family relationships

How Emotionally Intelligent People Improve Family Relationships

Family relationships can be challenging. Living with people all the time and getting on with them is hard work. Sometimes, you just want to run away. However, the way emotionally intelligent people deal with family relationships is different. Here’s what they do to reduce relationship stress

Don’t Provide Unsolicited Advice

It’s okay for family members to come to you for advice and for you to give it if you are in a position to do so. But lecturing people about what they should be doing rarely works. Providing unsolicited advice can actually make your relationships worse. People can feel pressured into doing things that they don’t want to do. And any change that comes of it is often short-lived. 

Make Your Actions Count

In family relationships, actions are more important than words. If you struggle with words, just think about things that you can do to help your family. Going on a treatment family therapy program can teach you some of the techniques that you can use to help a family member going through difficulties. 

Admit Your Mistakes

People who can admit their faults, mistakes and errors are a rare breed. But they’re also very welcome in families. When you accept that you did something wrong, you immediately become more humble and display emotional integrity. Not everything you do will be perfect, but that’s okay if you have the right approach to family relationships. 

Find Out What Each Person Needs From The Family

Knowing what each person needs from your family is a great way of improving the atmosphere. Clearly, the needs of grandpa are going to be very different from those of your children. When you learn what each person needs, they feel more valued and respected. 

Give Love Generously 

Be generous when you express love in your family, especially when you deal with children. Whenever you provide emotional reassurance, you make it clear that you will be there for them, no matter what happens. 

Teach Family Members That They Can Choose Their Emotions

The idea that we can choose our emotions feels quite foreign to a lot of people. But when you explore your mind, you find out that it is true. How you focus dictates how you feel. If you can, try telling people in your family that moods are okay. They are just something that they can observe. Family members can choose their focus – positive or negative – and use that to their advantage. 

Listen Carefully

family members

Being a careful listener is critical if you want people to hear you. By listening to what others say, you can dramatically improve the attention that they pay to you. Children, in particular, are excellent at mirroring your behaviors. So if you start to listen carefully to everything that people say, they will too. If people aren’t listening to you, ask yourself whether you are listening to them. After a conversation, remember what they said and then follow-up later. 

Improving family relationships is possible, but it takes work. Once you get into the right relationship habits, it can feel effortless.

self esteem

Tips for Building Your Self-Esteem

Everybody loses their confidence once in a while and feel like they’re not good enough. However, when feelings of inadequacy become persistent, you may be suffering from low self-esteem.

Self-esteem is the opinion that you have of yourself and even when times are tough it should be a good one. When you feel positive about yourself you feel good about your life. If you are currently suffering from low self-esteem here are some tips to help boost your confidence.

Acknowledge Your Strengths

We all have gifts and talents. This means that we are all good at something. Is there something that you’re good at that you have not done in a while? Maybe it’s time to start gardening, singing, or painting again. Getting involved in what you are good at is a great way to boost your self-esteem quickly.

Use Affirmations

Affirmations are a great way to boost your morale. Look in the mirror on a daily basis and encourage yourself just as you would a friend or a relative. Tell yourself all the opposite of what you are actually thinking. Not only is this a good exercise in discipline but it actually works. Over time you will begin to feel better about yourself.

Stay Positive

The relationships you build are extremely important. They will either drag you down or uplift you. One way to ensure that you stay positive is to remove people from your life who make you feel bad about yourself. It may be because of their actions or the words they say. Whatever it is ensure that you try to build relationships with people who will encourage you and your goals.

Say No

People pleasing too much can damage your self esteem, it is important to set boundaries.There are times when you must say no for your own sanity. Never say yes to something when you really want to say no to it. If you say yes when you really should say no then you will become angry and depressed by having to do something you really don’t want to do.

Challenge Yourself

Push yourself a little but not too much. Challenges make life exciting and conquering them can boost your self-esteem. There’s something about knowing that you have conquered a goal that you may have thought you couldn’t that helps you to feel better about yourself.

 If there is something you want to achieve, set small goals for it, each time you manage to achieve it, give yourself a pat on the shoulder. it’s okay to acknowledge that you have done something that you never thought possible.

Get Help

It can be hard to acknowledge that you may need help. If you do need help there’s nothing to be ashamed of. Getting professional help through counseling therapy  is one way of  putting yourself on the right path to feeling better about yourself. Therapists are trained professionals who will help you to build your self esteem in an atmosphere where you feel nurtured and validated.


Can Diet Prevent Serious COVID?

Even with vaccines, people are still getting sick from COVID. So many people are now wondering whether there is anything else that they can do to protect themselves. 

It turns out that there is: eat a healthy diet. Right from the outset of the pandemic, it was clear that there was a link between nutrition and the severity of the disease. But now, thanks to further studies, the link is even more airtight. If you want to protect yourself, you have to eat more fruit and vegetables. 

Diet And The Immune System

It turns out that the food that we eat has a profound effect on the way that our immune system functions. Certain nutrients in plants program it to work optimally, and if we don’t get them, we are more susceptible to disease. 

Researchers think that a lack of fruit and veg compounds in most people’s diets is one of the reasons why so many people are getting sick long-term. Their bodies simply don’t have the resources that they need to mount a quick response to the infection, putting them at a disadvantage. 

There’s no single bullet either when it comes to food. It’s not just a question of eating more kale or pineapple. Instead, what seems to matter is the combination of foods that people eat. The greater the variety, the more protection that they have. 

The Effects Of Eating Plant-Based

People who eat plant-based get the majority of their calories from whole plant foods, not animal foods. Data suggest that these individuals – some of whom are vegan – have a 73 percent lower chance of developing moderate or severe COVID. Furthermore, the more plant-based a person’s diet is, the lower their chances of developing severe symptoms. 

Many organizations are now using COVID API tools to track statistics like these. The goal is to figure out what combination of factors will best protect somebody from the disease. For instance, how many portions of fruit and vegetables is optimal? How many minutes of exercise per day should somebody get? How long do they need to sleep to minimize their risk of infection? All these specifics matter when crafting lifestyle advice that can help protect people. 

Types Of Food For COVID

diet vegetables

So how exactly should the average person be eating right now? The World Health Organization (WHO) says that most people should be eating a diet rich in legumes (like beans and lentils), nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables. It also says that people should be eating plenty of whole grains, like millet and quinoa. In total, people should be getting about a pound of vegetables per day, but the WHO isn’t against people getting more than that. In some cases, they may need extra nutrients to protect themselves against disease. 

There are also a bunch of foods that the WHO recommends that people avoid. Sugar intake should be minimal – preferably less than 12 teaspoons per day. And items like processed meat are strictly off the menu as far as who is concerned. People should try to get omega-3 nutrients for less severe COVID from flax or algae sources. 


What Can Stress Do To Your Life?

Most articles will tell you that a little bit of stress can be good for your life, since it can help push you forward and improve your conditions. But largely, it’s something that we should hope to avoid. It’s not just that stress can compromise your enjoyment of your day, but that it brings with it a whole host of side effects that can make life positively miserable. These side effects can be both short-term and long-term. In this blog, we’re going to run through just what stress can do for your life.

Heighten Your Irritability

There are usually some warning signs that a person is feeling stressed. When you’re feeling well, the actions of other people won’t bother you too much. You’ll just let them go on with their thing, especially if they’re not doing anything that directly impacts you. But you might be very far from that attitude if you’re feeling stressed since you’ll likely be more irritable. Little things that you ordinarily wouldn’t notice will begin to bother you. 

Dampen Your Happiness

It’s clear that if we’re going to get through life unscathed, then it’s important that we’re having fun and feeling happy. Alas, if you’re stressed, then getting to that stage might be difficult, if not impossible. If you’ve ever been through a super stressful experience, then you’ll know that the idea of having a good time was probably pretty far from your reality. If you’re in a mild stressful moment, then it can be worthwhile forcing yourself to put yourself in fun environments. It’s not about forgetting the position you’re in, and you shouldn’t force yourself to be happy. But you might find that just by being there, you’re able to relax a little and have fun. 

Increased Tiredness

Stress can have a profound impact on the state of your body, and especially on your energy levels. You’ll be spending so much of your mental space thinking about what’s on your mind, then you’ll also be putting your body under stress too. And that means that energy can be hard to find. This is damaging because we usually need more energy when we’re stressed since we want to improve or change our circumstances. In that instance, it’s good to find other ways to give your body energy, such as running or taking cold showers (both of which can also reduce stress).

Lowered Immune System

Another way that stress impacts your body is through your immune system. It’s no secret that people that are experiencing stress are more likely to get ill than those who don’t. This is one of the key reasons why meditation can help to bolster your immune system. It’s good to relax! If you find that you’re getting ill frequently, then it’ll be important to look at your lifestyle and work on making it more relaxing. However, if that’s not possible for the time being, then at least make sure you’re boosting your immune system in other ways, such as by taking vitamin C tablets. 

Hearing Problems

Many of us take our senses for granted. We just assume that they’ll always be with us! But of course, that’s not the case. They tend to deteriorate to various degrees as we age. But there are also things that can accelerate the process, such as stress. Stress is one of the more common causes of tinnitus. This is because stress can cause hypertension, which is linked to tinnitus. While there’s no cure for tinnitus, it is possible to reduce the severity of the condition by reducing stress. 

Teeth Clenching

There are plenty of ways to keep your teeth in good condition, including learning how to relax! You’ll be able to influence how tightly your jaw is wound when you’re awake, but things become more difficult when you’re asleep. Teeth clenching and grinding can have a long-lasting impact since they’ll wear down the surface of your tooth. While you’re in the process of reducing the amount of stress in your life, it’s a good idea to invest in a mouthguard. This is a device you can wear while you sleep that helps to protect your teeth.

Disorganized Mind

We all know how much easier it is to get through the many responsibilities of life when we’re able to focus. But when you’re stressed, you might find that it’s much more difficult to focus. The tasks that you need to take care of can become much more difficult. And that’s a problem, on both a short-term and long-term basis. Meditation is very good for improving focus. 

Substance Issues

There’s no avoiding the fact that stress is undesirable. And when we find ourselves in undesirable situations, our mission is to find ways to change our state. Alas, when you’re unable to focus, what you decide to do to change your state might end up doing more damage than you realize. Many people turn to alcohol as a way of coping with stress, but this should be avoided since it will only make the problem worse. Instead, try to overcome the desire to drown your sorrows and invest in healthier habits, such as exercise, yoga, and meditation. When you do those things, you won’t just be giving yourself useful skills that’ll have a long-term impact. You’ll actively be avoiding the thing — alcohol — that would make your experience worse. 


OK, now we’ve run through all the things that stress can cause. The question is: is there anything that you can do about it? Happily, there is. When you’re in the middle of a stressful period, it’s important to, first, recognize what’s going on, and second, take steps to minimize the sensation. There are any number of things you can do to combat stress. For example, there’s meditation, running, spending a night engaging in self-care (reading, relaxing), and consciously trying to limit the stressful factors. It can feel like stress is just part of your life when it’s there, but there are always things you do to put it behind you! 

COVID Lockdown

Easing Anxiety After COVID Lockdown

Everyone has some form of anxiety after the COVD lockdown. For some it’s major and for others it’s a minor inconvenience to your life. Especially after the COVID-19 pandemic, anxiety levels are high, with just about everyone becoming increasingly anxious about the post-vaccinated future. What will life look like now those most vulnerable have been vaccinated? Whatever questions you may have, spoken or unspoken, lockdown has been a rough ride for all of us and, by no means, is it over. 

However you managed to pull through, well done. In fact, well done to whoever is reading this right this second because you’ve been through hell and back, but you are sitting here, reading up on how to look after yourself. That’s a double win. Keep going. But, anxiety as we re-enter workplaces is bound to be high. Indeed, anxiety as we re-enter the world in general is bound to be high. Grown into an age of socially anxious, anxiously disordered minds, there must be ways to get through this and learn to survive again. 

Lockdown Anxiety

Over lockdown, even once, you must have thought ‘when will this end?’, ‘is it safe to even go to the supermarket?’, ‘did I wash my hands properly?’. Either way, for people who had never had anxiety before the pandemic, definitely experienced it during. However, those who were already suffering beforehand, trust me, this year has been a tough one. Lockdown was not a safe place. It was safe in terms of a lack of people, therefore a lack of social anxiety bubbling up to the surface, but it left you alone with your thoughts. After the novelty of not having to speak to anyone wore off, loneliness struck. But, not being able to do anything about it only encouraged us to sit in our loneliness further. As time drew on, the fear of going outside and bumping into someone (that you may have known or not known) was a real one. 

Generalized anxiety disorder sufferers- lockdown was not the one for us. No longer having a plethora of external stimuli to work with, your mind went to anyone and everything around you to look for worries. Claustrophobia is the one word that comes to mind when I relive it. 

Keeping structure out of lockdown

As we start to come out of lockdown, and re enter our offices (for help on marketing for your business talk to Joey Armstrong), consider what made you feel safe during. For example, when in lockdown were you at your most peaceful, or happy? Who were you with? Who weren’t you with? Consider all of these environmental stimuli, and recreate it. If you were with a friend, or a partner, or a family member, when you felt your most calm, call them at a fixed time every day, or week. Meet them for a coffee. Did you enjoy those daily walks where you could get out of the house for half an hour and just walk? Keep walking! Keep doing those daily walks. 

There are so many ways in which to safely ease yourself out of lockdown, especially for an anxious mind.


How To Live More Independently With A Disability

Having a disability can make you more dependent on the help of others. This is because the world is largely designed to meet the needs of able-bodied people and not to meet the needs of those with disabilities. That said, things are improving and there are now more tools and resources out there that can make achieving independence possible. Below are just some of the ways to live more independently with a disability. 

Embrace modern technology

New technology is constantly being introduced to help make the lives of those with disabilities easier. Smart technology can allow things like lighting and heating to be controlled remotely. Newer wheelchairs are more compact and nimble for negotiating tight spaces, with some even offering raised seats that allow easier access to higher surfaces. An exoskeleton for disabled people even exists, helping those with spinal injuries to physically walk again. On top of this technology, there are many free apps and software that can benefit those with disabilities. Refusing to embrace newer tech could be stopping you from being as independent as you can be.

Research and plan ahead

Having a disability can often mean having to do a lot more research and planning. New technology can be very expensive to implement – you want to be sure that whatever you invest in is worthwhile, so make sure to read reviews and get a thorough understanding of the product. When it comes to making journeys on your own, planning ahead is vital. Plan out every step of the route and do your research to find out if there is disabled access when visiting a new place. If information isn’t available online or through an app, be prepared to ring up

Take advantage of financial support

Having a disability is expensive – from specialist equipment to regular taxi journeys, there are so many extra costs to budget for. This is why you should always take advantage of financial support wherever you can find it. On top of looking into government grants and benefits, don’t be afraid to explore charity funding options. There are also many companies and attractions that offer discounts to those with disabilities – always look into these in advance so that you’re not paying regular rates. This can all help to make living with a disability more affordable. 

Know your rights

There are times when it’s important to speak up and exercise your rights. When it comes to finding work, it’s important that an employer is able to cater to your basic needs – unless your disability physically stops you from doing something, you shouldn’t be denied certain opportunities. When visiting new places such as restaurants or shops, you should also speak up about any problems you may notice. For instance, if a restaurant has poor disabled access, you should let the company know about this. This type of action helps everyone with a disability by making sure that necessary improvements are made.

tricky health issues

You’re Not Too Young To Talk About Your Health

When you talk about your health, you take control over it. There are aspects of health that we are more than willing to accept as we age because, to some extent, a decline in health is a natural part of life. However, the big problem we all have now is that if we consider certain afflictions to be part of growing old, but we suffer from them at a young age, we may feel humiliated when it comes to talking about them.

But, given that there are so many ailments that we all feel embarrassed about, perhaps it is time to break this stigma? Here are some common health symptoms to look out for.

#1 An increased sense of stress

Most of us experience stress at one point or another in our lives but if you see people who appear to be unable to function, a part of you may believe that they are simply complaining, especially if they do so on social media. However, prolonged stress is more than just a little bit of anxiety; it affects so many aspects of your life, causing headaches, anxiety, sleep difficulties, and even digestive problems.

It is critical to consult with your doctor to ensure that you are on the right track to get rid of this. Counseling, medicine, or a course of therapy such as CBT may be required. Finally, a lot of stress is a killer, and you should not be ashamed to talk about it, especially if other people think you complain a lot on the internet!

#2 Loss of sex drive

When we are young, it is assumed we are all having plenty of fun in the bedroom. But is it like that for everyone, all of the time? Well, no, it isn’t. There are lots of reasons why people of all ages may experience a loss of sex drive. Often this is tiredness or because of mental health issues such as depression or anxiety. Other times it can be something in the relationship – a lack of intimacy or communication. Getting to the bottom of it and dealing with whatever is causing the problem will go a long way towards dealing with it. 

#3 A decline in hearing

Hearing problems, which you might think are limited to people over the typical retirement age are more prevalent than you might think. Hearing problems are more common in people who grew up listening to loud music through headphones all day, every day or attending loud music concerts or night clubs. Furthermore, issues such as tinnitus and glue ear can appear earlier in life.
However, it is far from something to be embarrassed about.   You should protect your ears if you haven’t already, but hearing aids aren’t the big, bulky devices of yesteryear. In fact, you have much more control over choosing a hearing aid. They are extremely subtle, and if it is a way for you to feel like you are a part of a conversation, rather than feeling that sense of isolation and loneliness, they are extremely effective.


Signs that you Have Not Been Taking Good Care of Yourself Lately

Have you been taking good care of yourself lately? If you answer no to this question, it’s likely you could be at risk for sickness. If you have a very fast-paced routine, then you will know how much this can interfere with your general self-care. Your body is a machine, and you have to make sure that you give yourself some downtime now and again. If you don’t, then you may find that you end up struggling in the future.

Feeling Tired All the Time

Feeling sleepy is normal, but if you find that you have constant tiredness and fatigue then this is a sign that something needs to change. Doctors often say that exercise is a brilliant way for you to help regulate your self-care routine, but at the same time, you also have to make sure that you are sleeping enough. If you aren’t sleeping enough then this can cause you to feel tired all the time. You may also find that you cannot stay awake during the day as well, and this can interfere with your work and your personal life.

Hearing Loss

If you have been experiencing hearing loss lately then you will know how frustrating this can be.  If you have never struggled with hearing loss before then this can be a sign that you have not been taking care of yourself as well as you could have been. It may be that you have been having your headphones on louder than you should have, or that you have not been wearing the appropriate hearing protection while at work. Either way, it’s important that you try and talk with your doctor about this. If required, you can also seek out the best hearing aids.

Excessively Dry Skin

If you find that the texture of your skin changes with the weather, then this is normal. That being said if you are battling constantly dry skin then this is a sign that something isn’t right. Sometimes it doesn’t matter what kind of moisturizer you use, because if you do not deal with the root cause, then it will come back time and time again. If you feel as though your battle with dry skin is not coming to an end, then you have to make sure that you speak with your doctor.

Acne Breakouts

Sudden acne breakouts can be a sign that you are under some kind of stress, or that you are experiencing some kind of hormonal imbalance. If you find that you are having breakouts far too often then you have to understand what is happening inside your body. It may be that you have a hormonal condition or that you are simply consuming too much sugar. Either way, you have to make sure that you are not compromising your health by ignoring your breakouts.

Muscle Cramps

When you spend most of the time sitting in front of the computer screen, you may find that you notice cramps or twitches. Doctors say that the amount of cramps that you experience and the frequency of them can say a lot, so make sure that you don’t ignore these signs if you can.

status of health

How to Learn More About the Status of Your Health

The status of your health is obviously of extreme importance. Understanding what is going on in your body can be the difference between feeling good and not. Your health can be mysterious sometimes. It can be hard to decide whether you’re healthy or not, especially if you hold a different opinion about yourself compared to what you see almost everywhere online. 

It’s key to get to know your own health a bit more. It’s not as hard as you might think. Knowing more about yourself is only ever a good thing. You know what you can do, what you struggle with, and you know how to take care of yourself. And it may require some courage to see someone about a problem. 

Check the Status of Your Health

Below is a small list of questions to ask, to really reveal what’s going on with your health right now. If you’re truly worried about something, talk to your doctor about your concerns.

What are Your Energy Levels Like?

The first thing to think about are your energy levels. Are you able to get on with your day the way you want to? Do you fall asleep fast when you hit the hay at the end of the day? Are you always snoozing when you’re traveling in a passenger seat? Do you need to take regular naps to keep yourself topped up? 

Questions like these can be very revealing. Things like your natural metabolic rate, or your natural need for sleep can be very different to someone else’s, but an excess of any of the above behaviors can be a worry. They mostly point towards a ‘sleep debt’, but they can also be a topic for a doctor to go over as well. 

What’s Your Hearing Like?

Your hearing is an often ignored element of your five senses. Indeed, a loss of hearing can be subtle, and hearing itself can be slow to change over time based on your day to day interactions. Of course, if you work in a very noisy environment, or you listen to loud music on a regular basis, your hearing level could dip a lot faster than is average. 

And if you’re someone who already uses a hearing aid, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on how much the aid is helping you. Some people like to believe that the hearing restoration granted by such aids is 100%, but the truth is often far from this. But all in all, make sure you get your ears tested at least every 10 years, and try not to take any hearing loss lightly. 

What’s Your Diet Like?

Now it’s time to ask yourself, ‘Am I eating enough?’ Don’t think about your diet in too much detail here – think about how you feel inside. Ask yourself: 

Are you always hungry, sleeping badly, or often ‘hangry’? Because these are all signs your nutrition level is low, and even with a well intentioned diet, you could be doing your brain and body a disservice. 

The status of your health can be confusing to keep up with. Check in with yourself using questions like those above. 

your body postpartum

5 Mind-Blowing Changes To Your Body Postpartum

Pregnancy and birth completely transform you and can cause some changes to your body postpartum. Sometimes in very weird and not-so-wonderful ways. When pregnant and the growth of your belly seems almost exponential, there’s a tonne of information available to you. It doesn’t always feel like that after birth. Often you’re baptized in the fires of giving birth. And then only think about postpartum bodily changes when your midwives give you a rundown of what to expect. 

So the health of your mind and body postpartum can feel overlooked. Which feels overwhelming at a time where you’re running on little sleep and changing nappies on autopilot. There’s obviously lots you need to learn about pregnancy and taking care of your bundle of joy when it arrives. But you should do some homework about caring for yourself postpartum, so you don’t feel underprepared. 

No matter whether you’re about to pop, in the early stages of pregnancy, or you’re hoping to conceive soon. This info is for all of you. And it’s not a completely exhaustive list of everything that happens. (Because there are a lot of changes and everyone can experience them slightly differently). So if you’ve got a nugget of wisdom, go ahead and add it in the comments. 

Your Brain And Hormones

Your hormones will change drastically after giving birth, at least for a little while. They go from being the highest they will ever be before delivery to the lowest after delivery. Just after giving birth, your progesterone and estrogen levels will drop dramatically. This contributes to the baby blues, characterized by mood swings, anxiety, and sadness which usually resolve a week or so after birth. Postpartum depression can also happen because of this dramatic drop. This is where you’ll experience similar symptoms to the baby blues, but the feelings are much more intense and last longer.

Oxytocin, the bonding hormone, will go into overdrive though as it turns on mothering behaviour. And you’ll probably feel stressed and overwhelmed as you try to navigate the huge changes in mood while caring for a new life. 

What Can You Do About Stress?

  • Talk openly to your partner about your feelings. And let them take care of the baby for a while.
  • Ask friends and family for help.
  • Join a support group for new mums. 
  • Eat healthily and take care of yourself. 

What Can You Do About The Baby Blues?

  • Get as much sleep as possible.
  • Take time out for yourself.
  • Seek support from your partner. 
  • If you’re feeling down for longer than two weeks, then approach a trusted healthcare provider. 

What Can You Do About Postpartum Depression?

  • Knowledge is power so learn about the signs and symptoms of PPD. 
  • If you think you might have PPD, then approach your GP or another healthcare provider.
  • Get treatment from your chosen healthcare professional.

Your Breasts Postpartum

Along with the decrease in estrogen and progesterone in your body postpartum, your breastmilk making hormone lactin will kick in. This means that your breasts will get bigger as they swell with milk. It’s called engorgement and can make your breasts pretty sore until you start breastfeeding. If you’re not breastfeeding, then the engorgement can last until your body stops producing milk. If your breastfeeding, then you might experience nipple pain. Especially if they crack.

What Can You Do To Help Breast Engorgement?

  • Breastfeeding your baby or expressing the milk will help the most. 
  • Expressing some milk before feeding will help the flow of milk. 
  • Warm showers will help with the pain, but if your breasts stay swollen and painful, seek medical advice.
  • If you’re not breastfeeding, wear a snug sports bra, take ibuprofen, and utilise ice packs until the pain resolves.

What Can You Do To Help Nipple Pain?

  • Check that your baby is latching on properly with your doctor.
  • Ask about creams to apply.
  • Massage breast milk into your nipples after feeding.

Your Uterus, Vagina, And Vulva

This part of your body has likely seen a lot of action during delivery. And while C-section deliveries are a slightly different kettle of fish, they do have some similarities. You’ll have afterpains that feel a lot like menstrual cramps for a few days afterward. This is your uterus starting to shrink to pre-baby size. By about six weeks post-birth, your uterus will be pretty much its original size.

You’ll also experience something called lochia for about six weeks after delivery. This is bloody discharge as your body expels whatever’s left in your womb from growing a person. After a vaginal delivery, you’ll likely be pretty bruised and sore down there. And if you’ve had to have a stitched perineum, it’ll be quite sore while it heals. A C-section delivery will leave you with a sensitive and puffy belly with a painful incision. But what will help?

What Can You Do?

  • For painful stitched areas, painkillers and rest are your new best friends. 
  • Cold packs or a frozen sanitary pad tucked into your pants will help relieve pain. 
  • Get a doughnut-shaped cushion. Trust me. 
  • After a cesarean, don’t lift anything heavier than your baby, get lots of sleep, and use pillows to support you. 
  • Do kegel exercises.
  • If there are any changes like increasing pain, head straight to the doctor. 

Your Belly, Bladder, And Bowels

Ging to the bathroom will be a little different for a while after birth. Because of all the swelling, going for a wee can cause some pain. Not to mention a stinging sensation if your perineum has been stitched. And it can feel difficult to do it with all the pressure from labour. But it might go the other way, and you could be peeing like Seabiscuit in the week after delivery because of all the changes in hormones you’ll be experiencing. You might find that you pee a little when you laugh or sneeze, too, so your pelvic floor muscles might need a little attention. 

Constipation is pretty common the week after too. Whether it’s from medication you’re on, dehydration, having a C-section, or just fear of doing yourself damage. And unfortunately, you might have haemorrhoids to contend with. 

Your core muscles will be a lot weaker too, and lifting even the simplest of things can feel like a trial. It’s down to the fact that most pregnant women will have a certain degree of diastasis recti. Which is where you have a gap between the left and right abdominal muscles caused by those lovely pregnancy hormones thinning out the tissue. It might close on its own; it might not. If it doesn’t, you’ll want to contact your doc about speaking to a physio. 

What Can You Do?

  • When you’re peeing, spray your perineum with warm water. It really helps. 
  • And drink lots of water to dilute your wee. 
  • The same goes for constipation. Drink lots of water and get high fibre foods in your diet. 
  • Ask a pharmacist about over the counter medicine to help.
  • Get a cream for your hemorrhoids and make the most of warm baths. 

Your Skin, Body, And Hair in Postpartum

Pregnancy means you will gain some weight. And that weight gain can lead to stretch marks and varicose veins. Stretch marks can get irritating when they itch, so you’ll want to find a cream that’s great at treating itchy stretch marks. While all these things will reduce over time, likely, they won’t go away completely.

The skin on your face might change too. The tumultuous transitions of your hormone levels can lead to acne, dry patches or pigmentation. And you’ll likely lose up to a third of your hair. Thanks again to the drop in the hormones that made your hair luscious during pregnancy. 

What Can You Do?

  • Get creams targeted to your problems. Check with your healthcare provider that they’re safe to use while you breastfeed. 
  • Eat lots of fruit and veg.
  • When it comes to hair loss, don’t put your hair under any unneeded stress. Avoid tight bobbles and use the cool setting on your hairdryer. 

Final Thoughts on Postpartum

A hell of a lot happens to your body postpartum. It can feel like an overwhelming time, so make sure you speak up to family, friends, and your partner about your changing needs. Plus, sharing the hard parts will make the load a lot lighter for you.

It can feel like an eternity as you wait for your body to return to normal. That normal will feel different than before, but you will get there. Things like your period will take a little while too. About 6/8 weeks if you’re not breastfeeding, and it might not be for months if you are breastfeeding. But just because you don’t have your period doesn’t mean you won’t be fertile until they start. You can conceive again without one. But most professionals say to steer clear of sex until at least 4 weeks after birth. But go at your own pace. 

And remember, if something doesn’t feel right, or if you’re just unsure about anything, make an appointment with your doctor. It’s most likely nothing to worry about, but seeing a professional will get it sorted quickly if there is. And it’ll make you feel better.