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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.

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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Baby stuff comes in such cute prints these days. Gone are the days when everything was pink and blue and covered in ducks or teddy bears. Today's baby gear features stylish prints that appeal to mom.

That's why it's totally understandable how a mama could mistake a car seat cover for a cute midi skirt. It happened to Lori Farrell, and when she shared her mishap on Facebook she went viral before she was even home from work. Fellow moms can totally see the humor in Farrell's mishap, and thankfully, so can she.

As for how a car seat cover could be mistaken for a skirt—it's pretty simple, Farrell tells Motherly.

"A friend of mine had given me a huge lot of baby stuff, from clothes to baby carriers to a rocker and blankets and when I pulled it out I was not sure what it was," she explains. "I debated it but washed it anyway then decided because of the way it pulled on the side it must be a maternity skirt."

Farrell still wasn't 100% sure if she was right by the time she headed out the door to work, but she rocked the ambiguous attire anyway.

"When I got to work I googled the brand and realized not only do they not sell clothing but it was a car seat cover."

The brand, Itzy Ritzy, finds the whole thing pretty funny too, sharing Farell's viral moment to its official Instagram.

It may be a car seat cover, but that print looks really good on this mama.

And if you want to copy Farell's style, the Itzy Ritzy 4-in-1 Nursing Cover, Car Seat Cover, Shopping Cart Cover and Infinity Scarf (and skirt!) is available on Amazon for $24.94.

Motherly is your daily #momlife manual; we are here to help you easily find the best, most beautiful products for your life that actually work. We share what we love—and we may receive a commission if you choose to buy.You've got this.

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Daycare for infants is expensive across the country, and California has one of the worst states for parents seeking care for a baby. Putting an infant in daycare in California costs $2,914 more than in-state tuition for four years of college, according to the Economic Policy Institute.

Paying north of $1,000 for daycare each month is an incredible burden, especially on single-parent families. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services defines affordable childcare as costing no more than 10% of a family's income—by that definition, less than 29% of families in California can afford infant care. Some single parents spend half their income on day care. It is an incredible burden on working parents.

But that burden may soon get lighter. CBS Sacramento reports California may put between $25 and $35 million into child care programs to make day care more affordable for parents with kids under 3 years old.

Assembly Bill 452, introduced this week, could see $10 million dollars funneled into Early Head Start (which currently gets no money from the state but does get federal funding) and tens of millions more would be spent on childcare for kids under three.

The bill seeks to rectify a broken childcare system. Right now, only about 14% of eligible infants and toddlers are enrolled in subsidized programs in California, and in 2017, only 7% of eligible children younger than three years of age accessed Early Head Start.

An influx of between $25 to $35 million dollars could see more spaces open up for kids under three, as Bill 452, if passed, would see the creation of "grants to develop childcare facilities that serve children from birth to three years of age."

This piece of proposed legislation comes weeks after California's governor announced an ambitious plan for paid parental leave, and as another bill, AB 123, seeks to strengthen the state's pre-kindergarten program.

Right now, it is difficult for some working parents to make a life in California, but by investing in families, the state's lawmakers could change that and change California's future for the better.

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When a mama gets married, in most cases she wants her children to be part of her big day. Photographers are used to hearing bride-to-be moms request lots of pictures of their big day, but when wedding photographer Laura Schaefer of Fire and Gold Photography heard her client Dalton Mort planned to wear her 2-year-old daughter Ellora instead of a veil, she was thrilled.

A fellow mama who understands the benefits of baby-wearing, Schaefer was keen to capture the photos Mort requested. "When I asked Dalton about what some of her 'must get' shots would be for her wedding, she specifically asked for ones of her wearing Ellie, kneeling and praying in the church before the tabernacle," Schaefer tells Motherly.

She got those shots and so many more, and now Mort's toddler-wearing wedding day pics are going viral.

"Dalton wore Ellie down the aisle and nursed her to sleep during the readings," Schaefer wrote on her blog, explaining that Ellie then slept through the whole wedding mass.

"As a fellow mother of an active toddler, this is a HUGE win! Dalton told me after that she was SO grateful that Ellie slept the whole time because she was able to focus and really pray through the Mass," Schaefer explains.

Dalton was able to concentrate on her wedding day because she made her baby girl a part of it (and that obviously tired Ellie right out).

Ellie was part of the commitment and family Dalton if forging with her husband, Jimmy Joe. "There is no better behaved toddler than a sleeping toddler, and she was still involved, even though I ended up unwrapping her to nurse her. I held her in my arms while my husband and I said our vows. It was really special for us," Dalton told POPSUGAR.

This is a wedding trend we are totally here for!

Congrats to Dalton and Jimmy Joe (and to Ellie)! 🎉

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The internet is freaking out about how Peppa Pig is changing the way toddlers speak, but parents don't need to be too worried.

As Romper first reported, plenty of American parents have noticed that preschoolers are picking up a bit of a British accent thanks to Peppa. Romper's Janet Manley calls it "the Peppa effect," noting that her daughter started calling her "Mummy" after an in-flight Peppa marathon.


Plenty of other parents report sharing Manley's experience, but the British accent is not likely to stick, experts say.

Toronto-based speech and language pathologist Melissa James says this isn't a new thing—kids have always been testing out the accents they hear on TV and in the real world, long before Peppa oinked her way into our Netflix queues.

"Kids have this amazing ability to pick up language," James told Global News. "Their brains are ripe for the learning of language and it's a special window of opportunity that adults don't possess."

Global News reports that back in the day there were concerns about Dora The Explorer potentially teaching kids Spanish words before the kids had learned the English counterparts, and over in the U.K., parents have noticed British babies picking up American accents from TV, too.

But it's not a bad thing, James explains. When an American adult hears "Mummy" their brain translates it to "Mommy," but little kids don't yet make as concrete a connection. "When a child, two, three or four, is watching a show with a British accent and hears [words] for the first time, they are mapping out the speech and sound for that word in the British way."

So if your baby is oinking at you, calling you "Mummy" or testing out a new pronunciation of "toh-mah-toe," know that this is totally natural, and they're not going to end up with a life-long British pig accent.

As Dr, Susannah Levi, associate professor of communicative sciences and disorders at New York University, tells The Guardian, "it's really unlikely that they'd be acquiring an entire second dialect from just watching a TV show."

It sure is cute though.

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