do your best to make these things happen on a daily basis for you and your baby. Go over to my social media for daily encouragement, resources and daily tid-bits on holistic family rearing. Please feel free to comment or direct message me with how you feel about all this. I want to know if any of you can resonate with the things mentioned here, or if I’m just the crazy lady.
- Rethinking Postpartum Care | Sara Reardon | TEDxLSU – YouTube
- Protein Comfort Food
- How to overcome Postpartum Insomnia- Fast – YouTube
- BONDING WITH BABY AFFIRMATIONS | Postpartum Guided Meditation – YouTube
- Affirmation Meditation to Fall Asleep | Postpartum Sleep Meditation – YouTube
- #1 Tip for Better POSTPARTUM Recovery: DIET | Birth Doula – YouTube
- High Protein Smoothie For Every Pregnant And Postpartum Mom – YouTube
- Foods To Eat During Pregnancy And Postpartum | Optimize Your Pregnancy Diet + Postpartum Nutrition – YouTube
- [AUDIOBOOK] Pam England, Rob Horowitz – Birthing from Within: A Guide to Childbirth (PART 1/2) – YouTube
- [AUDIOBOOK] Pam England, Rob Horowitz – Birthing from Within: A Guide to Childbirth (PART 2/2) – YouTube
- Baby Blues vs Postpartum Depression: Signs, Risks & Treatments! | Sarah Lavonne – YouTube.
*Disclaimer: That is not to say that we are truly alone, it is often just a feeling. If you are actually alone, go be with someone. I had my family. A lot of what is being expressed here is a by-product of what we know as “The Baby Blues,” resulting from a huge hormone crash after giving birth. These tips helped me mentally hang on to the hope of a better future. I hope they are helpful for you as well. I am not an expert, these are only things that helped my recovery process, and stories that I have heard have confirmed some of my experiences. Ask your midwife or doctor for any questions or concerns.