postpartum joint painJoint pain in the postpartum period is a symptom that is rarely mentioned during pregnancy.  Although not all women suffer from this sensation, those who do experience aches and pains throughout different parts of their body that can feel difficult to understand.  This lack of warning can make you worry when it happens.   You might  feel that your bones have suffered a great deal of loss of density throughout the pregnancy, which is often not the case.  One mother I know in her early 30’s said she felt one hundred years old!  When I did some searches online about this topic it wasn’t easy to get a lot of clear answers.  I hope this article can help shed some light on this subject.

In response to a patient’s question about the reason her back hurt,  Dr.Moore, an Anesthesiologist at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital states: “My rule-of-thumb is that 90% of mothers will have some type of back pain for six weeks to six months–postpartum back pain. During pregnancy, your placenta secretes hormones, which cause laxity of the ligaments in your back. This allows Lordosis, that big arch in the small of your back, which helps you support the weight of a sack of concrete at the front of your belly. After delivery, it takes time to re-tighten and strengthen them. Unfortunately, instead of resting, you now spend 24/7 bending over to lift a 10-pound baby out of cribs and car seats. Take care of your back; you only get one.”

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As new parents, there is this feeling of constant momentum inherent in taking care of a baby.  A feeling of always having to do something:  to prepare something, to do research on something, and of course to clean up something!  This article for parents is helpful in reminding us all to re-charge.  We get so used to going and going, it is often very hard to find discipline in letting ourselves rest and decompress.  Somehow we get addicted to this feeling of constantly moving and we feel we are being more productive if we keep up this momentum but it is not the case.  This last part is true for many people, not only new parents.

So, what can we do?  First make a choice to not run in that impossible race that does not exist.  Remember there is always going to be something else to do.  The house may not look close to perfect for a while and even if it does it will only last a day!   Make a conscious effort to force oneself to do nothing and to rest at times or reconnect to something that rejuvenates you.  Your vitality and good mood are equally and probably more important to the health and well being of your little bean than most of the “Tasks” we need to do.  Burnout is not something that benefits anyone at any time especially not as a new parent.  Please use this article for parents as a reminder.  There is of course true postpartum depression which is not what I’m speaking about.  If there are symptoms of depression seek professional help immediately.

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shopping for your baby

As new parents awaiting your baby’s arrival, it can be a very nerve-wracking experience with all the medical aspects and decisions surrounding the birth itself.  That should be all you have to worry about…but it isn’t… now it’s time to hit those mega baby stores and embrace your little bundle of  joy with lots and lots of stuff!

The amount of manufactured products around the whole baby business is so overwhelming, it can make your head spin.  I walked in and out of  a mega-baby product store four times before I bought anything.  The amount of choices alone paralyzed my decision making process.  Add to that  being pregnant with “baby-brain”.  I felt extremely overwhelmed.   Finally on our fourth trip, we bought a bathtub.  My husband had such a headache from the noise and lack of oxygen in those places I promised him we would do the rest online!  Soon,we became masters at finding great baby products online with free shipping!  A simple Google search along with the keyword free shipping will save you time, money and headaches.  There are also many sites that offer free coupons to most if not all baby product companies.

At a very personal and special time in one’s life, it is normal to feel overwhelmed by all this materialism.  As the due date was approaches, you are suddenly thrust into a world of shopping that you probably never new existed.  Sometimes there are certain feelings of guilt in not being overjoyed by the shopping experience.  Fortunately,  you are  not the only one who might feel this way.

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co-sleepingNothing brings up more controversial feelings and debate in parenting than the topic of how we sleep with our baby.  As a friend of mine puts it, “it is the lightening rod topic.”  What I find so incredible about this subject and many things about parenting in general is how invasive people can be when discussing it.  Maybe it stems from some deep-seeded tribal wisdom or consciousness that we are not attached to anymore.  A way of protecting the young.   The amount of advice offered so freely is amazing and can make even the most outspoken person’s head spin!

There have been many great and well informed articles written on the whole topic of co-sleeping and I encourage you to read the experts’ perspective on each side.  Listen and notice how you feel while you are reading their words and make a sensible choice for yourself.  This is important before you disclose your decision to relatives or even close friends so you know how you feel about it.  It is always helpful to have some expert advice backing you up when dealing with others’ opinions on what you should be doing with your child.

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