Postpartum: What to Expect in Your First Month?
Your doctor will want to see you for a visit about three weeks after the delivering your baby. This visit will be important to know that you are healing well.
What can you expect at your visit?
The doctor wants to make sure that your body is returning to normal. Even if you have had a normal delivery, you’ve had kids before and don’t have questions, or you feel fine, you should still attend your postpartum visit. You can expect your doctor to do a thorough exam. Here are several things that you can expect your doctor will do at your three-week visit:
- Check your vitals (weight, blood pressure and blood sugar).
- Examine your breasts.
- Conduct a pelvic exam.
- Check your abdomen.
- Review how you’re feeling and provide suggestions for nutrition and exercise.
You are likely experiencing lots of changes physically and emotionally. So don’t be afraid to ask your doctor questions and have conversations about any health concerns.
Here are some questions you may want to ask during your postpartum visits:
- Is my bleeding normal?
- What can I do for pain?
- When can I start exercising?
- How important is breastfeeding? Can I take medication or can I drink alcohol while breastfeeding?
- What can I do to help cure constipation?
- Is it okay to start having sex again?
- What should I be doing for birth control?
- Am I crying too much?
- Do I need any vaccines?
What will happen to your body after childbirth?
Your new life as a mom is full of changes, like taking care of your little one at all hours of the day and night. But you may also notice that you feel and look different. Do not be overwhelmed. Your uterus is going to shrink right after your baby’s birth. This may cause some pains and cramps. You can also expect to lose about 12 pounds after giving birth, but you likely won’t return to your pre-pregnancy body for some time. As your body gradually loses water and fluid from pregnancy, you’ll continue to lose weight. If you still feel you look pregnant after a few weeks, don’t worry. Your stomach muscles are stretched out from pregnancy. With a new exercise and nutrition plan, you can move closer to your pre-pregnancy body.1
What’s the difference between baby blues and postpartum depression?
It’s also important to pay attention to your postpartum mental health. Nearly half of new moms go through the baby blues. They may experience tearfulness, unhappiness, worry, self-doubt, and fatigue. The changing hormones along with the huge changes in your life can lead to major mood swings2.
It’s normal to feel emotional changes after giving birth, but if they last longer than a few weeks, you may have something more serious than baby blues. Postpartum depression is more serious and causes intensely depressed feelings that last longer than a few weeks. Some postpartum depression symptoms that you can look for include:
- Disrupted sleep and a hard time falling asleep.
- Not wanting to see people.
- Feelings of shame for not being ability to connect or bond with your baby.
- Not being able to concentrate.
- Self-criticism and thoughts that you are a bad mother.
- Loss of appetite—weight loss or overeating.
If you experience any of these symptoms for an extended time, you should talk with you doctor about being screened for postpartum depression.3
Adjusting to your new life as a mom can be challenging but being ready for the physical and mental changes can help.
The Gateway Health team can help you:
- Schedule doctor appointments
- Arrange transportation
- Find a pediatrician for your baby
You can call the MOM Matters line at 1-800-392-1147. Press Option 4 for Special Needs.
Then, select Option 2 for MOM Matters.
TTY/TDD users, dial 711 or 1-800-654-5984.
Remember to call your local County Assistance Office to enroll your infant.