What The Postpartum Period Truly Entails

Pregnancy can sometimes feel like a bit of a marathon. From the early throes of morning sickness to the sciatica and discomfort of the final few weeks of gestation, the process of bringing a new life into the world is physically, emotionally and mentally taxing. However, what many observers fail to mention is the fact that the postpartum period brings a whole new set of challenges all its own. That is why postpartum shapewears are gaining popularity with mothers to use after giving birth.

The days and weeks following the birth of a baby represent a time of significant transition, adjustment and, indeed, stress. Not only does the body need to heal from the incredible feat it has just performed, the mind needs to begin adapting to all of the changes taking place at home. Relationships with spouses, existing children and extended family members must all change a little bit to accommodate the new reality.

The good news is that the aforementioned trials and tribulations need not be feared. With some key pieces of advice close at hand and a supportive group of loved ones at the ready, it really is possible to make the most of this special time in a family’s history. Heeding the tips presented below can smooth the path to a happy home life for Mom, Dad, baby and everyone else involved.

Coming home from the hospital can strike fear in the heart of any new parent. Released from the protective confines of the birthing ward where help from doctors and nurses was just a shout away, many mothers wonder if they will know what to do next. As a result, it is important for moms and dads to avoid adding unnecessary stress to the situation by demanding perfection from themselves and everyone else who is in contact with the newborn.

Scheduling some help during these first few days is never a bad idea. Grandparents, aunts, uncles and trusted friends can make a real difference in the postpartum experience by volunteering to take a shift or two rocking the baby and simply being on duty so that Mom can get some much-needed rest. Emotions tend to boil over when fatigue sets in, so whatever can be done to prevent overtired parents is a positive thing.

Paying attention to dietary needs of Mom is another terrific way to smooth the transition during these early days at home. Though the hectic nature of life with a tiny baby makes it easy to simply grab the nearest bag of chips or cookies during a free minute, eating healthy, nutrient-dense meals really is worth the effort. A proper diet will yield benefits in terms of mood, energy and Mom’s recovery process.

A great deal of attention has been paid in the media recently to the issue of postpartum depression. Though the birth of a child is a joyous event, the changes and hormonal disruptions that result can make the aftermath extremely difficult for mothers in an emotional sense.

Women who eagerly anticipated the arrival of their baby suddenly find themselves feeling distant and cold toward their child. If this occurs, it is incumbent upon family members to recognize the situation, address it head-on and secure professional help for the struggling mother.

By confronting the dilemma directly, it is far more likely that through medication, therapy and/or additional supportive services, Mom, baby and the entire family will soon begin to thrive in their new roles.

The postpartum period is one filled with all sorts of discoveries, thrills and, yes, unique and frustrating difficulties. However, with a bit of preparation, honesty and a willingness to accept help when it is needed, expectant mothers can look forward to a time they will remember for the rest of their lives.

The Most Common Changes That Occur To The Body During Pregnancy

The physiological and hormonal changes that women experience during their pregnancy are as unique as the woman. From the very first signs until the time of delivery, a pregnant woman’s body undergoes many different changes. In fact, some of these changes are so strange that it is not uncommon for pregnant women to say they do not recognize their own bodies.

However, these changes are essential in order to facilitate the different needs of both the mother and the fetus during pregnancy.

The Uterus

The uterus grows and twists to the right side of the body during pregnancy. It will more than double in size to accommodate the growing fetus.

Due to the increased blood flow to the cervix, it will change color. The color of the cervix will become a very deep blue-purple.

It is also not uncommon for pregnant women to experience some light spotting after intercourse. If the spotting does not subside after a short period or time, or the flow becomes heavier, these changes should be reported immediately to your physician or caregiver.

The Cardiovascular System

The volume of blood plasma in a pregnant woman can increase by 50%. It is also common for pregnant women to have a lower blood pressure while having a faster heart rate.

Keep in mind that when a woman is pregnant, her sleep position can also affect her resting blood pressure. For example, many expectant moms have mentioned feeling nauseous and sick when they are lying on their back. This sleeping position can cause the blood pressure to drop. The baby will not experience any ill effects as long as the expectant mom changes her sleep position.

During pregnancy, there are also more clotting agents in the bloodstream. This can place the pregnant woman at a higher risk of developing deep vein thrombosis. Pregnant women should move around regularly especially if they are sitting or lying down for extended periods of time.

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The Gastrointestinal System

As previously mentioned, as a pregnancy progresses, the uterus becomes enlarged. It rises out of the pelvic cavity and can displace organs in the gastrointestinal system like the intestines and the organs. During the 4th and 5th months of pregnancy, digestion slows down considerably. This can lead to excess gas, heartburn and constipation.

Progesterone is a hormone, and relaxes the intestines during pregnancy. Once the intestines slow down the digestive process, food is digested slower and sits inside the intestines longer. This leads to constipation.

In addition, the pressure caused by the uterus sitting on the veins in the lower part of the digestive system can lead to hemorrhoids. This can make using the bathroom extremely uncomfortable. Fortunately, there are several over the counter treatments for hemorrhoids that can be used by pregnant women.

The Respiratory System

The biggest change that occurs in the respiratory system during pregnancy is that the chest cage’s circumference increases. The diaphragm is displaced upward because the uterus is enlarged.

Oxygen use is also increased in pregnancy due to the increased blood flow. However, it is common for pregnant women to feel short of breath. They may also feel some pressure in their chest area. If the feeling become extremely uncomfortable, expectant women should consult with their health care provider. Please note that pregnant women will naturally breathe more deeply even if their rate of respiration remain the same.

The Hormonal (Endocrine) System

Pregnant women may or may not notice that their thyroid becomes larger during pregnancy. This symptom is normal and it typically does not affect the pregnancy. Be sure the health care provider is informed if there is a growth or lump in the thyroid.

Glucose levels can also increase during pregnancy. Extreme level changes should be reported to the physician or health care provider immediately.

Pregnancy is an exciting time for a woman as her body nourishes and prepares to bring a new life into the world. Changes will occur during this time, but any abnormal changes or developments should be reported to your doctor as soon as possible.

What Does Motherhood Mean To You?

What does your mother mean to you?

Perhaps you are a mother now, too, and you have started to reflect upon certain aspects of motherhood that you had yet to fully understand. You love your mother, and she has shown you unconditional love. It is the same thing you want to do for your children, forever and always. Whether you are a new mom or dad, or yet to be, there are many things you can learn from a mother’s love.

Chiefly, having a mother is about loving and being loved, unconditionally. Yet as you approach motherhood or fatherhood, you are certainly reflecting upon certain aspects of parenting. Mothers would do anything for their children. Parenting a newborn, infant and young child is quite different from parenting a preteen or teen. You are embarking upon a journey that is going to bless you beyond your imagination.

Along the way, you are going to recognize certain points of your journey by reflecting upon what happened to you as a child with your mom. You want to live up to those expectations. Yet to be clear, it’s important to remember that it’s not about being perfect. Your parents weren’t perfect, and neither will you be. One of the biggest aspects of being a mom is being there, and that’s the same for fathers.

Kids eventually start to learn independence more and more. Yet they need consistency in terms of loving parents being there for them. They know that they can’t handle life on their own just yet. In fact, no one can handle life on his or her own. Kids especially can’t, and know that. Therefore, they look to their loving parents to provide for them and have their best interests at heart.

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Love is not a spoken word but much more. To be sure, it is important that you tell your kids that you love them quite often. Yet showing them that you love them by being there for them and caring for them is what’s most important. Think about the fact that doing that consistently for kids means that you must put their interests above your own. It’s about loving someone more than yourself.

That starts when you find a partner. Then you have kids, and you truly realize what it’s like to be like your mother and father. Being a parent is one of the greatest joys in life, and that’s coming from someone who is yet to be a parent. If I ever do become a parent, I can’t imagine what I will be thinking then.

Parents go through their ups and downs with their children, and in their own lives. Life is imperfect, and all kinds of things can happen. I can tell you that trusting in God is chief. Whether you are expecting, adopting, have been a parent for awhile, or are reflecting upon parenthood, one thing is going to be clear to you. Every step of the way, you’re going to reflect upon your own parents, and you’re going to love them increasingly more, day by day. That’s life, one day at a time, and that’s motherhood.