Research shows it takes about a year to completely recover from pregnancy and mentally adjust to becoming a parent. Here’s what you might experience at 25 weeks postpartum.
Physical changes this week can involve everything from menstruation and muscle tone to hormonal shifts and shedding.
You’ve been lifting and holding your baby for nearly six months now, and they’re only getting bigger. Your legs and arms are likely becoming stronger, but since your ligaments loosened during pregnancy, it can take a while to fully regain your muscle tone. Taking care of your back when you’re lifting your baby is especially important while your core is still healing.
Unfortunately, postpartum shedding is all but inevitable. While there are currently no proven ways to stop it, just know it won’t go on forever. Most new mothers are back to their usual thickness at the one-year mark.
Breastfeeding and weaning
Everyone’s experience is different, but breastfeeding can take a major physical toll. Breastfeeding in week 25 could mean dealing with new teeth! The good news is that the first two teeth are the bottom two in the front, and they are covered by baby’s tongue during feeds. Could baby nibble? It’s possible, but most babies try out their new teeth once or twice and learn it doesn’t feel good for you.
Babies are also much more aware of their surroundings, and can get distracted during feeds. Try a dark environment or a favorite little toy attached to your bra strap. you’re facing breastfeeding obstacles, it’s still normal and a great idea to reach out for support. But no two feeding journeys are the same, and it’s always okay to re-evaluate your goals. Combo feeding and formula are options to explore if you’ve reached a point in your journey where you’re ready for a change!
If you recently stopped nursing or are no longer breastfeeding exclusively, your period could restart soon. Post-pregnancy menstrual cycles are often irregular at first, and they might involve different or more severe symptoms than before.
Your mental health
At 25 weeks, you might be confidently coasting through life as a new parent, feeling content, happy, and all-around fulfilled. However, anxiety, depression, and body image issues are still relatively common at this stage.
Postpartum anxiety and depression
Some of the most common include lingering sadness, mood swings, restlessness, constant worry, racing thoughts, difficulty concentrating, appetite changes, and sleep issues. If you feel anxious or depressed for more than two weeks, talk to your healthcare provider or call the Postpartum Support International hotline.
Many women struggle with body image after giving birth, whether it’s negative thoughts about their appearance or societal pressure to “bounce back.” It’s not always easy, but reframing the narrative might help. Rather than striving to return to your pre-baby size, focus on life-long physical and mental well-being so you can live more happily, thrive professionally, and be there for your child.
Sleep and energy
Your baby might be sleeping through the night at this point. If so, take advantage of the extra hours and get some much-needed rest yourself. Eating a nutritious diet, staying hydrated, and moving your body every day can also help you feel energized and able to focus.
Whether you commute or work from home, balancing family with career can be tricky — and it can be particularly overwhelming with a baby in the picture. From finding the right daycare center to pumping at work to trying to focus while sleep-deprived, it’s understandable to feel a little stressed. Finding community, whether it is in-person or online can make you feel less isolated and more supported as a parent navigating all of these challenges.
Instead of striving for a perfect work-life balance, try to embrace the chaos of this hectic stage. And go easy on yourself if you don’t check off every single item on your to-do list. There’s always tomorrow.
Reviewed by the Ovia Health Clinical Team
- Wray J. Bouncing back? Women’s experiences of their own recovery after childbirth. University of Salford Manchester. 2012. Web.
- University of Rochester Medical Center. Back Pain in Pregnancy. Web.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). What to Expect While Breastfeeding. Infant and Toddler Nutrition. 2021. Web.
- Tavakoli M, et al. Predictors of mothers’ postpartum body dissatisfaction based on demographic and fertility factors. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. 21, 8. 2021.
- Stanford Children’s Health. Newborn Sleep Patterns. Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford. Web.
- Office on Women’s Health (OASH). Postpartum depression. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHS). 2019. Web.
- Liu CH, et al. Risk factors for depression, anxiety, and PTSD symptoms in perinatal women during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Psychiatry research vol. 295. 2021. 113552. doi:10.1016/j.psychres.2020.113552