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Postpartum Recovery Plan: Everything You Need to Know for Months 3 to 6

posted:

4/10/2023

@caroline__potter

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Caroline

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Oh, mama—the postpartum period in months 3-6 is most likely when you need help the most, nutrition the most and sleep the most. Postpartum Recovery Plan: Everything You Need to Know for Months 3 to 6 is our guide for you to pass it thought strongly and with your mind intact.

Around 3 months postpartum, you feel it. You are attempting to settle into a new routine, but each day presents with ever-changing circumstances. And you may be exhausted from sleepless nights. This is normal, and there are some good reasons behind it. 

Happy woman holding her baby on a sunny day

The cortisol surge that got you through the newborn phase has plummeted, and you feel it. In the beginning, your adrenal hormones surge to keep you afloat and feed your baby throughout the day and night. Certainly, now your adrenaline, endorphins, estrogen, and progesterone drop significantly. This, along with running on little sleep, is the perfect storm to create a crash.

The initial wave of helping hands in the first weeks after your baby’s birth: the warm meal train and encouraging texts start to disappear. But this is when you often need help the most.

You may feel very alone. Your emotions are valid. You are seen.

Personally, months 3-6 postpartum have always been the most challenging phase with each of my 3 babies. 

Happy woman holding her baby on a sunny day

More Postpartum Resources

Remember, each little step matters. Celebrate your wins today! Stay focused on what is going on with your recovery, your new baby and your story. Rather than comparing it to anyone else’s progress. 

Postpartum support months 3 to 6 guide

Holistic Postpartum Recovery Plan Months 3 to 6

Don’t try to manage it all

Probably the biggest (and hardest) lesson for new moms is—to let go of your expectations. 

As a type 1 enneagram, the “perfectionist”, this one is hard for me. Oh, and my sweet husband constantly reminds me of this. 

Still, it may sound cliche to let go or “say no”, let me explain how this principle affects our postpartum health and beyond. 

Our body treats good stress and bad stress the same… it’s ALL stress on the body. Chronic stress can bring about anxiety, blood sugar issues, thyroid imbalances, hair loss, lack of sleep, and much more. 

Stressing over something good is still stress. 

1 – Yes, making a nutrient-dense meal is important, but if you are too tired, choose sleep. 

2 – Yes, cloth diapering may be cheaper or better for the environment, but seriously do you have time?

And finally 3 — Yes, you normally eat a healthy diet and are gluten-free. But your sweet friend offered to bring you a meal. It isn’t the healthiest, but it’s warm, it’s done, and it means no cleanup for you. BTW—eating in a restful state is often the most underrated nutrition fact!

Postpartum Recovery Plan: Months 3 To 6 Guide teaches that you can’t let something good turn into something bad.

Be gentle with yourself. Be gentle with your expectations.

Postpartum Recovery Plan: Months 3 To 6 Guide tip: Make it easy – Don’t think you have to do it all every day. Choose days when you pick yourself up, get it together and put one foot in front of the other. Also choose days when you let it all go, crawl back under the covers and eat chocolate!

Prioritize Your Emotions, Mental Health + Relationships

Postpartum months 3-6 are often when you feel alone. The influx of helpers and meals during the days postpartum has started to decrease. You may get to 7 pm each day and wonder where the day actually went. Feeling tired and like no one understands the thoughts in your head. 

Postpartum Recovery Plan: Months 3 To 6 Guide: I feel you, and you are seen.

As sleep exhaustion and daily demands set in, postpartum anxiety and depression can often creep in the heaviest during these postpartum months 3-6. 

Navigating mental health isn’t as simple as recognizing there is a struggle, getting help, and moving forward—in fact, postpartum care and healing can feel like a roller coaster.

Read: Recognizing Postpartum Anxiety + Depression In Real Life >

Postpartum anxiety can look different for every mama—just remember, you have your own unique postpartum journey, your own unique story—not a chart, a form, a protocol, or a textbook. As I have noticed no one except you will ever know how much you struggle because women experience it differently. But, out in public, a mom going through symptoms of postpartum depression or mood disorders can look as joyful as one who isn’t. 

Prioritizing is the most important thing; prioritizing exercise, in-person conversations, relationships, and a few moments of peace and quiet for yourself is key to navigating these emotions in the moment and long term.

Ask a mom on a coffee date; I guarantee she needs it too.

Go for a walk, get some fresh air, listen to a podcast, or just the wind, and let your baby sleep in the stroller. 

Say yes to that sweet older lady that offered her help a few months back.

Get plugged into a church.

Go to therapy. YES, GO.

Make it easy: Tell one person you are struggling with today. Opening up your heart is the first step toward healing.

Encourage and restore hair growth

The good news, postpartum hair loss is both common and normal—don’t let anyone tell you that you are doing something wrong or need to “eat healthier” to avoid it—don’t allow that guilt or shame to enter your mind. It’s a normal hormonal process.

Check out our Postpartum Hair Guide for a full list of resources and how to address the root cause >

Simply put, your hair is not essential to staying alive—so when your body is in a weakened state of energy, it brilliantly prioritizes how to use limited energy and nutrients. Your hair isn’t a top priority!

Postpartum hair loss typically hits about 3-4 months postpartum. The quicker you can work to restore nutrients and adrenal health, the quicker your hair will also recover! I love encouraging hair growth before there is a problem.

I recommend adding Mane & Nails to your postpartum plan at 3 months postpartum to get a head start on any potential hair loss!

Make it easy: Get Mane & Nails

Get updated lab work

It’s crazy all the labs they do during pregnancy. However, the standard of care for postpartum is ZERO labs. You may have to push your healthcare provider or pay for them on your own, but if you are having symptoms of exhaustion, mood swings, anxiety, depression, weight gain, severe hair loss, and loss of appetite—having a clear picture of what’s going on is SO important. 

Mama, remember you just created a baby—baby takes everything from you. This can lead to nutrient deficiencies and health complications for years postpartum. 

Pregnancy and giving birth increases the risk of developing an autoimmune disease, in particular thyroid-related autoimmune diseases like Hashimoto’s. Stress is the biggest trigger of autoimmune disease, and many of the stressors during the first week postpartum and throughout the newborn phase are unavoidable. That is ok! Focus on the care of your baby and focus on what you CAN do to boost your health and postpartum recovery timeline.

After the initial newborn phase, our hormone levels greatly shift and drop—that initial surge of energy (cortisol) and the love hormone (oxytocin) decrease. About 3 months postpartum is when you may start to see symptoms of hormonal changes. These will not always show at the six-week checkup postpartum visit if your healthcare provider, by chance, does lab work.

Good labs to get postpartum:

  • a full thyroid panel (most will only test TSH, which is a pituitary hormone, not a thyroid hormone)
  • Vitamin D
  • Iron with ferritin
  • Comprehensive Metabolic Panel

Advocating for yourself is so important—only YOU can advocate for yourself. It is always worth your time, hard work, and resources to advocate. Your unique symptoms and body experiences matter.

Make it Easy: It’s a good idea to put a reminder in your phone to schedule an appointment.

Focus on adrenal + energy restoration

Everything always comes back to sleep and energy, right?

Our adrenals are the gatekeepers to so much of our overall health —mood, sleep, thyroid, weight loss, mental function, immune system, and more. Due to the stress of pregnancy, birth, and postpartum (remember, even good things are stress) and the lack of sleep, our adrenal system takes the biggest hit. It can take 6-9 months of targeted work to restore our adrenals and energy, so be patient with the process. 

Adrenal healing is key to postpartum time because our body requires energy to heal and balance in other ways. Physical healing, necessary no matter the type of delivery (whether you had a vaginal birth or cesarean birth), and hormone balance are energy-intensive processes. Without the proper building blocks and energy, our body will push healing to the back burner to keep life-sustaining functions (like breathing) operational. 

Key nutrients to restore adrenals + energy:

When you are in a season of sleep deprivation and in a healing process, the best thing is supplements; they are a key puzzle piece! Deep diaphragmatic breathing, power naps, walking, hydration, connecting with close friends, and much rest will also encourage restoration.

Make it Easy: You deserve to feel great and healed (yes, healing is possible)— Please reach out to connect about our personalized nutrition consultations. 

Top holistic tools for postpartum months 3-6

This is a short and sweet general information list to pack the biggest punch for your postpartum recovery and daily joy!

Graphic showing the cover of the Flourish's Postpartum Replenishment Guide

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