Having a baby is a wonderful, special and life-changing event. There is nothing more amazing than the first time you hold that little bundle in your arms, and you’ll remember it for the rest of your life.
However, if you’re a first time mother, there are some issues that no one tells you about before you have your baby – here’s what to look out for and how to take care of yourself in those early days and weeks…
Thankfully, breast feeding is now practiced by many women without any problems – and it’s much more socially acceptable than it used to be. You don’t need to worry about people judging you like they did in the days when formula ruled – in fact, breast feeding is now widely considered to be the ultimate way to give your baby the best start in life.
What they don’t tell you about feeding your baby yourself is that it doesn’t necessarily come easily for you or your little one. You might find yourself struggling to get him to latch on, especially at the start – and getting mastitis is very common. Mastitis occurs when you have blocked milk ducts in your breasts, and it can be very painful. It causes your breasts to become sore, swollen and sometimes lumpy; and you may experience flu like symptoms at the same time.
The solution? Take paracetamol and ibuprofen at regular intervals, wear loose clothing and get plenty of rest. If your mastitis doesn’t seem to be abating after a few days, see your doctor to get expert advice on how to get it sorted.
Anterior pelvic tilt
Right now, you’re probably thinking what is an anterior pelvic tilt it sounds a little scary!’ The good news is, it’s not as frightening as it appears. Often caused by the demands of pregnancy on the body, it occurs when the pelvis rocks forward into an awkward position. This can cause pain in the back, hips and knees. You can relieve your symptoms by performing exercises that help to correct the problem, so it can be fixed – there’s no need to panic!
It’s very common to experience constipation after giving birth, and this can go hand in hand with haemorrhoids, or piles. This can make going to the loo a painful and difficult experience, but there’s a lot you can do to relieve pain and discomfort. Increase your fibre intake to help get things moving – you’ll find it in whole wheat bread, beans, nuts, fruit and whole wheat cereals. To eliminate piles, buy some haemorrhoid cream and apply regularly – it will soon be a distant memory!
After your baby is born, it is easy to become so focused on caring for the new addition that you forget to look after yourself. Get help and treatment when you need it, and make sure you take time out to ensure that you are well rested and calm. You can give yourself a boost by losing those extra pounds gradually – just make sure you don’t fall for any diet myths, and pace yourself!