New mom haze is so real! Those early days or even months can be so intense for the new mother. It can be a big time for self-reflection as the mothers get in touch with this new identity emerging from the transition into motherhood. Everything is very exhausting for the mother and the last thing she needs is unsolicited and hurtful advice. As a society, we can help the new mother by instead asking if she needs any help and listening to her without any judgments that will make her journey a little easier.
The first six weeks of the postpartum period are probably the hardest. Most of the physical signs and symptoms will ease up by the end of this period but some symptoms like sore back and arms may still persist due to constant breastfeeding. Another substantial thing that the new mother might notice is the floppy tummy.
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During this period of motherhood even a small physical activity like a walk inside the room, a moment alone, walking outside in nature, good stretches with music can boost you up with a little more energy than before, because participation in physical activity can have a role in promoting mental health and well-being.
An OBG Physiotherapist can provide you with a customized exercise protocol to help you with all the persisting physical symptoms post-delivery. A few published studies suggest that postpartum exercise improves aerobic fitness, insulin sensitivity and the mental well-being of the new mother. In the absence of any medical complications or contraindications exercises in the postnatal period is safe and desirable. The physiotherapist will do a complete assessment of all the aches and pain that you are facing post-delivery and provide a tailor-made exercise plan.
For example, the new mothers often feel pain in the neck and the upper back region and that might be due to poor posture during breastfeeding. In that case, the physiotherapist can help you with stretching and posture correction exercises, and also advise you on the right feeding posture for a comfortable breastfeeding journey.
Secondly, the physiotherapist will check for Diastasis recti (separation of stomach muscles during pregnancy). It is very important to close the separation post-delivery or it might lead to various issues like constant back pain, floppy stomach and even umbilical hernia in the long run. Based on the separation level the physiotherapist will be able to provide a customized exercise program.
Similarly, certain common postnatal musculoskeletal issues like wrist pain, elbow pain, back pain, knee pain and heel pain can all be corrected with a simple exercise plan.
The most significant point to remember here is while your new baby is super important it’s equally important to care for you, because ultimately happy and healthy mother is equal to a happy baby, and the mother can be happy if she is not having any pains and aches in addition to the fatigue that is commonly present during this period.
Apart from physical activity, one more thing that can help you in this journey is ‘ask for help’ when needed. There are millions of things that can be delegated to your family and friends. Also, be a part of the new mother/parenthood community, you will be amazed to know many share the same experiences and you might be able to find a solution. Finally, the most important thing you will learn in this journey is there is no way to be a perfect mother but there are a thousand and million ways to be a good one!
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