Top 3 Post-Childbirth Questions Asked By MothersMay 09, 2019
Pregnancy and child birth are both very exciting times but also very terrifying for both parents as they need to overcome some challenges within the first year post childbirth. The first few weeks will surely be a circus and will be crazy but after getting used to it, it will become easier day by day and more fun too.
In this article, we will provide a brief explanation to the three most asked questions by mothers during the first year post childbirth.
Is breastfeeding essential? If so, how long should my baby be breastfed?
Although the diet of a baby will change over the course of the first 12 months, breast milk will be a baby’s main source of nutrition. Breastmilk contains all nutrients a baby needs for healthy growth and for combatting and protecting its body from infections and diseases. Furthermore, breastfeeding is a great opportunity to promote bonding between the mother and the baby. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that babies must be entirely breastfed for the first 6 months minimum and then breastfed alongside other foods for 2 years or as long as the mother and child desire.
The taste of breastmilk changes with whatever a mother eats or drinks, which means that they must be very careful on what they consume. Here are six foods/drinks mothers should avoid while breastfeeding:
- Alcoholic beverages and medication’s effects can pass through to the baby;
- Excessive caffeine from tea and coffee will affect a baby’s sleep;
- Some herbs such as persil and peppermint will reduce breastmilk supply;
- Citrus and garlic as babies’ bodies have not matured enough;
- Chocolate can have a laxative effect on babies; and
- Gassy foods which will cause gassiness in babies.
Will my body change significantly after childbirth?
Pregnancy is a major experience in a woman’s life where she would have to undergo a vast range of both physical and mental changes – and that is absolutely normal! Every mother will experience different changes in the body and here are twelve common changes a mother can undergo temporarily post pregnancy:
- Hair loss is common with peaks around the first 3 to 4 months after childbirth;
- Breasts will change due to being engorged with milk;
- Excessive sweating to get rid of excess fluids stored during pregnancy;
- Stomach changes and pain in the back and abdominal areas due to strain caused by carrying the baby’s weight;
- Mothers will experience urinary incontinence and constipation due to excessive stretching of muscles in the excretory system during pregnancy;
- Swollen legs and varicose;
- Increased energy levels after childbirth;
- Some women develop tan-colored skin discolouration areas around their eyes;
- The vagina will undergo structural changes due to stretching during pregnancy and this can include pain and discharge; and
- Mood disorders are common among mothers following childbirth.
Is it normal to feel depressed after childbirth?
Yes, absolutely. Nearly 1 in every 7 Australian women each year who gave birth will experience mood disorders. Being pregnant and becoming a parent is a very joyous period, however, it can also make one anxious, worried and even uncomfortable. Even post-childbirth, some mothers have difficulties in adjusting to life with a new baby.
Depression following pregnancy and childbirth, known as post-natal depression, is a very common symptom experienced by mothers and it has multiple causative factors such as:
- Hormonal fluctuations
Women experience hormonal fluctuations, very similar to pre-menstrual syndrome, that cause mood changes and can lead to depression
- Lifestyle changes
Adjusting to life after childbirth can be very difficult for some women due to difficulties in self-care and allocating time for their partners, leading to dissatisfaction
- Lack of rest
Taking care of babies is not an easy responsibility, which means that mothers will be deprived of time necessary for relaxation and rest
- Post pregnancy pain
Some women may experience post pregnancy pain, which can be very frustrating and upsetting
A range of treatments exist to address post-natal depression:
- Counselling can be very helpful, as mothers will have an opportunity to share how they are feeling and what they are thinking with a trained health practitioner who will listen in a non-judgemental way
- Psychotherapy can be a helpful treatment option for mothers, infants, and families through problem-solving via psychology
- Group treatment can be a platform where women will post-natal depression can openly share their thoughts and their feelings with other women suffering from similar mood disorders
- Support strategies can aid women overcome post-natal mood disorders through carefully planned steps or methods to achieve goals.
- Lastly, support from family and friends is extremely important.
Want to know further about how to manage your first 12 months post child-birth? Our friendly medical staff will happily discuss with you and provide you with valuable information and guidance. You can consult our our GPs: Dr. Julie O’Connor, and Dr. Kathy O’Sullivan, who can provide you with further information.Call Ubuntu Medical on (07) 3857 3777 or email us at [email protected]