Twenty-five years after the birth of my first child, I can still remember how awful I felt. Sure I was excited about this beautiful baby girl that had miraculously and painfully emerged from my body. But I wasn’t prepared for the icky feelings from my body that followed. And I’m a nurse and midwife!
Women typically aren’t prepared for recovery from childbirth, according to research recently published in Obstetrics & Gynecology. Most women aren’t satisfied with how their healthcare providers prepared them for potential breastfeeding problems, hair loss, hemorrhoids, mood swings and anxiety, to name but a few postpartum issues. Some women told researchers this lack of preparation left them feeling less satisfied with their healthcare providers, and compelled some to skip their postpartum check-ups.
Labor is short, relatively speaking, and followed by a much longer recovery period. Healthcare providers focus so much on prenatal care and often skip over what happens following childbirth. But you can change this and we’ve got just the list of questions for you to bring to your next prenatal appointment.
Think of this as preparing for after delivery, just as you’re preparing for the birth. In the rush to get out of hospital, you may forget or simply fail to ask these questions – and then wonder if what you’re experiencing at home is “normal.” Take notes now to prevent anxiety once you’re tucked away safely at home with that new wiggly bundle that is your baby.