What You Need Postpartum
For 40 weeks, it was all about how the baby was doing and making sure everyone was prepping for the big arrival. Well, now that that little nugget of joy is in your arms, you must remember to take care of yourself too! We’ve got you covered from postpartum to the first period after the baby and beyond.
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Postpartum Depression Awareness and Signs
Postpartum information is near and dear to the original Dating Diva herself, Tara. After working so hard to get her babies earthside (read about her IVF journey here, here, and here), she never expected to be hit with such severe postpartum depression (PPD) and anxiety, but she was able to recognize it. She wanted to share part of her story to help those of you who may be feeling similarly. You are not alone.
“I was aware of my postpartum just because it runs in my family and I quizzed my mom and sister so I knew what to expect. I know PPD manifests in so many different ways. Mine was extreme sadness. As in, I just cried ALL the time and I also had a horrible feeling, like a dark feeling…? It’s so hard to describe.
My poor husband would come home to me crying and ask what he could do to help and I didn’t even know how to answer. I couldn’t pinpoint WHY I was so sad. I’m normally a super upbeat and happy person so this was SO out of character for me and we both knew it wasn’t normal.
I was also extremely overwhelmed. Just the thought of doing one task in a day (laundry) was too much for me. I couldn’t process how I should be able to take care of our baby AND complete tasks around the house. It was just too overwhelming.
I also wasn’t able to fully enjoy this precious baby boy, I felt intense guilt about that, and it didn’t make sense to me! We struggled with infertility for years and I was shocked that I wasn’t connecting immediately to my son! Luckily, now that things are better… I can’t get enough of him!”– Tara Carson
If you are struggling to determine whether or not you are experiencing PPD, consult a doctor. Sometimes we avoid getting help because we think we are blowing things out of proportion. If this sounds like you, read about Postpartum Depression from The Mayo Clinic, check your symptoms against their list, and then go see a doctor.
Tara’s Postpartum Healing Tips
Tara never wants any of you sweet babes to suffer, but we know that we can’t 100% prevent postpartum anxiety and depression. Thankfully, there are a few tips and tricks that Tara has used to help keep it from knocking her down and out, and she wanted to share the deets!
- Get out and enjoy some sunshine. There are so many benefits to being out in the sun! The morning sun also has certain benefits, so getting out as early as possible is key.
- Enjoy movement. Stack this habit with #1 by taking an early morning walk. Healthline purports 10 benefits to a morning walk!
- Try energy work or therapy with someone you trust. It can be very helpful to talk to someone without fear of judgment.
- Take a daily shower! This one is super hard to do, we know! But, it can be a relaxing “getaway” where you don’t have to worry about how the baby is doing. So, leave him or her with your husband and hop into that steamy shower.
- Leave the house at least once a week. This could be as simple as a drive-thru drink run, returning something to a store, or grabbing ice cream! Get out into society and remember who you were before baby.
- Plan or attend a girl’s night! This will also help you remember you before Mama. Plus, if your friends are also moms, it can be a great place to share stories or ask for advice.
Postpartum Essentials for Mom
In addition to Tara’s wonderful healing tips, we wanted to share some of the tried-and-true products that have helped some of us moms postpartum. Consider this your own little holy grail of postpartum must-haves.
1. FridaMom Witch Hazel Foam – If you do a quick search on Pinterest, you’ll probably see many people recommending Durmaplast for some down-under numbing post-birth. It’s a no from us. For some reason, it INCREASED the burn that was happening to some already sensitive skin—this foam, on the other hand, was straight from heaven.
2. Dr. Christopher’s Female Reproductive Formula – Yeah, it’s kind of a mouthful, but Tara really felt this start to turn things around for her when paired with another Dr. Christopher product found below!
3. Dr. Christopher’s Hormonal Changease – We all know the hormone drop and surge can be difficult to go through; well this is part of helping balance those out. (Tara also recommends getting your hormones checked yearly!)
4. Magnesium – While talking about supplements and vitamins, you need to increase your magnesium intake. This helps calm our nervous system (so important with postpartum anxiety), and it assists in alleviating aches and pains. Make it one of your postpartum essentials for mom!
5. Vitamin D – This little vitamin is so important for immunity during and after the baby is born. It can also act as mood support and help with brain, bone, and thyroid health.
6. Essential Oils – DoTerra’s Balance blend is so important to help with grounding in the morning. Simply rub on the soles of your feet first thing and reapply when needed throughout the day.
7. Earth Mama Sitz Bath – This amazing product helped quicken Tara’s postpartum healing. You brew the “tea” and then add it to a sitz bath. Tara also added it to some pads, which she then cooled in the fridge. Those pads were amazing!
8. Disposable Underwear – We know the hospital gives you mesh undies, which aren’t horrible. I mean, they stretch a lot, and we love that. But these babies are one of our new postpartum essentials and something we will include in postpartum care kits for our friends. They have the stretch, but they also have the support that we didn’t feel like we got from the meshies.
9. Water Bottle – You need to stay hydrated! We love a good water bottle with a straw, and this may not be THE Stanley cup, but it is spill-proof and has a carrying handle. And our favorite part? Dishwasher safe. A postpartum mom’s two favorite words.
10. Peribottle – You get a little squeezy bottle at the hospital, but this gem just gets the angles right. Grab this two-pack if you can use more than one bathroom in your home. This is one of the top postpartum must-haves for the first week or more.
11. Long Phone Charger – At some point, especially if you deliver at a hospital, you will need to plug in your phone. Whether you are nap-trapped or can’t twist because of a c-section, a long cord can be your lifeline.
12. Postpartum Belly Wrap – You may also want to look into a belly wrap to help with healing, especially post-C-section! This postpartum belly wrap has 5-star reviews and is super affordable. There is a whole range of how much a wrap can cost, but check with your hospital before buying because some provide one!
Amidst all the healing and adjustment, we hope you remember that you are amazing. You did a hard thing, and you did it well! Prep that postpartum care kit, and then go reward yourself with some adorable photos of your new family and enjoy that precious bundle from heaven!
Are you a first-time parent or about to become one? We highly recommend checking out The Ultimate Guide for First-Time Parents. So much great advice inside!