Postpartum Health

Mama and baby
Vision Changes During Pregnancy

December 7, 2021

Along with the more well-known ways that pregnancy affects your body, many others may come as a surprise, such as pregnancy's impact on your eyes. In fact, visual symptoms during pregnancy are common and almost always harmless.

Health Benefits of Breastfeeding for Mothers

June 10, 2021

While many breastfeeding advocates emphasize the benefits of breastfeeding for infants, there are significant benefits for the mother's physical and emotional health as well.

Postpartum Scar Tissue Massage

April 28, 2021

Scar management is a significant part of recovery for many postpartum moms. Scar tissue massage can help postpartum scars heal more effectively.

What To Expect From A Breastfed Baby’s Diapers

March 30, 2021

Counting diapers is recommended by lactation consultants and pediatricians as a way to know if your breastfed baby is getting enough milk from you. However, there is some conflicting information circulating about what number of diapers is reassuring. The number of both wet and soiled diapers you should expect changes as your baby grows.

Restless legs syndrome (RLS) during pregnancy and postpartum

March 9, 2021

Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a common health problem during pregnancy. Studies show that RLS is two to three times higher in pregnant women than non-pregnant women, suggesting that pregnancy is a significant risk factor for RLS. While the condition is fortunately not life-threatening, severe cases may disrupt a person’s quality of life and daily activities.

Understanding food sensitivities and allergies in your breastfed baby

February 17, 2021

If you are concerned that something you are eating is causing a problem for your baby, you may think you need to wean. However, eliminating the offending food may be all you need to do. A food sensitivity or allergy in the breastfed baby can present itself in several different ways. You will need to be a detective when it comes to uncovering the likely culprit.

Postpartum nutritional supplements: What’s best for you?

February 2, 2021

To help keep moms and babies healthy, the nutrition guidelines for pregnant women and women planning for pregnancy include daily prenatal supplements. But what about after birth? While there are no specific supplement recommendations for postpartum moms and very few studies on this topic, many prenatal vitamins and other nutrients remain essential after delivery. As with pregnancy, a healthy diet alone may not support all the nutritional needs for moms who are breastfeeding and all moms who are healing while caring for a newborn.

Is ‘Mommy Brain’ real?

January 19, 2021

The majority of first-time moms (64-82%) experience a decline in cognitive abilities, like thinking and remembering, during or after pregnancy. For some, this can have a significant impact on everyday life. While studies confirm that your body undergoes enormous changes during the child-bearing process, very little is known about how pregnancy affects the human brain and its cognitive health. So, is ‘mommy brain’ real? The science is lacking, but we’ll break down what we do know.

How to Prepare for a Vaginal Birth After Cesarean (VBAC)

January 6, 2021

If you had a cesarean delivery (or “c-section”) in the past, you might wonder if you can experience a vaginal birth in the future. In most cases, studies suggest that vaginal delivery after a c-section is safe and helps lower the risk of health problems related to multiple c-sections. However, this option isn’t healthy or available for all women. The following information is a guide to help you make an informed choice with your health care provider’s support.

Postpartum stroke: a rare but serious complication

December 8, 2020

Although stroke is a leading cause of death and disability in the U.S., it rarely affects women during the postpartum period. The most recent nationwide study from 2000-2001 found that the risk of pregnancy-related stroke is 34.2 per 100,000 deliveries. That is, strokes affect less than 0.1% of U.S. women during and after pregnancy. Still, learning about this complication is essential as a stroke may be a potentially life-changing event, and knowing the warning signs can save lives.

What to expect after you stop breastfeeding

November 24, 2020

The end of your breastfeeding experience can come about in a variety of ways. Some mothers plan to breastfeed for a designated time. Other women decide they will let their child self-wean. There are also women who stop breastfeeding before they planned. When and how rapidly a woman weans from breastfeeding will affect how she experiences weaning. No matter how you wean, you may have some questions about what happens to your breasts afterwards, which we’ll cover here.

How getting outdoors can improve your mental health right now

November 17, 2020

Living through a global pandemic isn’t easy. We’re all living out of our comfort zones right now and experiencing the massive uncertainty of the unknown future. That said, it’s paramount to take care of your mental health during these trying times. Many people have found immense relief by simply going outside. Let’s get into the benefits of being in nature and how you can continue prioritizing this need during the colder and darker months.

Signs of pelvic organ prolapse (POP) and how to fix it

November 12, 2020

Pelvic organ prolapse can be an unsettling thing to experience. The sensations you feel can be very foreign and if you do a quick Google search of your symptoms, you will most likely find horror stories and end up thinking surgery is your only option. But wait, there are non-invasive things you can do and if it’s caught early, surgery can be prevented. Just reading this article and familiarizing yourself with the symptoms and what a pelvic organ prolapse actually IS, is an important first step. Let’s dive in!

Depression and sadness when you wean before you planned

November 3, 2020

Ending breastfeeding before you planned to can happen for a variety of reasons. You may have experienced insurmountable breastfeeding difficulties. Babies sometimes self wean before a mother intended to. Whatever the reason for early weaning, the result is that some women experience feelings of disappointment, sadness, or even depression after they wean earlier than they planned.

How to stop leaking after giving birth

October 27, 2020

Do you sometimes leak urine when you are jumping, running, laughing or sneezing? Do you rush to the bathroom when you get home from work even though you went to the restroom only 30 minutes ago? Did you leak urine right after having a baby but thought it would go away on its own and now it’s been over a year and you are still leaking? Incontinence is a common complaint of women who have had babies but often is dismissed as not a big deal. On average, studies show that 25-45% of women have urinary incontinence with some studies reporting a 90% prevalence rate; this is a big deal! Despite how common incontinence is amongst women, it’s not something you have to live with and we will walk you through what to do about it.

What is a pelvic floor?

October 23, 2020

Many people have never heard of a pelvic floor before pregnancy. And when they do, it’s just a term that’s mentioned at prenatal yoga or in your pregnancy app. But during pregnancy, so many things are glossed over if they don’t directly impact the health of the baby. So it’s possible that no one has taken the time to explain what your pelvic floor actually is and why it’s important.

Vasospasms vs. Raynaud’s Syndrome

October 20, 2020

Painful nipples is one of the most common reasons women report for ending breastfeeding before they had planned. There are several different causes of nipple discomfort. Two potential sources of nipple pain are from vasospasms and Raynaud’s Phenomenon. While these two conditions are similar, there are significant differences, and they are treated differently.

Joint pain and other signs of postpartum rheumatoid arthritis

October 13, 2020

Rheumatoid arthritis, or RA, is the most common chronic autoimmune disease. Autoimmune disorders occur when your immune system abnormally attacks healthy cells, tissues, and organs in your body, and they impact women more than men. Research shows that women have a higher risk of developing RA during the postpartum period. However, the number of women who develop postpartum RA in the general population is unknown and varies widely across studies (from 0.08% in a Japanese study to 28.3% in a Denmark study).

What is a milk bleb?

October 6, 2020

Nipple discomfort can be caused by a variety of things. It may not be obvious what is causing nipple pain in some situations. However, if you have a milk bleb it is clear what the source of your problem is. Knowing what is causing your pain means you can use the most effective treatment to resolve the problem.

What you need to know about postpartum psychosis

September 29, 2020

Postpartum psychosis is a rare but severe condition that refers to a temporary break from reality after giving birth. This experience can be incredibly scary for new mothers, their partners, and surrounding loved ones. It’s crucial to understand the risk factors and symptoms associated with this disorder. If you think you are struggling, help is available, and it’s important to reach out for support. Let’s get into what you need to know.

What to do about painful sex after childbirth

September 24, 2020

Painful sex after childbirth is very common. In fact, 50-60% of women report painful sex (dyspareunia) 6-7 weeks after childbirth and up to 30% report it at 6 months postpartum. There’s actually no difference in the overall prevalence rates between vaginal births and cesarean births, so it can happen to anyone.

When your baby prefers to nurse on one side

September 22, 2020

It can be frustrating if your baby shows a preference for one breast over the other. It is standard breastfeeding advice to offer both breasts and alternate which side you start a feeding with. However, some babies are not on board with that plan. I’ll explain why it might be happening and what you can do about it.

Retained placenta after birth: what it is and what to do

September 15, 2020

Many consider the delivery of a baby as the final event of the childbearing process. However, your pregnancy is not complete until the placenta fully detaches from the uterus and exits your body as well. If all or part of your placenta remains in your womb after delivery of your baby, it’s known as a retained placenta. This complication affects roughly 1-3% of vaginal births and may affect less than 0.2% of cesarean deliveries based one U.S. study.

When postpartum depression shows up late

September 8, 2020

Many people, including healthcare professionals, mistakenly believe that postpartum depression only emerges in the immediate weeks after birth. However, this isn't true. Symptoms of postpartum depression can begin several months after having your baby. It’s important to understand the symptoms of postpartum depression. Treatment is available, and it’s crucial to learn about how to access appropriate care.

What you should know about mastitis

September 2, 2020

Anything that causes breast pain during breastfeeding is unsettling. While most women will not have to deal with the breast infection known as mastitis, if it happens to you this is what you need to know.

What to do about a low sex drive after childbirth

August 25, 2020

Pregnancy and childbirth bring many changes to women’s lives. Your sexual relationship, sexuality, and intimacy are all aspects that can shift dramatically after pregnancy. Specifically, moms may experience impaired ability to engage in or enjoy sexual intercourse and orgasm after having a baby. However, with time, effort, a bit of humor, and perhaps a provider-approved lubricant, it’s possible for you and your partner to rekindle the spark in your relationship!

Breastfeeding changes when your baby starts sleeping through the night

August 18, 2020

Having your sleep interrupted several times a night is one of the most challenging parts of being a new mom. A baby sleeping through the night is a milestone that most mothers look forward to. There are some important ways that these long stretches of sleep by your baby can affect breastfeeding.

Labral tears and other causes of postpartum hip pain

August 11, 2020

Many women experience various birth-related aches and pains. While hip pain during and shortly after delivery is common, chronic postpartum hip pain from sources such as labral tears is less understood. So, there are some unknowns about these particular injuries, including how many moms experience them. Fortunately, we know that labral tears are treatable and sometimes preventable, and we also know a lot about postpartum conditions that affect the hip overall.

How stress might affect your milk supply

August 4, 2020

You may have heard that stress can result in a decreased milk supply. But is that really true? If it is true, is there anything that a mom can do about it? We’ll address these questions and even share some good news—that breastfeeding can actually have a protective effect against stress.

Numbness, tingling, and other signs of nerve injuries from childbirth

July 28, 2020

Several types of nerve injuries may result from pregnancy and childbirth. Although postpartum nerve injuries are relatively uncommon (the estimated risk is 1%), it can be helpful for new moms to recognize them. If equipped with information, it is easier to prevent these injuries and heal from them as early as possible in the unlikely event that they occur.

How to stay sane when your baby is cluster feeding

July 22, 2020

Cluster feeding is when a baby breastfeeds very frequently. It can be hard to tell when one feeding ends and the next feeding begins. Even though it is a normal part of breastfeeding it can be overwhelming and tiring. Some simple tips will help you keep your sanity when these marathon nursing sessions occur.

How to get help for perinatal mental health

July 14, 2020

It’s challenging to admit you’re struggling with postpartum depression, anxiety, or another perinatal mental health disorder. If you’ve identified the problem, recognize that your acknowledgment is the first step towards change. In an ideal world, this acknowledgment would be the hardest part, and accessing treatment would naturally come next. Unfortunately, navigating our current healthcare system isn’t always so intuitive. We’ll walk you through the common challenges and how to overcome them.

What to do if your partner has paternal depression or anxiety

July 7, 2020

There’s no doubt that we’ve made significant strides in discussing mental health in pregnant women and new mothers. Today, most doctors screen women for depression and anxiety before and after having birth. We also understand the impact of how a mother’s well-being affects her relationship with her newborn. But there is minimal discussion about fathers and their mental health. Research shows that anywhere between 2-25% of dads experience depression during their partner’s pregnancy or in the first year of birth. Unfortunately, most people don’t talk about it, and they don’t recognize the warning signs. If you suspect your partner is struggling with postpartum depression or anxiety, it’s crucial to know the symptoms. Let’s get into it.

How to deal with breast engorgement

June 30, 2020

A common breastfeeding problem new moms are often faced with is breast engorgement. Knowing what to expect from engorgement and how to deal with it will help ensure that it is a temporary bump in your breastfeeding experience.

Nursing strikes: When your baby refuses to nurse

June 24, 2020

It is concerning and confusing when a baby who has been breastfeeding well suddenly refuses to nurse. A mom may think it means her baby wants to wean from breastfeeding. In reality, a sudden refusal to breastfeed rarely happens because a baby wants to wean. More likely, it is a temporary bump in your breastfeeding journey called a nursing strike.

What you should know about therapy for perinatal mental health

June 16, 2020

All women experience ups and downs when adjusting to motherhood. Having a baby undoubtedly changes your world. Even if you feel adequately prepared for the changes, life with your little one brings unforeseen challenges. Therapy can help you navigate these new struggles, fears, and insecurities. It can also provide support and reassurance during this vulnerable time. Let’s get into what you need to know.

Managing IBD flares during and after pregnancy

June 9, 2020

Most people discover that they have inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in their 20s and 30s. This means that the diagnosis of IBD commonly affects women who either are pregnant or may become pregnant. So, if you are a new mom with IBD, you are not alone. Many questions may naturally arise about IBD in pregnancy, and we’re going to walk you through just a few of them.

The best positions for breastfeeding in challenging situations

June 2, 2020

There are five common breastfeeding positions. The majority of new moms can pick the one she finds is most comfortable and easiest to latch her baby. For most moms, this will involve some trial and error. There are certain situations where a specific position is going to work best most of the time.

Understanding your pelvic floor during and after pregnancy

May 26, 2020

During pregnancy, you may hear the term pelvic floor from your doctor or midwife, or even a yoga instructor. But it’s possible that no one has taken the time to explain to you what it is and why you should care. You deserve to know because your pelvic floor is very important both during and after pregnancy. So here’s a quick dive into Pelvic Floor 101.

What does postpartum OCD look like and what can you do if you’re struggling?

May 19, 2020

In the past few decades, many health experts have concentrated on learning about women’s health during both pregnancy and postpartum recovery. Today, most people are aware of the symptoms related to postpartum depression or psychosis. However, women are also at risk for developing postpartum anxiety disorders, such as OCD. While research on this condition is fairly limited, studies show that 1-3% of new mothers experience postpartum obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Let’s get into the risk factors, symptoms, and treatment options you need to know.

Ob-gyn vs. midwife vs. doula: A who’s who of birth professionals

May 12, 2020

When it comes to care provider options for pregnancy and birth it can be a little confusing. ob-gyns, midwives, doulas... who are all these professionals and which of them is qualified to deliver your baby? Choosing the right person for you may be a daunting task in those early days of pregnancy when you’d rather be sleeping or recovering from your latest bout of morning sickness. We’ll go through some options and considerations, so you can make the best choice for you and your family.

What causes postpartum back pain and how to fix it

May 4, 2020

Back pain is a very common complaint in the weeks and months after childbirth. In fact, almost half of new mothers report backache at 6 months postpartum. Back pain is often treatable, but the first step is to narrow down the cause of the pain. Potential causes of postpartum back pain include epidural complications, diastasis recti, suboptimal breastfeeding positioning, and less common medical conditions such as gallstones and pregnancy and lactation-associated osteoporosis (PLO). Addressing the root cause should be the highest priority, but in the meantime, we’ll suggest ways you can help relieve the pain.

Sore nipples: cause and remedies

April 28, 2020

Sore nipples are a common complaint of mamas throughout their breastfeeding journey. Some degree of nipple soreness is experienced by the majority of women when they first start breastfeeding. This is true even of those moms who have picture-perfect positioning and use flawless latch technique. Fortunately, this is primarily a breaking-in period for their nipples and it will resolve quickly. New moms should know what they can expect from nipple soreness and what are red flags that something abnormal is occurring.

Diastasis recti during pregnancy

April 21, 2020

During the later part of pregnancy, your belly will expand to make room for the baby. During this time, your abdominal muscles may separate to allow your belly to expand fully. While it’s totally normal and very common, for some it doesn’t go away postpartum, which can cause back pain and instability. However, adjusting how you move can help limit the separation and set you up for a faster recovery.

How to adapt your postpartum support during a pandemic

April 14, 2020

The postpartum time can be overwhelming, even in the best of circumstances. However, there are many wonderful resources available to help you recover and thrive after giving birth. Now, during the COVID-19 pandemic, many of those resources are still available, just in a different form. Here’s a guide to adapting your postpartum support to the current restrictions and what to expect.

What to expect if you’re breastfeeding while pregnant

April 7, 2020

Some mothers plan to breastfeed through a pregnancy. Other breastfeeding moms get pregnant unexpectedly, before they have weaned, and decide that they don’t want to end their breastfeeding journey. All mothers want to do what is best and what is safe for them, the baby they are growing at their breast and the baby they are growing in their uterus.

Why you should try telehealth physical therapy

March 31, 2020

During this pandemic, many of us have been advised, or ordered, to stay at home. While this will hopefully “flatten the curve” and reduce the spread of the coronavirus, it also means that many of the ways we take care of ourselves may no longer be an option. However virtual options are growing and can be a great and safe alternative to in-person treatments. Telehealth physical therapy, or virtual physical therapy, can be a great option for anyone who was already being seen by a physical therapist or was about to make their first appointment.

How new mothers can manage coronavirus stress and anxiety

March 24, 2020

We’re in unprecedented times. The coronavirus is spreading fiercely and many are being advised, or ordered, to stay at home. This pandemic has impacted the entire world; no doubt, we’re all living in a defining moment of history. New mothers are already juggling the intense emotions associated with parenting. From coping with breastfeeding issues to sleep deprivation to new relationship changes, each day brings new challenges. The coronavirus throws a fierce and seemingly terrifying obstacle in an already difficult arena. That said, you can protect yourself and your family while staying sane. It is possible to manage your stress. Let’s explore the best tips.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) and breastfeeding

March 17, 2020

While much is still unknown about COVID-19, here are the current recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for breastfeeding mothers that may have COVID-19. This information is current as of March 17, 2020. Please consult resources like the CDC and WHO for the most recent guidance.

What to do if my abs aren’t returning to normal after pregnancy

March 10, 2020

Are you seeing a gap in your abdominal muscles when you sit up? Do you feel like your abdominals are not coming back together after having your baby? Are you worried about your core strength and how to improve it without aggravating your back or worsening a separation you were told you have? If you answered yes to any of these questions, don’t panic! There are things you can do!

Relationship struggles after having a baby

March 3, 2020

While pregnancy and childbirth can undoubtedly be an exciting time for couples, research indicates that many couples experience a sharp decline in postpartum relationship functioning. In fact, renowned couples psychologist, John Gottman, found that 67% of new parents reported a complete plummeting in marital satisfaction. What are the most common issues? How can couples receive the support and guidance they need during this transition? Let’s get into what you need to know.

What’s a CLC vs. an IBCLC? How to choose a lactation consultant

February 25, 2020

The first few weeks (or even months) of breastfeeding can be very difficult. And it’s no wonder. When else have you been expected to do something like this without any way to practice beforehand? Well the good news is that there’s a whole industry built around helping you achieve your breastfeeding goals. You may have heard the terms lactation consultant, CLC, and IBCLC, but what do they mean? How do you choose one?

What to expect at a pelvic floor PT appointment

February 18, 2020

Pelvic floor physical therapy is a specialty of PT that focuses on the pelvis and the different pains and dysfunctions that can arise. The pelvic floor is made up of muscles, ligaments, tendons, and joints just like your shoulder or knee. As musculoskeletal experts, pelvic floor physical therapists treat the dysfunctions and pains that can arise as a result of injuries to those muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints. These things can include incontinence, pain with penetrative intercourse, prolapse, or abdominal pain. Many times your OB/Gyn or midwife will refer you to pelvic floor PT if you express you are experiencing symptoms that are related to muscular dysfunction. Sometimes your symptoms might not be completely understood by your doctor as something that a physical therapist can help. Rest assured, you can make a difference in your symptoms by seeing a pelvic floor PT!

Unhealthy relationships with food during and after pregnancy

February 11, 2020

After going through pregnancy and giving birth to a child, it’s not a surprise that many women find that their bodies have changed. Some may desire to lose weight to get back to the size they were before becoming pregnant. In some cases, this can be entirely realistic, and women can use healthy methods to achieve weight loss. Unfortunately, however, there are cases where the desire to look a certain way after pregnancy can lead to an eating disorder.

Postpartum PUPPP: When a pregnancy rash develops postpartum

February 4, 2020

Skin conditions are extremely common during and after pregnancy. One of the chief complaints is itchiness (also called pruritus). Often this itchiness is due to the dryness that is caused by hormonal changes, but in rare cases it is severe and accompanied by small, raised areas of skin. This condition is called PUPPP and, while uncomfortable to experience, is harmless and easily treated.

What does it mean if I’m having scary or intrusive thoughts?

January 28, 2020

If you’re a new mother, intrusive thoughts related to you or your child’s safety can be downright terrifying. When these thoughts arise, you may be confused and rightfully concerned over their presence. After all, isn’t this a magical time of bonding and unconditional love and bursts of oxytocin? Don’t these thoughts conflict with your devotion to your baby’s well-being? As it turns out, scary and intrusive thoughts are normal for new parents. Moreover, they are treatable. Here’s what you need to know.

Postpartum gallstones and other gallbladder issues

January 21, 2020

Gallbladder disease is one of the top non-obstetric (not directly related to pregnancy & childbirth) causes for hospitalization in the first year after giving birth. The most common type of gallbladder disease is cholelithiasis, also called gallstones. Often gallstones are small and asymptomatic, but in 1-3% of postpartum women, they lead to hospitalization and the surgical removal of the gallbladder.

How your vagina changes after giving birth

January 14, 2020

After you give birth, you may be wondering what’s going on with your vagina and if it’ll ever go back to normal. Some changes, like labia swelling or skin darkening, will go away soon after you give birth. Others, however, may take longer to go away, and some changes are permanent. Here’s what you can expect.

How to return to high-impact exercise postpartum

January 7, 2020

All right, you’ve made it to the 6-week check-up and your OB/GYN has cleared you for sex, exercise, jumping on trampolines...whatever your heart desires. Great! That means from the OB/GYN perspective you are healthy and ready to move on to the next thing. The OB/GYN “sign-off” is very important but should be viewed as a “yellow light” as opposed to a “green light” for all things exercise. Let’s pump the brakes on the clearance to do any form of exercise as soon as you get that 6-week sign-off and think critically about what your body went through and what has been happening for the past 6 weeks.

Should you use a belly binder after giving birth?

December 31, 2019

Belly binding has been around for a long time and has recently seen a lot of new products crop up. In addition to belly binders (or abdominal binders), you may have seen ads for belly wraps, postpartum girdles, and corsets. Generally all of these products wrap your abdomen in some way, but they have different levels of compression, claim different benefits, and have varying degrees of safety.

What to expect when you have a 2nd degree tear

December 24, 2019

By now, you’re probably caught on to how much post-birth recovery can vary. This wide range of normal is partly why so much of the current medical advice you hear is so generic and unhelpful (“Just take it slow”). This can be especially annoying for anyone who had a second degree tear during birth, which are not severe enough to be considered Obstetric Anal Sphincter Injuries (OASIS) and are often lumped together with superficial first degree tears. But second degree tears can be quite substantial, involving the tearing of muscle, and they’re common enough that you should have a better idea of what to expect.

Negative feelings while breastfeeding

December 18, 2019

One lesser-known breastfeeding struggle that deserves a deeper look is D-MER, which is a drop in mood that comes on during breastfeeding. If this is something you’ve experienced it can bring much needed relief to know this is a very real physiological phenomenon and not uncommon.

Managing your own expectations after birth

December 10, 2019

This is hands down one of the most difficult parts of the postpartum experience. People often have so many expectations of how things are going to be before they give birth and aren’t prepared for the realities following that.

How to start rehabilitating and strengthening immediately postpartum

December 3, 2019

Having a baby is beautiful and natural and has been happening for thousands of years. Women have also been suffering (mostly in silence) from the physical repercussions of childbearing for thousands of years; incontinence, pain with intercourse, name a few. These repercussions have been accepted as “normal” and basically just part of the territory. Well, they don’t have to be! But, you do have to be proactive and devote some time to yourself which is difficult in the early postpartum time. Here are three exercises you can do during the first four weeks postpartum to help rehab and strengthen your pelvic floor.

7 Postpartum Depression Myths Debunked

December 2, 2019

Thanks to celebrities like Chrissy Teigen and Cardi B, people are talking about postpartum depression and the message is clear: It’s real, it can hit anyone, and you should not be embarrassed to get help.

How to treat postpartum acne

November 26, 2019

There are many skin changes that can happen during and after pregnancy. While some are nice, like the alleged “pregnancy glow,” others bring us back to puberty, like acne. These bumps and pimples can be frustrating, as well as anxiety-inducing, since it’s not always clear if the treatments are safe.

How to advocate for yourself after pregnancy and birth

November 19, 2019

People often hire a doula to help advocate for themselves during pregnancy and labor. But what about postpartum? So many people feel completely forgotten during this time, and if you’ve experienced any difficulties during birth, that six week check-up will feel a long way off.

How to prepare your pelvic floor for labor and delivery

November 12, 2019

Let’s be honest, childbearing is no walk in the park. It’s beautiful and natural of course, but it is also very intense. Your body goes through so many amazing changes to grow a new human. Unfortunately, the resources for preparing your body during pregnancy and for rehabilitating after labor and delivery are seriously lacking. Here are three easy exercises you can do right now to prep your body and reduce your chance of injury during labor and delivery.

The various types of postpartum headaches

November 5, 2019

Like headaches in general, postpartum headaches may be from a variety of causes. Sometimes the causes are not directly related to the postpartum phase like, for example, tension (stress) and migraines that existed pre-pregnancy. Sometimes they are directly related, like a spinal headache that results from an epidural or spinal block, and sometimes changes during postpartum can amplify the causes, like low glucose, weight loss, medications, caffeine withdrawal, and fatigue. Despite the fact that many of these headaches are no cause for concern, postpartum headaches are sometimes a sign of something more serious.

Postpartum night sweats

October 29, 2019

Hot flashes (daytime sweats) and night sweats are the classic menopausal symptoms but can occur under other circumstances such as pregnancy and postpartum. Night sweats are associated with sleep disturbances, irritability, overall impairments in physical, social, and emotional aspects of life. Although the mechanism of hot flashes is not well understood, they are thought to be thermoregulatory events occurring due to the dramatic hormonal transitions experienced during the pregnancy, postpartum, and menopause transitions.

How to lose weight post-pregnancy in a safe and healthy way

October 22, 2019

In addition to pain during labor, losing weight is often one of the top concerns after pregnancy. Talking about weight loss can set off some pretty powerful negative associations for a lot of women, so it’s not a topic we bring up lightly. However, it can have a substantial influence on your health so we want to make sure you have the resources you need to be healthy.

How to care for a c-section incision

October 15, 2019

If you delivered your child by cesarean section, you are not alone. As of 2014, 32.2% of pregnant women in the United States had a cesarean delivery. However, just because they’re common does not mean they are not a big deal. A c-section is major abdominal surgery, but unlike most other major surgeries, you may not have had time to prepare yourself for it. And you might be left with a lot of questions afterward.

What to expect if you're not planning to breastfeed

October 8, 2019

Almost 20% of new moms in the US don’t breastfeed, and they don’t always get the support they need. There’s a lot of guidance available about breastfeeding, but if you’re not breastfeeding, you also deserve to have your questions answered in a supportive, non-judgmental way. So we’re going to walk you through what you can expect the first few weeks after giving birth if you’re not going to breastfeed.

Postpartum hemorrhoids and other pains in the butt

October 1, 2019

One of the most common complaints after childbirth is hemorrhoids, with 28% to 48% of women reporting symptoms at 4 weeks postpartum. They are actually very common during pregnancy as well, thanks to constipation and the extra pressure on your veins in your lower half from your enlarged uterus. If you successfully avoided them during pregnancy, you still might have them after childbirth, due to straining during labor and constipation afterward. If you did have them during pregnancy, they might get worse. Here’s what to expect and what you can do about them.

How to get the most out of your 6-week postpartum check-up

September 24, 2019

The vast majority of births in the US are attended by a physician, who then handles the postpartum care as well. Generally, this includes one check-up around six weeks postpartum. If you had any pregnancy complications, your doctor may want to see you earlier, and if you had a cesarean birth, you may see your provider around 2 weeks postpartum to check on your c-section incision. Otherwise, the expectation is just one visit at 6 weeks. It can be a little shocking to go from frequent prenatal visits to just one after giving birth, so we’ll walk you through how to get the most out of it.

The 6 most important nutrients your postpartum body needs

September 17, 2019

What you eat postpartum can help support your recovery and provide you with the energy that you need to take care of your baby. Here we outline the most important nutrients and where you can find them in your diet.

Thrush and breastfeeding

September 10, 2019

One of the most common reasons why people stop breastfeeding is pain. There are many things that can contribute to breastfeeding pain, including a shallow latch, blocked ducts, mastitis, and thrush. Thrush is a very common diagnosis, affecting an estimated 10-20% of new mothers. It can be extremely painful, frustrating, and hard to get rid of.

7 ways to fight postpartum depression

September 3, 2019

Postpartum depression is one of the most common pregnancy-related complications, affecting an estimated 20% of new mothers. While treatments including psychotherapy and antidepressant medications have been shown to be effective in reducing symptoms, there can be significant challenges to receiving these treatments. So it’s no wonder that there’s more and more research being done on how to prevent and treat PPD in more accessible ways.

Childbirth complications and warning signs

August 27, 2019

The overwhelming majority of issues you’ll experience in the weeks following childbirth are totally normal. Things like nipple pain, mommy thumb, and painful sex can be excruciating, but are still generally considered non-urgent. Even though they’re normal, you can and should, get help for them, but they’re not life-or-death situations. However, in rare cases, there are signs that something is really wrong. These are serious concerns that need to be addressed ASAP. You really need to call your doctor right away. Because these are the ones that, if not treated, can be fatal. However, most pregnancy-related deaths can be prevented and early treatment is key. One way to catch these issues earlier is for you to recognize something as a symptom and report it quickly. We’ll go through some of the top causes of maternal and pregnancy-related deaths, so you’ll know what to look out for.

How does milk supply work?

August 20, 2019

Friends and family are always full of advice when it comes to breastfeeding your new little one, but one thing many people avoid mentioning is that breastfeeding is hard. Sure, breastfeeding is supposed to be “natural” and therefore assumed to be easy. Maybe for some it is, but for some it’s not. In fact, many mothers don’t breastfeed for as long as they would like as a result of these challenges. And one of the top challenges cited is milk supply.

What’s the deal with postpartum periods?

August 13, 2019

One of the best perks of pregnancy (besides the joy of growing a mini-you) is a 9-month break from Aunt Flo. Of course, you might feel like the postpartum bleeding (aka lochia) and cramping make up for it. But you might be wondering when that pesky period is going to come back. And the answer is… it depends (surprise, surprise).

Setting up a postpartum care team

August 6, 2019

One of the best ways to set yourself up for a great recovery from birth is to prepare. If you’re the plan-ahead type, you may have already started to prepare for the baby or labor and delivery. But it’s just as important to prepare for your recovery from birth and pregnancy and transition to motherhood. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends setting up a postpartum care plan and care team before your baby is born.

How to build a base for fitness after childbirth

July 30, 2019

With all the images of celebrities and Instagram influencers showing off their post-baby bodies, the pressure to get fit after having a baby can be overwhelming. Fitness is a great goal for all women, not just new moms, but after birth there can be a lot of uncertainty and challenges that make it extra tough. But it can be worth it. In addition to the standard benefits of exercise like stress relief, more energy, and better sleep, studies suggest that exercise can help prevent postpartum depression and other perinatal mood and anxiety disorders.

What are postpartum panic attacks?

July 23, 2019

The odds are about 1 in 10 that as a new mom, you'll experience postpartum panic attacks. Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night, heart racing, gasping for air, with terrifying thoughts that your baby was in danger? Or maybe you were driving, and all of a sudden started shaking and sweating and thought you were about to die. You’re not alone. Postpartum panic attacks can feel extremely scary. The good news is that they’re not life-threatening (although they can be very life-impacting), and treatment can be very effective.

How to get started with a breast pump

July 9, 2019

Welcome to the world of breast pumping. It can be a little intimidating to get started using this piece of equipment that you may have never even seen before, let alone operated. While there are many fantastic resources on things like how to store breastmilk, how to maintain your milk supply when pumping, and how to sanitize pump parts, there is not a whole lot of guidance around the logistics of getting started. So that’s what we’ll tackle here.

A step-by-step guide to weaning

July 2, 2019

Weaning. It can be bittersweet for some moms and an absolute relief for others. For me, it was a relief. I tallied 15 plugged ducts over the course of 12 months of breastfeeding. I was thrilled to be done. For others, it can be a sad experience as you lose that bonding time with your child. And for some, it’s not a choice at all - whether you’re going back to work, your supply runs out or, it hurts to even type it, you lose your child.

How to eat well to boost your energy and recover faster from childbirth

June 25, 2019

A common occurrence after a baby is born is that the mother forgets about herself and pours her entire heart and soul into taking care of her new tiny joy. But you are still important! And taking care of yourself can impact your recovery, your mental health, and your child. Give yourself the gift of health, starting with a healthy diet.

Postpartum insomnia: 6 tips for more ZZZs

June 18, 2019

You know you need to “sleep when the baby sleeps,” but you just. can’t. sleep. No matter how exhausted and brain-dead you are, sleep just won’t come. It’s a common story among new parents, but it’s not something you have to live with, at least long term. Postpartum insomnia can be a symptom of an underlying medical issue, and resolving it can have a lot of benefits, like a stronger immune system, an easier time losing the baby weight, and a lower risk of postpartum depression and other PMADs.

What medications are safe for breastfeeding?

June 11, 2019

After pregnancy, I was so looking forward to getting back to my favorite foods and carefree ways. However, the concern over what is safe during pregnancy was quickly replaced by another concern, what is safe for breastfeeding.

How a perineal tear or episiotomy affects your recovery

June 4, 2019

Most of the advice on recovering from childbirth assumes an “average” birth, which can be frustrating for everyone whose experience doesn’t match this standard (which is most people, btw). A common “complication” of birth is tearing, so we’re going to talk about how a perineal tear or episiotomy might affect your recovery.

How a c-section affects your recovery

May 27, 2019

One of the problems we’re trying to fix at MamaMend is that so much of the advice and info about the postpartum period is generic and aimed at the “average” mom. This is particularly true when talking about the first month or two and recovering from delivery. Even though roughly a third of births in the US are cesarean births (aka c-sections), a lot of the information out there doesn’t account for it. So today, we’re going to talk about what to expect when recovering from a c-section, and how that might be different from a vaginal birth.

How to recognize the signs of postpartum anxiety

May 21, 2019

Sleepless nights, always worrying about how your baby is doing, and feeling like you just can’t relax. That all sounds normal for new parents. And it is… until it isn’t. Perinatal anxiety and panic disorders are very common, with prevalence estimates as high as 20% for postpartum anxiety.

All about postpartum birth control

May 14, 2019

Still feeling like you just had the baby? If you’re not quite ready for another yet, you have some options to consider for how to prevent that from happening.

Why do I still look pregnant?

May 7, 2019

Mummy tummy. Sure, it’s a cute name, but when it happens to you, it doesn’t feel very cute. We’re talking about the postpartum pooch, when your stomach sticks out farther than it used it before pregnancy. You might look 4-5 months pregnant for months, or even years, after giving birth (it’s so fun being asked “when are you due” around 6 months postpartum).

Got cankles? How to reduce leg swelling after childbirth

April 30, 2019

Swelling in legs, ankles, and feet is very common during pregnancy, especially during the third trimester and in the summertime. After you give birth, sometimes that swelling takes a while to go down. So when is it cause for concern? And what can you do to help bring the swelling down?

Why is your skin so itchy?

April 23, 2019

One very common experience after pregnancy is dry, itchy skin. Sometimes, it’s a symptom of an underlying medical issue. But usually, it’s just super annoying, and unfortunately a lot of the advice is just “drink more water and use moisturizer.” So how do you know if it’s normal or not?

How long should you wait before getting pregnant again?

April 16, 2019

There are a ton of factors that might go into this decision, including logistics, emotional readiness, your own experiences, and more. All of these considerations need to be taken into account, which means that the best time to get pregnant again might differ from person to person. However, medically speaking, there is a generally recommended time to wait between pregnancies.

How to get rid of plugged milk ducts and prevent them from happening

April 7, 2019

Plugged ducts. Clogged ducts. Blocked milk ducts. Whatever you want to call them, they’re awful. Comedian Ali Wong has equated them to being like “a kidney stone in your titty.”

How to wean your baby and stop breastfeeding

April 2, 2019

There comes a point when every breastfeeding mom stops breastfeeding, or weans the baby off the breast. Sometimes the choice is made for you and sometimes you’re just ready.

Postpartum Hair Loss: What to Expect

March 26, 2019

Goodbye, beautiful pregnancy hair! It’s no coincidence that a lot of new moms decide to cut their hair short after having kids. You don’t have to worry about babies pulling it, it’s quick and easy, and it looks great! But there’s one additional benefit of shorter hair that might not be obvious. It also hides postpartum hair loss.

PMADs vs. Postpartum Depression

March 19, 2019

The first time I heard the name “PMADs” was in a training program through Postpartum Support International (would highly recommend for any professionals that work with new moms) last September. I knew about postpartum depression from all the books and apps and classes that I could find when I was pregnant with my first kiddo. I learned about postpartum anxiety after my second was born, just over 2 years later. But it wasn’t until the PSI class, that I learned that there was a whole family of disorders that affect new mothers (and fathers) and a new name to describe them.

What is a postpartum pulmonary embolism?

March 12, 2019

Thanks to Serena Williams sharing her shocking near-death experience after giving birth, a spotlight is starting to shine on the rising maternal mortality in the US and the top causes of maternal death, including pulmonary embolisms like hers. So what is a pulmonary embolism? It’s when there’s a blood clot in the lungs that arises from the calves or pelvic blood vessels and travels to the lung. Scary, right? No wonder it’s the leading cause of maternal death in the UK & Norway, and one of the top causes in the US and Australia.

De Quervain's Tenosynovitis (Mommy Thumb)

March 5, 2019

You know how there are a bunch of random conditions that come up during pregnancy and postpartum that no one talks about? I personally did not crave pickles once during either pregnancy, but how come no one warned me about the nosebleeds? Well, today we’re going to talk about another one of those random things that can happen after having a baby. It’s called De Quervain's tenosynovitis and not-so-lovingly referred to as "mommy thumb" or "baby wrist."

What is Postpartum Thyroiditis?

February 26, 2019

February is Hypothyroidism Awareness Month (probably better known for being Black History Month, but don't forget about Adopt-a-Rescued-Rabbit Month and National Grapefruit Month), so we'll take this opportunity to talk about your thyroid. Your thyroid is the small gland in the base of your neck that produces thyroid hormones known as T3 and T4. These hormones help control your metabolism. Why is this relevant to new moms? We’ll get there, stay with me.

What does "postpartum" mean?

February 12, 2019

You hear the word "postpartum" all the time during pregnancy and after you have a baby. But doesn’t it seem like it means something different to everyone? Some people use it as a nickname for postpartum depression (as in “I know someone who has postpartum”), but that’s pretty confusing since postpartum has its own meaning.

My Real Post-Birth Story (AKA the Stuff People Don’t Talk About)

September 5, 2018

Three and a half years ago, I became a mother. I thought I was as prepared as I could be (expect the unexpected and all that), but I had no idea how much I didn’t know. During my pregnancy, I read all the books, downloaded all the apps, and always knew exactly what fruit my baby was the size of each week. I knew that I wanted to breastfeed, but I had no idea if I would actually be able to or not. I knew that postpartum depression was common and treatable, but I didn’t really know what were the warning signs.