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  Recovering from pregnancy and birth
I just can’t adjust to all the changes. I love my baby, but will I ever feel like me again?

Perhaps a good place to start would be to sit down and take stock of all that you have achieved in the last year. To begin with, falling pregnant and carrying a baby for nine months is no mean feat. The mental, physical and psychological changes are huge. The challenges you have survived would make many an Olympic athlete cringe! You will probably agree that you have drawn on reserves of strength that you did not even know existed, and discovered new limits to your endurance. Right at this moment you should be extremely proud of yourself.

Having got through all that pregnancy entails, you have also been through the birth process. This is a psychological hurdle, as much as a physical one, and the fact that you made it through that process and are holding your own wonderful baby, is not to be taken lightly. Of course now you are facing the fact that your body does not look like the body you had before you embarked on this adventure. And just when you had survived the tiredness of pregnancy, you are faced with the exhaustion of sleepless nights, and the roller coaster of attending to the seemingly endless needs of this small, demanding person. Again, you should sure that your thoughts are supporting you, and that you acknowledge how well you have done so far, considering all that you have been through.

There is no doubt that modern woman demands a lot of herself. Ask your grandmother about having a baby in her day. And don’t be surprised when you she tells you stories about having a midwife to stay with the family for several months to support the settling in process. She may tell you that new mothers routinely stayed in bed for 10-14 days. That not much was expected of them except the mothering of the new arrival. This may make you laugh when you think about your very different experience. Perhaps that will make you take stock of your achievements.

If you are still in the first six weeks after the birth, then do everything you can to take life slowly. You have a lot of recovering to do, and your most important job now is not a tidy house or baking for visitors. This is the time to slow down, establish a relationship with your new baby, let your body start to recover form the rigours of pregnancy and birth. If you can see this as a vital time for you and your baby to gently and carefully get to know each other, you may be surprised at the end of the six week period by how much you have achieved. Concentrate on understanding your baby’s hunger patterns, and get as much advice as you need in order to feel at the end of this first period that you are starting to feel settled in the kind of routine that suits you and your baby. You may have to be quite firm and a bit selfish during this time. Enjoy it!

The truth is that you will never be the person you were a year ago. You are a better, much wiser and stronger version of that person. This is the time to learn to love and respect the person you have become.

See also:

Recovering from pregnancy and birth - Food faux pas

Recovering from pregnancy and birth - Healthy food choices

Recovering from pregnancy and birth - Role of diet

Recovering from pregnancy and birth - Role of husband

Recovering from pregnancy and birth - Simplifying healthy eating

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