The first months postpartum are some of the hardest months you will face as a mom. You are dealing with a lack of sleep, the ever-changing demands of a newborn, and the other, not so amazing, after-effects of giving birth. While your body and mind heal, you may wonder how to make it through the first two months postpartum.
Motherhood is not an easy task, and if you’re a new mom experiencing motherhood for the very first time, you are likely to face many situations you couldn’t even imagine.
What to Expect During Your First Two Months Postpartum
For most women who experienced a birth without complications, your bleeding should have stopped by six weeks postpartum. At this point, you have essentially made it out of the toughest time after giving birth, both mentally and physically.
Physically, you should be cleared to resume any of your previous activities by your OB and your body is starting the process of getting back to normal. You will notice that some tasks are still not as “easy” as they were before pregnancy and giving birth, but others are much easier than they were those first few days home. This will vary based on whether you had a c-section or vaginal birth and if you had any complications during or after delivery, so don’t stress if you still don’t feel up to your usual routine.
Mentally, you may experience the “baby blues” during the first two weeks – this period of emotional instability is very common due to the intense hormonal fluctuations that occur after delivery and the initial adjustment to having a new person in your home! After two weeks, though, you should start to feel better – maybe like you are coming out of a haze. But if you are struggling with feelings of depression or anxiety, definitely reach out to your doctor as soon as possible (you don’t need to wait for your 6-week visit).
Things You’ll Notice Postpartum…
During your first two months postpartum, you may notice that there are a couple of things you didn’t get before the baby came and want to buy ASAP, as well as a lot of things you did get and don’t necessarily need for the baby. You may realize you want to get more sheets for their bassinet or crib so you don’t have to worry if the spare is still in the wash. You will have figured out the type of swaddle they do best with, and which “containers” (swings, bouncers, etc.) your baby prefers (always to be used under constant supervision during awake time only – never for sleep – and for limited periods).
You will also begin to notice that it doesn’t seem like your newborn is just sleeping and eating on demand, and a pattern is starting to emerge. If it works better for you to have a slightly more predictable schedule, you can work with your baby over the first two months to establish and start to follow a routine. After the first month or two, you will also probably be feeling much more confident in recognizing your baby’s cues for naps and hunger or when your baby is crying for any other reason.
Lastly, you will be able to get more done as you near the end of the first two months in comparison to the first two weeks. With longer, more predictable periods of sleep and more alertness during their awake time when you can begin to teach them to explore and play independently, you’ll have more time where you can do what you need to do – like shower, rest, work, and tackle tasks around the home.
How to Make It Through Your First Two Months Postpartum
My top tip for making it through your first two months postpartum is to accept that every day is going to look and feel different. You are going to have great days and not-so-great days with your newborn. Focus on keeping yourself well-fed, hydrated, and well-rested. Your physical health will directly reflect in your ability to care for your baby and in your mental health.
A great way to ensure you get the right nutrition postpartum is by meal planning. You can save time by having a set list of meals and, if you have time or a partner to help, you can try meal prepping.
Also, just because you can start getting back into your pre-baby routine, albeit with a few modifications, doesn’t mean that you should. Before diving headfirst into a busy day, take things slowly to ensure that you are both physically and mentally prepared. Keep in mind though these two months that you are still freshly postpartum and that it takes on average a year to “get back to normal” physically, and even longer mentally.
Lastly, make sure you are prioritizing self-care, sleep, and emotional awareness during this time. Reach out and find support from your family, friends, other moms in your area, or online groups. Motherhood is much easier and more enjoyable when done as a community!