Hey there, you. Yes, I’m talking to you.
I see you. You’re a new postpartum mom on the outside. That’s what they all see right now. But I know where you are and where you were. You don’t fool me. There is so much more on the inside than what meets the eye. I know you haven’t gotten to focus much lately on your passions, your dreams or your feelings. You’re in a place where everyone seems to think that you don’t get to decide how you feel.
I want to tell you that they’re wrong.
You get to decide how you feel. You have to feel your truth. They don’t get to silence you just because they have a picture perfect vision of what it “should” be. You have transformed, for better or worse. No matter what you feel, having those feelings doesn’t make you bad or different. Do you know what it makes you?
It makes you human.
You see, the truth is that we need you to be ok. Your baby needs you to be ok. Society needs you to be ok. But if you’re not ok, that’s ok too. I just hope you’re given the ability to get there.
As mothers, sometimes the best advice can be found from the flight attendants.
“Under your seat you will find your baby’s life jacket. In the compartment up above there is an extra oxygen mask for him. You have a flotation device and an oxygen mask as well. Please take heed, and secure them on yourself first before assisting your baby.”
We live in a day and age of technology, where every article is thrust upon us as to how best care for a baby. How many articles have been shared around social media with information about how to care for you?
We need articles. We need gentle reminders. We need showers, food and exercise. We need physical touch, quality time with loved ones and moments where we can laugh and celebrate who we are. Sometimes we need help, whether it be others coming into the household to assist us, time away from our daily routines or medication to help us over the road bumps that can occur during this transformational time. It’s a pretty big deal what our bodies and minds have been through. Don’t discredit yourself just because women do it every day. You did it, and you’re wonderful.
As mothers, all of our needs are different. We can’t stamp the same cookie cutter over every postpartum woman and not expect there to be outside pieces, which are just as deserving, just as beautiful and just as beneficial.
What is a babymoon?
A baby moon is a relatively new trend, similar to a honeymoon where a couple takes a trip to enjoy some time together before a new baby join their family. This idea is catching on fast, and of course! Why not? A fun trip to take care of yourself before you’re taking care of someone else sounds not only logical, but healthy!
As far as where to go and what to do, the limit does not exist! We have compiled a list of the five most ideal places in the Northeast to inspire some ideas for your perfect babymoon! Here goes nothing…
2) New York City, New York
Start spreading the news, this city has so much to offer personalities of all kinds. Go to the top of the empire state building, see the statue of liberty, catch a Broadway show or walk through central park. This destination is relatively close and an easy train ride away! Pro-tip: Pack comfortable shoes!
3) Newport, Rhode Island
Take a beautiful stroll on the cliff walk, visit the famous mansions and have a few beach days. Don’t forget to indulge in some New England clam chowder and grab a cute onesie from one of the many shops on Thames Street.
5) Waterbury, Vermont
Many ski resorts remain open for the summer, which could mean a cheaper stay going in the off season. There is surprisingly so much to do in this area. For the foodies: tour the Ben and Jerry’s and Cabot cheese factory, and don’t forget that you can take two samples! For the adventurers, enjoy fishing, hiking, kayaking and paddle boarding. For the sentimentals, take a stop in the teddy bear factor and make your baby’s first lovie together. And if you’re wanting for some beautiful scenery, take the trek up to Lake Champlain.
Already took your babymoon? Where did you go? Tell us all about it in the comments!
You’re six weeks postpartum! You may be feeling back to normal, or may still be wondering how you will ever get there. You might be ready to exercise and have sex, or you may be wondering how you will ever manage to do these things again. Regardless, six weeks is the perfect time to be having these thoughts, as you will be checking in with your provider for your six week postpartum visit.
What happens at the six week postpartum checkup?
This checkup will start normally with the typical weight and vital signs being taken. There will then be a pelvic exam to make sure the uterus is back to its normal size and that there is no sign of infection. For women who have had incisions due to cesareans or episiotomies, these will be checked as well. Since this appointment can count as your annual well woman exam, your provider will often times do a pap smear. A breast exam will also be done to feel for any abnormal lumps. This is a great time to bring up any discomforts and ask questions about anything that may feel not quite right.
Other important matters addressed in this checkup include mental health and birth control. Usually, there will be a screening for postpartum depression and other perinatal mood disorders. The screening can vary in detail from provider to provider, so it is important to remember to speak up if you feel anything is not quite right with your mental state. Perinatal mood disorders are more easily managed when addressed and treated earlier on. Your provider will also start to talk to you about birth control, and see which option you may want to pursue. Some changes may need to take place from methods you previously used. For women wanting to continue taking the pill who are breastfeeding, a progesterone only pill will be prescribed, because the pills with estrogen can lower milk supply. Also, women who
were using the diaphragm will need to be fitted for a new one. It is important to pick a birth control method you are comfortable with, which you feel will be most effective with your new pace of life.
When can I have sex again?
At your six week appointment, your provider will give you the all clear to start having sex again if everything checks out normal. If your lochia (postpartum bleeding) has stopped, this is a great sign that the lining of your uterus has healed. It is important to wait until you are healed before engaging in sex, and know that if you had a tear or episiotomy, it may take a little longer for you to feel ready.
Does sex hurt after childbirth?
It is common for women to have discomfort the first few times they have sex after having a baby. Often times, a water based lubricant can be helpful in easing this discomfort. For couples using condoms, be sure to avoid oil based lubricants. For longer term issues with pain, there may be a pelvic floor issue. A call to your provider and/or referral to a physical therapist can help with this.
Above all... remember this:
It is most important when getting back to your normal routine, that you listen to your body and don’t push it further than it wants to go. Remember that the six week recommendation is a guideline, not a must. If anything is particularly bothersome, reach out to your provider at any time.