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The 10 questions you must ask at your 6 weeks postpartum checkup

1. Were there any issues with my delivery I should know about?

The 10 questions you must ask at your 6 weeks postpartum checkup

Hey mama!

After all those months of carrying that precious baby, and all those hours in labor, you have certainly earned that title… and all the snuggle time with your baby that you can imagine.


While gently rocking your little one and trying to master the art of motherhood, however, don’t forget about your health.

Knowing the numerous late-night feeds and the sleep deprivation you will endure during the six weeks after giving birth, here are 10 questions to ask your obstetrician at your fist postpartum visit to help make sure that you don’t miss any important details about keeping yourself in the best health possible.

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1. Were there any issues with my delivery I should know about?

While it is likely your doctor or midwife would have gone over this at the time of your delivery, if you have any lingering questions, now is the time to ask. Feeling good about your birth experience is empowering. Also, if you had an unexpected C-section, now is a good time to ask your doctor if you would be a candidate to try for a vaginal birth next time around.

2. Is my bleeding normal?

It is normal to have some bleeding postpartum (remember the hospital underwear and those giant pads), but it usually starts to taper off a week or so after delivery. By six weeks out, most women just have some light spotting from time to time. If you are having heavy bleeding or large clots, be sure to let your doctor know. If you aren’t breastfeeding, your periods may resume around six to eight weeks postpartum. If you are exclusively breastfeeding, your period may not return for six months or more.

3. What can I do for postpartum pain?

Sitting on an ice pack or using a frozen pad will do wonders to decrease the pain and swelling in your perineum. You may also find that taking an anti-inflammatory like ibuprofen is all the pain medication that you need. If you had a C-section, you may require some stronger medications for pain relief, which your provider will need to prescribe. If your pain is more than you expected or seems to be getting worse, please talk to your provider right away.

4. When can I start exercising again?

If you were exercising throughout your pregnancy, it is generally okay to start walking and doing some light upper body exercise as soon as you feel up to it. However, if you had a C-section or a more complicated vaginal repair, you should wait to get the green light from your doctor or midwife before starting an exercise regimen. For six weeks after a C-section you shouldn’t lift more than 10 pounds (which is essentially the weight of your baby). Remember, it is important to listen to your body during this time; it just went through an incredible battle and is trying to heal. The motto I encourage my patients to use is: If it hurts, don’t do it.

5. Is it okay for me to start having sex again?

You will most likely get the go-ahead to resume having sex at your six-week postpartum visit. Keep in mind that with postpartum hormone shifts, a lack of sleep and a changing/sore body, you may have a decreased sex drive. Hang in there. You and your partner will find your new groove.

6. How important is breastfeeding? Are these meds safe? Can I have some wine?

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Academy of Pediatricians both recommend exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life.

Breastmilk is the perfect balance of nutrients for your baby, plus it boosts their immune system lowers the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Breastfeeding is also great for you—you burn 500 calories per day breastfeeding, making it easier to lose the baby weight.

If you have any questions about medications you are taking, talk with your OB-GYN or pediatrician right away.

While most over-the-counter meds are just fine, you should double-check any new prescription medications with your provider. It is absolutely fine to have a glass of wine; just wait two hours after your drink to breastfeed—there is no need to pump and dump.

7. What can I do to help my constipation?

Constipation is common after pregnancy, but there are many ways to help you go more naturally. Do not forget to talk to your provider about how to speed the return of normal bowel and bladder function. Stool softeners like Miralax and Colace are gentle and safe. You also may have noticed that you have some urinary incontinence. This may continue for up to 12 weeks postpartum.

8. What should I be doing for birth control?

There are many great options for birth control postpartum. You will want to discuss with your provider what your goals are for growing your family, so they can tailor their advice to best suit your wishes. Usually for the first six weeks, abstinence or a progesterone-only method is best to ensure your milk supply isn’t affected. After six weeks, all options are fair game.

9. Am I crying too much?

The postpartum period is an intense roller coaster of emotions, and postpartum depression affects up to 20% of moms after delivery. Having a new baby is a huge life adjustment, and you will have changing hormone levels and be experiencing fatigue. You will cry for no reason. You will be overwhelmed. You will feel like superwoman, and five minutes later you will question your parenting abilities. Be reassured, this is all normal. However, if you start experiencing intense feelings of anxiety, sadness or despair that keep you from being able to perform your daily tasks, call your OB-GYN immediately.

10. Do I need any vaccines?

To keep you and your baby healthy, there may be some vaccines you should get postpartum that you were unable to get when you were pregnant. For example, the measles and chicken pox vaccines cannot be given during pregnancy, so be sure to check with your provider that you are up to date.

Finally, remember at your postpartum visit that no question is a dumb question. Your OB-GYN or midwife has been here before, and it is their job and great joy to walk alongside you during your pregnancy and postpartum journey.

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14 outdoor toys your kids will want to play with beyond summer

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With Labor day weekend in the rearview and back-to-school in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.

$30

Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!

$75

Detective set

Plan Toys detective setDetective Set

This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.

$40

Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden doll strollerWooden Doll Stroller

Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.

$120

Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.

$30

Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.

$100

Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.

$40

Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.

$121

Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.

$100

Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.

$45

Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.

$179

Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.

$100

Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.

$33

Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.

$88

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There is rightfully a lot of emphasis on preparing for the arrival of a new baby. The clothes! The nursery furniture! The gear! But, the thing about a baby registry is, well, your kids will keep on growing. Before you know it, they'll have new needs—and you'll probably have to foot the bill for the products yourself.

Thankfully, you don't have to break the bank when shopping for toddler products. Here are our favorite high-quality, budget-friendly finds to help with everything from meal time to bath time for the toddler set.

Comforts Fruit Crisps Variety Pack

Comforts fruit snacks

If there is one thing to know about toddlers, it is this: They love snacks. Keeping a variety on hand is easy when the pack already comes that way! Plus, we sure do appreciate that freeze-dried fruit is a healthier alternative to fruit snacks.

Comforts Electrolyte Drink

Comforts electrolyte drink

Between running (or toddling!) around all day and potentially developing a pickier palate, many toddlers can use a bit of extra help with replenishing their electrolytes—especially after they've experienced a tummy bug. We suggest keeping an electrolyte drink on hand.

Comforts Training Pants

Comforts training pants

When the time comes to start potty training, it sure helps to have some training pants on hand. If they didn't make it to the potty in time, these can help them learn their body's cues.

Comforts Nite Pants

comforts nite pants

Even when your toddler gets the hang of using the toilet during the day, nighttime training typically takes several months longer than day-time training. In the meantime, nite pants will still help them feel like the growing, big kid they are.

Comforts Baby Lotion

comforts baby lotion

Running, jumping, playing in sand, splashing in water—the daily life of a toddler can definitely irritate their skin! Help put a protective barrier between their delicate skin and the things they come into contact with every day with nourishing lotion.

Another great tip? Shopping the Comforts line on Comfortsforbaby.com to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices—and follow along on social media to see product releases and news at @comfortsforbaby.

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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It's science: Why your baby stops crying when you stand up

A fascinating study explains why.

When your baby is crying, it feels nearly instinctual to stand up to rock, sway and soothe them. That's because standing up to calm babies is instinctual—driven by centuries of positive feedback from calmed babies, researchers have found.

"Infants under 6 months of age carried by a walking mother immediately stopped voluntary movement and crying and exhibited a rapid heart rate decrease, compared with holding by a sitting mother," say authors of a 2013 study published in Current Biology.

Even more striking: This coordinated set of actions—the mother standing and the baby calming—is observed in other mammal species, too. Using pharmacologic and genetic interventions with mice, the authors say, "We identified strikingly similar responses in mouse pups as defined by immobility and diminished ultrasonic vocalizations and heart rate."

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