Life With Baby
Congratulations on the birth of your baby. This is an exciting, sometimes scary and very emotional time. The first few weeks can feel overwhelming and many feel like everything is a blur as you and your family adjust to the new baby. Take time to care for yourself.
- Take naps when the baby naps. Rest is important as your body heals.
- Drink plenty of water and liquids.
- Eat a healthy, balanced diet.
- Cold compresses may help if you are experiencing breast engorgement and swelling. If you are breastfeeding, warm compresses will help with letdown of milk, which is a reflex that triggers the release of breastmilk. Our lactation services are here to support you and answer questions if you are breastfeeding.
- If you choose not to breastfeed, use ice packs and snug fitting bra (avoid the bra being too tight) for several days to ease swelling. Please talk to your provider if you have questions or concerns.
- If stitches were needed during a vaginal delivery, take warm, shallow baths to ease soreness and help with healing.
- If you had a cesarean section, keep your incision clean and dry, rest as able and limit your activity, including heavy listing, driving and strenuous activity. Call you provider with any concerns or questions.
Legacy provides safe and comfortable postpartum care while you heal and get to know your baby. Your care team will be there to support you and your baby in this transition.
Baby Blues vs. Postpartum depression
What are the "baby blues"?
It's natural to feel strong emotions when you're pregnant and just after you've had a baby. You may feel elated, or you may feel sad. It is not uncommon to have the "baby blues" during the first days or weeks after delivery. Symtoms commonly happen suddenly on the third or fourth day after delivery. The "baby blues" have the following symptoms, although each woman may have slightly different symptoms:
- Feelings of sadness or disappointment
Many report these "baby blue" feelings to go away soon after they start and usually without treatment.
What is postpartum depression?
Postpartum depression is a more severe form of baby blues. "Baby blue" symptoms may also be present in postpartum depression. New moms with postpartum depression may have trouble coping with their daily tasks. Postpartum depression is much more serious and lasting than the "baby blues." The following are the most common symptoms of postpartum depression. But each woman may have slightly different symptoms. Symptoms may include (but not inclusive):
- Fatigue and exhaustion
- Poor concentration
- A fear of harming the newborn or yourself
What are the causes of postpartum depression?
While the exact cause for postpartum depression is unknown, there are likely many contributing causes such as hormone changes, stress, changes in roles between partners and personal or family history of mental illness, specifically postpartum depression.
Postpartum depression is treatable and is important to get treatment early for your newborn's safety and for you to resolve your symptoms and experience your newborn in a healthy manner.
Resources for more information and support
- Your Obstetrician (Doctor) or Midwife - Please feel free to talk to them about how you are feeling.
- Your pediatrician - Please feel free to talk to your baby's doctor. We're here to listen and help.
- Baby Blues Connection - 24 hour information/message line: 1-800-557-8375
- Postpartum Support International (PSI) - 1-800-944-4PPD
- Oregon Health Authority
Books that may be helpful:
- "Understanding Your Moods When You're Expecting: Emotions, Mental Health and Happiness - Before, During and After Pregnancy", by Lucy Puryear
- "This Isn't What I Expected: Overcoming Postpartum Depression", by Karen Kleiman and Valerie Raskin
- "The Journey to Parenthood: Myths, Reality and What Really Matters", by Barnes and Balber
- "Down Came the Rain: My Journey Through Postpartum Depression", by Brooke Shields
- "Mothering the New Mother: Your Postpartum Resource Companion", by Sally Placksin
National Institute of Mental Health 866-615-6464
National Alliance on Mental Illness 800-950-6264
Mental Health America 800-969-6642
National Suicide Hotline 800-784-2433 (800-SUICIDE)
Parenting and family support
Most new parents need a bit of extra support from community, family and friends, especially at the beginning. Getting support during this time can help normalize all the many feelings and help you to gain insight as you enter this new chapter. We offer many different classes and support groups to help and support you.
Baby and Me - group
New parents and babies 0–6 months are welcome to join us to share stories and ask questions. We provide a safe space for diaper changing, infant feeding and everything in between. Masks are required for all adults who attend the group. All Baby and Me sessions are free. No need to register — drop-in when you can!
Questions? Contact HavingABaby@LHS.ORG.
Download the Baby & Me Group flyer for more information
Legacy offers online childbirth, breastfeeding and mother and baby care classes. Trusted education, your way. Learn essential information when, where, and how you prefer from a mobile device, tablet, or personal computer.