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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.

Tips for 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.
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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: November 02, 2011
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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