Nineteen weeks postpartum 

Here’s what you might be going through this week in terms of physical and mental health, your energy levels, self-care needs, intimacy, and social connection.




Your body

Physical symptoms at 19 weeks postpartum can involve everything from hormonal shifts and skin changes to water retention and hair loss.

Breastfeeding

In addition to the actual time it takes to feed, pump, and clean the equipment, breastfeeding can take a toll on your body. The hormonal surges you experience while breastfeeding, as well as the hormonal shifts when you wean off it, might contribute to breakouts.

If you experience ongoing pain, bleeding, recurring clogged ducts, or are struggling to produce enough milk to feed your growing baby, don’t feel guilty about switching to or supplementing with formula. It’s an amazing product that saves babies’ lives every day.

Menstruation

You might not get your period until after you stop breastfeeding, though everyone’s timeline is unique. When your cycle does show back up, it could bring different or more intense symptoms than before, like noticeable breast tenderness or severe cramps.

Water retention

Also known as edema, postpartum water retention happens when extra fluid is trapped in the tissues below your skin. It usually goes away a couple of weeks after childbirth, though some people still experience swelling months later.

Staying hydrated, taking walks, and eating fewer salty foods can help. But if you notice it getting worse or that one side is more swollen than the other, let your healthcare provider know.

Hair loss

We’re sorry to say there’s really not much you can do to stop postpartum hair loss. The good news is that it’s temporary. Most new mothers are back to their usual fullness (sometimes even fuller) by their child’s first birthday.

Your mental health

Roughly 85% of women experience some type of mood disturbance in the first six months after giving birth. For most, it’s short-lived or mild enough that it doesn’t disrupt their lives, but as many as 15% will suffer from more severe or longer-lasting postpartum depression (PPD) or anxiety

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), a form of anxiety, could also arise. If you experience any common symptoms of OCD, PPD, or generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), like repetitive behaviors, obsessive or racing thoughts, irritability, extreme mood swings, sleep issues, appetite changes, or deep, lingering sadness for longer than two weeks, call your provider or the Postpartum Support International hotline.

Sleep and energy

On average, new parents get between five and six hours of shut-eye each night the first year. Energy is directly tied to sleep, so if you’re not getting enough, it’ll be tough to power through your day with a clear head. According to a study, sleep deprivation could also make it harder to lose the weight gained during pregnancy.

It’s easier said than done, but definitely try to rest when you can. Getting a full night of uninterrupted sleep is ideal, of course, but two four-hour stretches are better than one five-hour stretch.

Self-care

Try to make self-care a priority this week. It doesn’t have to be anything extravagant — small changes and healthy habits can make a big difference. Consider meditating, stretching, going on brisk walks, streaming 20-minute workouts, trying a new recipe, or applying a refreshing face mask.

Sex, intimacy, and social connection

About nine out of ten women are sexually active again in the first six months after giving birth. Still, many experience low libido and other setbacks like pain during intercourse and difficulty reaching orgasm.

While intimacy with your partner is important, it doesn’t have to involve sex if you’re not quite ready (or just not in the mood). When you do feel up for it, though, make sure you have a plan for birth control because you could ovulate before getting your first postpartum period.

And no matter your relationship status, human connection is essential. New parenthood can be isolating, and bonding with family members, friends, and other parents can foster a sense of community and make you feel less alone.

Reviewed by the Ovia Health Clinical Team


Sources

Related Topics

Get the Ovia Parenting app
Get our app at the Apple App Store Get our app at the Apple App Store Get our app at the Google Play Store Get our app at the Google Play Store