Postpartum: First 6 Weeks After Childbirth - Coping With Emotions
Having a new baby is exciting. But it also can be exhausting and stressful. It's common to feel a range of emotions at this time.
coping during the postpartum period include accepting
help from others, eating well and drinking plenty of fluids, getting rest
whenever you can, limiting visitors, getting some time to yourself, and seeking
the company of other women who have new babies.
Expect changes in your relationship
If you have a partner and this is your first baby, your focus may have shifted from being part of a couple to being parents. That's a common—and wonderful—change. But it can take some time to adjust. You and your partner may not have as much time or energy for each other for a while. But you also will get to know each other in new ways, as parents.
It is common to
have little interest in sex for a while after childbirth. During the time when
your body is recovering and your baby has many needs, you and
your partner will need to be patient with one another. Talking together is a
good way to deal with the changes in your
sexuality after childbirth.
Watch out for depression
"Baby blues" are common for the first 1 to 2
weeks after birth. You may cry or feel sad or irritable for no reason.
If your symptoms
last for more than a few weeks, or if you feel very depressed, ask your doctor
for help. You may have postpartum depression. It can be treated. Support groups and
counseling can help. Sometimes medicine can also help. For more information, see the topic Postpartum Depression.
Get support from others
If you're feeling tired or overwhelmed, talk to your
partner, friends, and family about your feelings. You also might want to:
- Go for walks with your baby.
- Find a class for new mothers and new babies
that has an exercise time.
- Try yoga, meditation, massage, or other ways to cope with stress. For more information, see the topic Stress Management.