After Childbirth: Coping and Adjusting - Topic Overview
You can take measures to make your life easier in the days and weeks
after childbirth (postpartum period).
Accept help, seek help
You may be exhausted from the delivery and from being up at night
with your baby. Don't expect that you'll be able to keep the house spotless and
do all the household errands too.
Many employers now offer paternity leave to allow fathers to stay at
home after a child is born. If not, a relative or friend may volunteer to stay
and help out with cooking, cleaning, and running errands. Allow your friends to
bring you meals or do chores.
If you are having trouble with postpartum blues that last more than a
few days or develop into signs of
postpartum depression, call your doctor
Everyone will want to come see the baby right away, just when you're
at your most tired. It's okay to limit visitors to as few as you feel you can
handle or to ask them not to visit for a while. It's also okay to set a limit on
how long they stay.
Get extra rest
Sleep when your baby sleeps. Even a short nap helps.
If you breast-feed, learn how to collect and store some breast milk
so that your partner or babysitter can feed the baby while you sleep. Because
both you and the baby have to learn how to breast-feed, you may want to wait a
few weeks before you start pumping breast milk. For more information, see the
Good nutrition is key to regaining your strength and health. If you
are breast-feeding, you need to eat 500 additional calories a day over your
This is the time you are truly "eating for two."
Most women who breast-feed can eat a healthy diet and
still lose weight.
Drink extra fluids
Drink an extra
5 cups (1183 mL) to
8 cups (1893 mL) of
noncaffeinated liquids each day. A good rule to follow is to have a glass of
juice, water, or milk each time you nurse.