About half of all new moms say the first six months after having a new baby were harder than they expected. It is very important that you are taken care of while you are learning how to take care of your newborn baby. Below are some suggestions for taking care of you.
- You need and deserve lots of rest and support.
- During the first weeks at home, a new mom should only care for herself and the new baby.
- When the baby is sleeping, a new mom needs to be resting. You do not need to be catching up on other tasks or visiting with company while the baby is asleep.
- Household work, such as cleaning, cooking meals and doing laundry, should be done by others.
- You should not expect too much from yourself during the postpartum period. If you work outside the home, try to take as much time off from work as your situation allows.
- You need to tell others how important they are to you and how much you need their support at this time in your life.
- Please be kind to yourself. Order take-out for dinner, leave a household chore undone, and do not worry about the little things.
If you feel you have symptoms of postpartum depression, the first step is to talk with someone about your thoughts and feelings. Your baby's doctor and your health care provider are available to talk with you. Postpartum emotional distress is highly treatable.
The Hopeful Beginnings postpartum support group is also a resource for you. This support group meets the second Monday of every month at 7:00 pm at the Vidant Wellness Center. Free childcare is provided, and assistance with transportation may be arranged. Support people are welcome to attend the group. You may bring your baby into the group. This kind, compassionate and accepting group provides a community of mothers who feel or have felt very much like you do.
Nursing professionals lead the group and have many years of experience and provide a caring and warm atmosphere. The comments made in the group are confidential. You can call the Hopeful Beginnings Postpartum Support Program at Vidant Medical Center at 252-847-7439.