What Should I Expect for My First Postpartum Year?

What Should I Expect for My First Postpartum Year?

From “is this normal?” hair loss to your first period to going back to work, we’ve got you.

By Mombox

You know the hormone shifts, constant unknowns, new challenges, and changing body you experienced during pregnancy? Well, the first year postpartum is basically that all over again. Your body will go through a lot with birth, breastfeeding (if you’re doing that), and hormones. But rather than loads of time to kick back and take care of yourself, you’ve got a (very adorable) new creature to care for. That little person is asking a lot from you, so it’s important to take a few steps to help yourself feel better.

Believe us when we suggest you check your expectation of being “your old self” by your six-week checkup—you brought a human life into this world, and the impacts of that on your body, your mind, your relationships, and your identity will evolve for a full year after your little one’s birthday. That concept is called “matrescence,” the process of becoming a mom that’s just as tumultuous, drawn-out, emotional, and hormone-driven as adolescence. 

And even more so than when you were pregnant, it’s going to be hard to center your own well-being in the weeks and months after giving birth. The sad but true story for many women is that it can sometimes feel like as soon as you pop the baby out, all the attention is on them, leaving you feeling unprepared for your recovery. After all, you now have a needy newborn, an onslaught of visitors and well-wishers all focused on the baby, and perhaps a partner who is also overwhelmed and on Team No Sleep. It’s a constant push-pull to adjust the balance of taking care of yourself and taking care of your baby at the same time, and it’s no small task.

That’s why Mombox lasts for a year, with each month’s box coordinating with what will likely be happening in your postpartum experience. The Mombox Team is also here to help you with anything you need during this transitional time. Call us your village, your posse, your teammates–because we believe motherhood is a team sport. We’re here to guide and support you with medically-backed research through all of the “is this normal?” moments: when breastfeeding sucks, when your hair falls out in clumps, when going back to work feels overwhelming, when your period returns with a vengeance, when your relationship feels strained, when you finally get a chance to sleep but can’t quiet your racing mind, and every other bump in the road. And we’re also here to champion you and your relationship with your little one, those moments when you feel their incredibly soft hair or look into their eyes and know you’ve never felt more connected to anyone.

So over this roller coaster of a year, you must put your own oxygen mask on first, mama. The baby will be fine if you are fine. And getting to “fine” may require a totally different way to view self-care that’s not your usual go-tos like a pedicure or mimosas with friends. As a postpartum mom, self-care might mean leaving the dishes piled up in the sink tonight or scheduling a follow-up appointment with your doctor to check in about your mood.

Just remember that through the ups and downs, this whole year is a process—and we’ll be with you every step of the way.