Many mothers plan for their pregnancies from conception up till childbirth, not counting how postpartum offers its own set of challenges for every mother. Maternity care extends well beyond childbirth, with various challenges spanning from caring for your newborn to your own personal health.
When does the postpartum period begin? It starts right after the delivery of the baby and ends when the mother’s body has returned to its pre-pregnancy state. Often lasting around six to eight weeks, the postpartum period is filled with many changes all happening at the same time, both physically and emotionally.
Depending on the kind of delivery you have – whether it’s a C-section or a natural birth – the challenges and issues that may crop up will differ. Many go on to discuss the various components of caring for the baby post-birth, but it’s equally important that mothers understand how important it is to prioritise your health as well. Remember the saying – you can’t pour from an empty cup? Yes, that’s it!
Caring for yourself post-delivery warrants special attention and care. Only by caring for yourself can you then nurture and provide for your baby. We urge new mothers to consider what your needs may be in this period and rope your partner or a support system in for extra help during times of distress or need.
In what ways do mothers need to care for themselves in the postpartum period?
The statement ‘Motherhood changes you’ is true in every sense of the word. From your breast shape to clothing size, there are a lot of changes to welcome in this period. Change doesn’t mean that it’s bad. In fact, it’s evidence of the work that your body has done and the incredible things it can achieve. Making sure you take all of these considerations can play a significant role in helping you bounce back to your emotional and physical health.
Recognise that you will need a good support system
It’s completely normal to feel a whole range of emotions when you bring your baby home with you. You’re now responsible for another human being! From feeding to keeping an eye on your baby to your best abilities, there is no shortage of things that can make a new mother anxious.
This is all normal! Additionally, having little sleep and increased fatigue can also worsen your feelings of anxiety around new motherhood duties at home. Mothers need to recognise and acknowledge the extent to which they are able to provide for their babies and get all the additional assistance they can get where necessary.
Having your partner step in for some of the responsibilities will ease your anxieties and give you time to rest. We also highly encourage having an extended support system for when both parents are exhausted and need a break. Having family like aunties and uncles around can be good!
Nurture reasonable expectations around your body image and health
There can be understandable concern over losing the baby weight post delivery in a short time frame. When celebrities like Kim Kardashian show off slim, toned bodies post childbirth, it can translate into unconscious societal pressure. While it is completely normal to want your pre-pregnancy body back, it’s vital that you take stock of the situation and put it into perspective.
Not all of us may have the luxury of having personal trainers and helpers on hand. In fact, many mothers have to resume work life after their maternity leave period and care for their babies at the same time. Normalise taking time to lose the baby weight. Go at a pace that is comfortable for you and check in with your doctor regularly.
Protect your emotional well-being
There are a myriad of ways to do this. From resuming your sex life to exercising regularly, it’s essential that you continue to prioritise your emotional well-being. Exciting but also draining, parenthood comes with a whole host of challenges, such as lesser time for hobbies and disrupted sleep. Similarly, this reduction in personal time can result in some mothers experiencing postpartum depression. As real as it gets, postpartum depression can be hard on new mothers, so only by recognising the symptoms can couples seek help in a timely manner. Healthy emotional well-being can impressively impact how you nurture and care for your baby. Feelings of frustration, exhaustion, and anxiety are all completely normal. That said, it’s absolutely vital that you adapt to this new learning curve with agility and flexibility. If you’re strapped for time, try easing into one or two activities slowly that give you emotional respite and fuel.
Read more on exercising during a pregnancy here.
Keeping your needs aligned with your baby’s needs
As insurance brokers, we strongly believe in setting up a sturdy and reliable foundation. Buying maternity insurance for you and your baby prior to childbirth here in Singapore can go a long way in protecting you both financially.
Not only do you get access to top quality healthcare services, you also do yourself a favour by relieving yourself from the added stress of unforeseen circumstances.
Planning for motherhood with Expat Insurance
The team at Expat Insurance Singapore is extremely experienced with both corporations and individuals. A comprehensive maternity insurance package can insure mothers from any pregnancy complications and medically protect newborn babies. Not only does it offer mothers assurance, it also keeps financial expenses low should anything happen. We know that the pregnancy journey can be a tough one, so adding an insurance policy can support and relieve expecting couples. From personal health insurance to well-built maternity packages, our specialists can get you the policy fit that’s right for you so that you don’t have to scour the market.