How Are You Doing

Remember when you were pregnant, and everyone asked how you were feeling? Remember how your friends and family urged you to get your rest and take care of yourself?

After a baby is born and the first weeks or months are past, new moms can get so focused on caring for their infants that they forget to care for themselves. They’re expected to adjust to this huge change of life in just a few weeks, when really this can take months—or years.  

Caring for a baby takes a lot of energy; it can fill you with joy, despair and intense fatigue. You reach a point where you start to feel like you can manage the demands—and then your baby hits another milestone, such as crawling or walking, and suddenly it’s all too much again.

Keep these self-care tips in mind as you navigate through this first year with your baby:

  • Get help when you need it—for your sake and your baby’s. The work you do as a mom is demanding, and you have a right to be exhausted. Enlist your partner, immediate family or close friends to help with errands, household chores or watching the baby while you take a break. Your well-being is important for you and your baby!
  • Reach out to other moms who know what you’re going through. Talk with your friends who are moms, look for local parent-baby play groups or support groups, or check out new-mom message boards online. 
  • Speak with your healthcare provider if you’re feeling down, worried, anxious or overwhelmed for more than a few days (or more than occasionally). More than 80% of mothers experience occasional, temporary “baby blues,” especially in the first days and weeks after childbirth.

    But about 20% of moms experience postpartum depression, a complication following pregnancy and childbirth that is entirely treatable. Depression affects you, your baby and the loved ones around you; don’t wait to talk with your doctor about it. 

    If you don’t feel that you have the time or energy to make an appointment for yourself, talk with your baby’s healthcare provider at the next well-child checkup. Pediatricians now have a greater understanding of maternal stress and depression and can guide you to help and support.

Disclaimer: This page is not intended to provide medical advice about your child. Always seek the advice of a physician, qualified healthcare provider or child-development specialist with any questions you have about your child's health, medical condition or development. Never disregard, avoid or delay contacting a doctor or other qualified professional because of something you read here.

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