A new baby is like the beginning of all things– wonder, hope, a dream of possibilities.
As a certified Perinatal Mental Health therapist (PMH-C) through Postpartum Support International (PSI), I have extensive training in working with pregnant and postpartum moms. Pregnancy is self-explanatory, but what exactly is postpartum? The postpartum period is considered the first full year after the birth of your baby. Parents are often surprised by how long postpartum is, and for how long doctors and mental health counselors are keeping an eye out for anything out of the ordinary for moms (and dads too!) during this time frame.
Postpartum can be filled with many ups and downs. Some of the fun things often include your baby:
- Cooing, smiling and laughing
- Peacefully sleeping
- Starting solid foods = sleeping through the night (sometimes!)
- Rolling across the room
- Sitting up
- Interacting and playing with toys
What else would you add here?
And the not so fun stuff like:
- Sleepless nights
- Incessant crying
- Never ending diaper changes
- So much laundry
- Formula or breastfeeding decisions
- A medical issue for you or your baby
- Not feeling like your best self (or yourself at all)
- Not loving your postpartum body (or actual hate towards the body)
Did I forget anything?
Some of these stages can be made harder if your baby isn’t hitting the milestones for their age, in the timeframe you had hoped for, especially if they were born prematurely and needed a NICU (New Born Intensive Care Unit) stay. Be sure to check in with your baby’s pediatrician about any developmental concerns you or your partner may have at this time. Also, be sure to check in with your OBGYN or PCP if you (or your partner) are struggling and not feeling like yourself during postpartum as well.