So, 40+ weeks and far too many hours of labor to count later, you’re finally a mother. Congratulations! Now you’re well and truly in the last stage of your pregnancy and baby journey – postpartum. Sadly, postpartum recovery doesn’t seem to get as much coverage as conception and pregnancy does. Perhaps because it’s not as glamorous; it’s uncomfortable, women are getting used to their new bodies and with a small baby to look after, your priorities aren’t always on yourself.
Postpartum recovery usually brings up lots more questions and concerns, and it’s natural to want to get back to normal as soon as possible after giving birth. However, it’s important to remember that your body took a long 9 months to grow your little one, so it’s not realistic to expect it to simply snap back to normal. Despite what those celebrity moms and online influencers look like!
To give you a little guidance, I’ve gathered my top 5 postpartum recovery tips that will help get you through this last stage of pregnancy and birth.
Did the birth go to plan?
Sadly, not everyone’s birth goes to plan, and complications arising due to the negligence of the medical team involved isn’t unheard of – click here for cerebral palsy lawyers – if you’re currently recovering from a mishandled birth, a birth injury or your baby has suffered life-changing injuries due to issues in labor or during your pregnancy, then it’s advisable to reach out to an attorney to discuss your situation. Don’t suffer in silence.
Don’t be afraid of your first bowel movement
Let’s be honest, that first bowel movement after you’ve given birth is a terrifying thought. You don’t want to hurt yourself! However, there’s very little to be afraid of and it’s actually a good sign that everything is working as it should. Make sure you’re eating plenty of foods that are rich in fiber or use stool softeners (check with your midwife if you’re on medication) if you’re concerned. It won’t happen straight away so be patient, let it happen naturally!
Look after your breasts
Whether you’re breastfeeding or not, it’s important to take care of your breasts during postpartum. They can quickly become swollen, tight and you may even contract mastitis – an incredibly painful inflammation of the mammary gland. Make sure you’re wearing a comfortable and supportive nursing bra (they’re softer than underwired) 24hours a day. If your breasts are painful and engorged, avoid handling them and use a cold flannel to relieve the swelling. You can also use breast ice packs to relieve the pain.
Just because your baby is no longer sharing your meals, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be eating well. A good diet has never been more important than in postpartum recovery. When you eat plenty of fruits, veggies and get all the minerals and vitamins you need, you can help combat fatigue and keep constipation at bay. Giving you more energy. It’s important to keep yourself hydrated too.
Move your body
This depends entirely on the recommendations of your midwife. Usually, if you’ve had a vaginal birth with no complications, 6 weeks is often when the all-clear is given to reintroduce exercise. But of course, double-check with your midwife. And if you’ve had a C- section then exercise is strictly off the table!