Blog | MamaMend

Postpartum Health

Mama and baby

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 7, 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 9, 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 9, 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 16, 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.

What to do about painful sex after childbirth

July 16, 2019

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.

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 1, 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 3, 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).

7 Postpartum Depression Myths Debunked

May 4, 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.

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 6, 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."

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 is a pelvic floor?

February 19, 2019

I had never heard of a pelvic floor before pregnancy. Luckily I went to a prenatal yoga class during my first pregnancy in order to make some mom friends and discovered the term. I didn’t know why it was important or what pelvic floor injuries were, but at least I had some vague idea of what it was.

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 4, 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.