Welcome Home: Week 4
Congratulations! You’ve survived the first month of motherhood! At this point, you are practically a pro, even if you don’t feel like it. Sure you are a sleep-deprived, zombie mom, but give yourself some credit! At 4-weeks-old, your sweet bundle of joy has grown so much, and you’ll find with each new week, he will change even more!
At four weeks postpartum, your body is starting to heal. You should start to feel like you can use the restroom normally again. If you still have vaginal sensitivity, that is totally normal! You may need to continue using a small spray bottle to clean yourself off after each trip to the restroom if you had significant tearing during birth. This may also be the cause of any incontinence you are experiencing. Keep wearing pads if you have trouble controlling urination. You may also need the help of a stool softener to help you go #2! Not to worry though, mama, you’ll be healed up in no time!
This week, your baby is starting to coo and babble. If you think he is trying to talk to you, you are right! And your baby loves it when you talk back. To him, your voice is the best thing ever! You may notice that as your baby is gaining weight, that he is sleeping greater lengths of time. Until this point, he’s been sleeping 16-17 hours a day, but waking very frequently to be fed and changed. Tiring, right? Not to worry! The first step to sleeping more is teaching that sweet babe the difference between night and day! While he is awake and alert during the daytime, play with him, respond to his little coos with baby talk of your own; engage with him to keep him active. When he wakes at night, feed and change him then put him right back to bed. He will catch on soon enough!
Squeeze, squeeze, squeeze! Ever heard of Kegel exercises? They are extremely important in strengthening the pelvic floor muscles, including the uterus, bladder, small intestine and rectum. If you are experiencing trouble going to the bathroom, kegel exercises will help! How do you do them? Try stopping urination in midstream (but don't make a habit of this as it can lead to incomplete emptying of the bladder which can increase the risk of a UTI). Once you’ve done that, you’ve pinpointed the exact muscles you need to do your kegels. Simply tighten and hold for 5 seconds, then relax! Repeat this motion again and again, every day.
And most importantly, enjoy this time, mama! Take it easy and be kind to yourself. Love on that sweet baby and soak in the cuddles!