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What’s Normal (and What’s Not) in the First 6 Weeks After Birth

Postpartum, Stress

Your first six weeks of postpartum will include some of the highest and lowest moments of early motherhood.

First, there’s the stress of keeping a tiny human alive outside of your body. Then, there’s the significant change in hormones you’ll feel (since you no longer have a placenta — the prenatal hormone powerhouse).

You’ll begin to learn the dance of breastfeeding, or try to figure out the science of formula feeding. You’ll count diapers and call your doctor for the smallest things (because it all feels big).

You may be figuring out how to mother multiple children, or experiencing complications from surgery. Like most mamas, you’ll probably have a bout of the “baby blues.”

And yet, nothing will be like this time again. This scrumptious time with your newborn; tiny, cuddly, and covered in downy, just-born baby fuzz.

To help you focus on these precious moments — and stress less about the rest — here is a reference guide with highlights of how most mamas feel during the first 6 weeks, plus warning signs to watch out for.

(You can also get a pretty printable version of this information at the bottom of the page!)

ALL WEEKS:

R.E.S.T.

* Rest often
* Eat and drink well
* Sleep as much as you can
* Let others Take care of you

Feel to Heal

* Feel all of your emotions, which helps you to
* Heal from your pregnancy, birth journey, and early postpartum

POSTPARTUM WEEK 1:

So many emotions: euphoria, bliss, shock, birth trauma, heightened sense of awareness and emotion. Pain/soreness, bleeding, peeing a lot, cramping, sweating, fatigue. Reality begins to settle in by end of the week.

PRO TIP: Don’t lift anything heavier than baby.

POSTPARTUM WEEK 2:

More comfort with having a newborn. Concerns about breastfeeding, baby growth, and baby blues. Pain/soreness, bleeding, peeing a lot, cramping, sweating, fatigue. Resist the temptation to “do more” and rest.

PRO TIP: Focus on being A mom. Accept help.

POSTPARTUM WEEKS 3-6:

More confidence… or less! Concerns about breastfeeding, baby growth, and baby blues. Pain/soreness, bleeding, peeing a lot, cramping, sweating, fatigue. Be kind to yourself. Receive support. Take baby steps.

PRO TIP: Remember you’re doing great.

CALL THE DOCTOR IF YOU HAVE…

→ Excessive, bright red bleeding (e.g., soaking through one pad in one hour, or clots larger than an inch)
→ Trouble breathing or pain in your chest
→ Severe headache
→ Fever
→ Swelling, redness, or pain in your legs

WANT THE PRETTY PRINTABLE VERSION OF THE 6-WEEK POSTPARTUM REFERENCE SHEET?
ENTER YOUR NAME AND EMAIL ADDRESS BELOW AND WE’LL SEND IT TO YOUR INBOX.

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