Carolyn DeMarco, MD
When you give birth, you'll probably find that along with joy, your little bundle brings a few months worth of fatigue with him or her! Remember to keep taking the same high potency multivitamin and minerals that you were taking during pregnancy--with breastfeeding, you need them more than ever.
When you give birth, you’ll probably find that along with joy, your little bundle brings a few months worth of fatigue with him or her! Remember to keep taking the same high potency multivitamin and minerals that you were taking during pregnancy–with breastfeeding, you need them more than ever.
Once or twice a day, drink a high-protein green drink containing spirulina or other blue green algae. This will provide high-quality nutrition, including iron and trace minerals.
Regular exercise, both stretching and aerobic, during and after your pregnancy will help your body recover faster and give you more physical stamina after the baby is born. You can also join "mom and me" exercise groups which include the baby in the exercise programme.
Sex After Birth
Fatigue, post episiotomy pain and concerns for the baby are common reasons why a woman may want to delay or postpone sex.
The bottom line is that you as a woman must feel comfortable with the idea of sex. I usually advise women to wait until bleeding has stopped–about three to four weeks after birth. Remember that you will still need to use birth control. Barrier methods such as diaphragms, cervical caps and condoms are the safest methods.
Fatigue and depression are often related to sleep deprivation. Remind yourself that the way you feel is directly related to the amount of sleep you have missed–not your level of sanity. It is a good idea to post just such a reminder on the fridge.
Hormonal upheavals in the postpartum period and during breastfeeding, combined with lack of sleep, can make you feel more anxious, irritable, impatient and depressed. It is important to have patience with yourself and rest or sleep when your baby sleeps. Remember that you will eventually return to your previous hormonal state and be able to get uninterrupted sleep.
You may feel depressed on and off after the birth and may have crying jags, especially when the baby won’t stop crying. You may feel upset because you can’t live up the image of the perfect mom. You may feel guilty when you occasionally feel like you want to throw the baby out the window. These can be all be normal reactions to stress.
However, if you feel that you would actually harm the baby or feel severely depressed and suicidal, you must see your family doctor immediately and get help.
For mild to moderate postpartum depression, a combination of St John’s wort by mouth three times a day and natural progesterone skin cream can be very effective.