As a new moms, we often put our needs on the back burner. We get so focused on our sweet little baby we forget about our own needs and the important questions we should be asking. Here are Five Postpartum Questions Every New Mom Needs To Ask.
When To Get Help
Postpartum we typically have a check-up at 4-6 weeks. But if you need to see your primary care doctor or OBGYN sooner make the call. They might be able to help you navigate some of these questions and new feelings you are having.
1. How is my mental health?
Becoming a parent is the most amazing thing but it’s also super exhausting & stressful. You are not alone if you end up with a postpartum mood and anxiety disorder. Postpartum depression usually occurs 2 to 8 weeks after the birth, though sometimes it can happen up to a year after the baby is born. New moms can also experience postnatal post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), postpartum OCD, and postpartum psychosis. Talk to someone you trust, such as your partner or a friend. There are so many ways to help you through the depression. A milder case of postnatal depression can often be treated through counseling with a therapist and a more severe case might require medication.
2. How’s my thyroid?
Pregnancy has a major impact on our thyroid and immune system-postpartum. Postpartum thyroiditis (PPT) is the most common thyroid disease in the postpartum period occurring in between 5 and 9% of new moms. Postpartum thyroiditis is painless thyroiditis that happens in the postpartum period. For people who didn’t have any thyroid problems prior to pregnancy PPT most noticeably occurs 2 to 6 months after pregnancy. Look for symptoms like depression, tiredness increased sensitivity to cold. The thyroid is tricky and hormonal changes resembling the typical pattern of PPT can happen in some women. Chat with your OBYN and if needed get a referral to an endocrinologist.
3. How are the hormone shifts going?
Our hormones are constantly shifting once we get birth. Even at three months, postpartum our body is still working hard to get back to normal after birth. Around 2 to 3 months postpartum our hormones begin to reset to pre-pregnancy levels. However, if you’re exclusively breastfeeding your hormone levels are suppressed longer and they may not return until around six months postpartum in about 40% of women.
4. Am I getting in key vitamins needed during postpartum?
Our postpartum bodies go through a lot when we bring another human into this world. During pregnancy, our body gets depletes several nutrients in the body like- calcium, folate, and vitamin B6. And often we can neglect our needs during the postpartum period. And often breastfeeding moms don’t meet their recommended calcium, zinc, magnesium intake. Our nutrition and vitamin intake is critical as it helps build your baby’s body and brain. How long should you take a postnatal vitamin? Well, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) suggests taking a good postnatal vitamin for as long as you are breastfeeding.
5. How is my Pelvic Floor?
Post-baby you might be noticing some loss of bladder control. Our pelvic floor muscles and connective tissues can stretch and damage the pelvic floor. This can cause discomfort, pain, and functional impairments. Managing these issues can feel overwhelming at times, so don’t wait if you notice symptoms like incontinence, pain with sexual activity and pain at the vaginal opening following delivery, low back pain, and pelvic pain. At most six-week check-ups our doctors tend to focus on a quick physical and mental exam. Often the pelvic floor can get skipped over, so if you want some real attention to that area consider seeing a pelvic floor therapist.
*If you find this post helpful, please share this post with your friends. And as always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk with your doctor.
Mayo Clinic Staff. “Postpartum Thyroiditis.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 21 Dec. 2018, http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/postpartum-thyroiditis/symptoms-causes/syc-20376675.