The birth of your baby brings excitement and new challenges, especially as you recover physically and settle into a new routine. This "post-partum" or "after birth" adjustment usually takes months – not weeks – for most new moms.
Here are a few ways to support yourself during this post-partum period:
- Rest each time your baby sleeps.
- Limit visitors.
- Accept all offers of help.
- Attend a parenting class or a reunion of your childbirth class.
- Begin light physical activity, such as walking or swimming, on a regular basis.
Education, answers and reassurance
Many mothers and babies qualify for one Allina Health Home Health - Mother & Newbornvisit at no additional cost when they leave the hospital within 48 hours after a vaginal birth and 96 hours after a cesarean birth. The goal is to check the health status of mom and baby, answer questions about health concerns or infant care, and provide education and support. For more about this service:
- visit allinahealth.org/mothernewborn
- call 612-863-4478 or 1-800-788-8093.
Baby blues and post-partum depression
More than half of all new mothers say they feel emotionally "down" after giving birth.
The "baby blues" usually appear three to four days after baby is born and are over about two weeks later. You may feel tearful, impatient, irritable, restless or anxious. The feelings come and then go away by themselves.
Postpartum depression may appear around the fourth week after birth. It can also begin just before your period returns, after weaning or anytime in the first year. Symptoms can be mild or so severe that you can feel like you're "going crazy." With depression you may have "good" days and "bad" days. These feelings do not go away by themselves. You need help and support.
- Call 612-863-4770 to speak with someone about postpartum mood disorders and to get information about our post-partum depression support groups in Minneapolis and West St. Paul.
- Use our post-partum depression worksheet to help you figure out if you have "baby blues" or true depression.
- Learn more about post-partum emotions at allinahealth.org/pregnancy.