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When you have a baby, it’s easy to turn all of your attention their way, spending every moment caring for and thinking about their needs while neglecting your own. However, if you aren’t at your best, you cannot be the best possible mother.

Six weeks after giving birth, make sure that you’ve scheduled a postpartum follow-up visit. Your doctor will perform a physical exam to make sure you’re healing and assess your overall health. This is also your opportunity to talk to him or her about any questions you may have.

Discuss weight loss, exercise and proper nutrition. Bring up any physical or emotional concerns you’ve been dealing with. Feel free to ask for parenting advice as well. While your baby’s pediatrician can provide guidance, your own doctor has already been there with you for the first nine months, so don’t hesitate to continue to rely on their expertise.

If you’re still not sure what you should be talking about, here are a few, common postpartum issues:

  • Constipation
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Vaginal discharge
  • Varicose veins
  • Non-healing cuts or lacerations
  • Mood swings
  • Symptoms of possible postpartum depression
  • Managing hormonal shifts, such as when your period starts again
  • Resuming sexual activity and how to do it comfortably
  • Birth control options, especially if you’re breastfeeding

Just like any other major role you take on in life, being a mother requires you to be at your best mentally, physically and emotionally. So while you’re doting on your little one, just remember to take care of yourself, too.

SOURCE:
Living Well, Spring 2011

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