Mother the mother


Benefits to the mother

Practice skin-to-skin with your baby as much as you can as it helps your body recover and helps your baby transition to life outside the womb. When a baby is skin to skin in the first hour after birth, some amazing things happen:

  • Helps your body adjust to your postpartum phase.
  • Release of oxytocin, a hormone that reduces stress & promotes feelings of bonding with your baby.
  • Oxytocin is also the hormone that causes contractions in the uterus. These postpartum contractions are vital to shrink the uterus to its pre-pregnancy size.

Benefits to the child

There are also immediate health benefits for your newborn baby:

  • Stabilize their breathing and heart rate
  • Regulate their body temperature
  • Stabilize their blood sugar levels
  • Exposes them to their mother’s healthy bacterial flora
  • Improves Baby’s sleep cycles
  • Decreases crying
  • Increases successful initiation of breastfeeding
  • Promotes bonding and helps parents begin to learn baby cues

Ask for help

The first hours after birth may leave you feeling physically in pain and emotionally overwhelmed. You will need to learn the basics of how to care for yourself with pain medication, incision care, and general mobility after birth or anesthesia. Give yourself time and grace to let others care for you now so that you can begin your recovery process.

Eat & sleep as much as possible

These are such basic activities, but for birth mothers these are often easily forgotten or delayed in the hours and days following birth.

  • Ask your partner to get you food, or order out. Try to stay on top of your eating and drinking so that you have light meals, snacks and water available throughout the day and night.
  • For sleep, your goal should be to try and take a nap within the first few hours after birth. Once you are settled with your immediate postpartum care, your next priority should be a nap. Sleep science tells us that when in recovery your body needs extra sleep to help support healing, which is called an essential nap. Try to sleep for at least 90 minutes, as this is the average length of an adult sleep cycle.
  • Sleep will absolutely be a challenge in the immediate days following birth. Remember this general rule: try to get at least four 90 minute naps throughout each 24 hour period.

Allow yourself to feel your emotions during recovery

You have just labored and given birth, may be attempting to breastfeed, and you have probably not slept much in the last several days. Your hormones are literally surging throughout your body which can significantly impact your emotions. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, it is completely normal for over 60-80% of new mothers to experience emotional highs and lows for several days, or even weeks, after birth. These are sometimes referred to as the baby blues. Try to be patient with yourself as your body sorts out all of these changes.

Dream Lab:

Dream Lab:

Please enter your baby’s complete birth date (month, day, and year).