Here’s what you might be going through in terms of physical changes, mental health, self-care needs, intimacy, and work-life balance at ten weeks postpartum.
You’ve most likely fully healed from childbirth by now, but that doesn’t mean you’re done with postpartum symptoms. From your hair to your complexion to your period, you can expect things to be a little different than they were before pregnancy.
If you’re breastfeeding, you’re likely in the groove, and may be experimenting with time away from your baby and pumping. When you start venturing out of the home more often and going longer between pumping sessions, your milk ducts could get clogged. The condition can be painful and potentially lead to a breast tissue infection (aka mastitis), so contact your healthcare provider ASAP if managing it at home isn’t successful or you notice any signs of infection.
You could get your period as soon as four weeks or over a year after childbirth — it’s usually more delayed for those breastfeeding exclusively. And when it does restart, your cycle could be shorter or longer than before and involve different symptoms like more severe cramps, heavier bleeding, noticeable breast tenderness, or bloating.
Skin changes and hair loss
At nine weeks postpartum, you might notice some skin conditions, like acne, dark patches (hyperpigmentation), uneven texture, or eczema.
You could also start experiencing hair loss around this time. This postpartum symptom can be a bummer, but remember it’s totally normal and typically ends about 6 months after it begins.
Your mental health
As you gain confidence about caring for an infant and get to know your little one more every day, you might feel grateful, happy, or all-around content. Having said that, postpartum depression (PPD) and anxiety are also common at this stage.
About one in nine new mothers suffer from PPD. Symptoms of postpartum depression can include lingering sadness, difficulty concentrating, sleep issues, irritability, mood swings, and appetite changes.
The two conditions can overlap, but with postpartum anxiety, the most common signs are constant worry, feelings of dread, racing thoughts, restlessness, and physical symptoms like excessive sweating, nausea, and shakiness. If you experience anxiety or depression for longer than a couple of weeks, check in with your healthcare provider or call the Postpartum Support International hotline.
Your child is a top priority right now, but tending to your own needs is vital too. Your self-care before parenthood may have been a little more indulgent, like watching three uninterrupted hours of your favorite show or taking long bubble baths. This week, however, it might be as simple as getting a haircut, going on a brisk walk, streaming a short workout video, or meeting up with a friend for coffee.
Sex and intimacy
You’re more than likely cleared to have vaginal intercourse at this point. Still, it can take time to refamiliarize yourself with your post-pregnancy body and even see yourself in a sexual light while adjusting to your new identity as a parent.
Of course, intimacy doesn’t always mean sexy time. If you have a partner, connecting with them while watching your favorite show, cooking dinner, or grabbing a bite out is just as important. But when you do start having sex again, don’t overlook birth control (if sex could led to pregnancy for you) — it’s possible to ovulate before having your first postpartum period.
Returning to work
Just when you get into the groove of parenthood, you might have to return to work. Balancing career and family is never easy, and it can be particularly stressful with a 10-week-old. That said, switching gears from baby duty might be a welcome change.
Try to embrace this stage, go easy on yourself when you can’t tackle every single item on your to-do list, and make sure to tell your provider about any severe or lingering symptoms.
Reviewed by the Ovia Health Clinical Team
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