WOMEN FEEL PRESSURE TO ‘GET BACK TO NORMAL’ POST BIRTH YET SELF CARE IS KEY DURING THE FOURTH TRIMESTER
A new survey conducted by Multi-Gyn and Multi-Mam finds that over a third of women (39%) felt pressure to lose their post-pregnancy baby weight. Additionally, nearly a fifth (20%) felt pressure to get back into a fitness regime.1
Yet in reality with the body adjusting to very little sleep and the demands of a newborn baby, for some women the challenges of this fourth trimester can be difficult without any added pressures. A lack of education, support and conversation about this time leaves many women unprepared for what to expect.
The survey went onto find that a quarter of women (25%) said they also felt pressure to resume sexual relations with their partner after childbirth2. While there’s no set required waiting period before you can have sex again, many health care professionals recommend waiting until four to six weeks after delivery, regardless of the delivery method.
It can be difficult for new mums to know what to expect, every body and every birth is different. But self-care during this trimester is particularly important, here are 5 ways to help heal your body and enjoy this new stage of life with a precious newborn:
- Don’t skimp on sleep
It’s no surprise that getting a good night’s sleep can help to keep your energy levels up but it’s also important for the mind and body.
Whilst it’s not a surprise to hear that many parents of newborns struggle to get a good night’s sleep there are things you can do to help you catchup. These include trying to sleep when your baby sleeps, making sure to get an early night, where and if possible share the night feeds with your partner.
- Make nutritious meals a top priority
Consuming a wide variety of nutritious foods helps post-partum recovery. Make sure to eat a lot of fresh fruit and vegetables as well as lots of proteins and calcium. If you’re breastfeeding, staying hydrated is particularly important, so make sure you’re drinking plenty of water during and after every feed.
- Get out in the fresh air
Whilst it’s a cliché, it’s true, fresh air, and sunshine, really does make everyone feel a bit better. So, try and head out for a brisk 10 to 20-minute walk with the baby in the pram and appreciate nature.
- Meet up with friends and family
Meeting up with friends and family and staying connected is really important for your mental health after you have just given birth. Learn to say yes to all offers of help and support, something that doesn’t come naturally to many of us! Whether it’s offers such as whizzing a vacuum around or helping with the washing/ironing, to walking the dog – just say yes please!
- Ease yourself back into exercise slowly
Exercise is important for our mental and physical well-being. When those endorphins kick in, you will notice an improvement in mood. Even though your body has changed after pregnancy and needs time to recover, after 6-8 weeks it is possible with sign off and clearance from your GP, to resume light exercise. It’s important not to overdo it, your body needs time to recover and get over the big changes that it has been through – pregnancy hormones can affect your joints and ligaments for up to 6 months after the birth putting you at greater risk of injury so you must take it easy.
But walking, swimming and aqua aerobics (once the bleeding has stopped), yoga and pilates are all options that you could explore.
The biggest thing to remember is that throughout this new chapter, although you might feel lost at times, you are not alone. Visit @realbirthsrealbodies so see other women share their honest and real account of life with a new baby.
Multi-Gyn and Multi-Mam Compresses have been developed to provide soothing relief for the 2 most common discomforts new mums face – post-birth vaginal discomfort and breastfeeding. They can be found in Boots, on Amazon and at other online pharmacies.
1, 2: Karo Pharma survey February 2020
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