10 Top Tips for Postnatal Recovery
10 Top Tips
for Postpartum Recovery
The weeks and months after the birth of your baby can be a roller coaster of hormone fluctuations, sleep deprivation and navigating life as a new parent. All the same, time the body is still physically healing from the marathon that is birth!
Whether you’ve had a vaginal delivery or C-section, recovery is a vital part of your birth journey. Of course, many of us can take longer than the standard 6-12 weeks to recover – your body will need adequate time to repair after having stretched to accommodate the baby. Here are a few gems that helped us during the recovery period:
Be prepared for the heavy bleeding – Don’t be alarmed by the amount of blood you lose after giving birth, also known as ‘lochia’. This is your womb shedding after all of those months period-free, it had to come to an end at some point! Use maternity pants in the early days or pads to stay protected from leaks. Also ,keep your iron stores up with leafy green veggies and keep drinking water.
Perineal Recovery – Your perineum (vagina, vulva and surrounding tissues) are likely to feel very swollen and sore after birth. Take care of any stitches or grazing with a witch hazel solution or Perineal spray which can soothe inflammation and relieve any stinging or itching. You can also make your own padsicles – a cold pack for your tender parts, yes it’s a real thing.
Recovering from C-Section – It can take a significant amount of time to recover from a C- section, take it slow but also try to move about as soon as you feel ready to. Keep your wound clean and keep a close eye on your stitches for any signs of infection.
Using the loo– The first postpartum bathroom trips! We’ve all been there – peeing can really sting if you’ve had any grazing or tears, so dilute the flow of urine with a Peri bottle. Fill it up with warm water, rinse and aahhhhh….get you some relief! Now, for the number two’s… passing a stool may seem like an impossible task after stitches or pushing, however, the sooner you do the better. We promise you’ll survive. Drink plenty of fluids to prevent constipation and fibre-rich foods. Don’t shy away from stool softeners if necessary.
Have a sitz bath – A warm, shallow bath or sitz pan with a herbal or Epsom salt soak can feel like the ultimate relief once you’ve given birth. It can also encourage the healing process and increase your circulation.
Squeeze that Pelvic Floor –Our pelvic floor muscles can become really stretched after carrying the weight of our babies, so try to do pelvic floor exercises as soon as you can. This will encourage blood flow to the area and also begin to strengthen your pelvic floor – that means less leaking when laughing or coughing!
Drink up – We lose a lot of fluids after giving birth from bleeding, sweating and breastfeeding if you decide to. It’s so important to stay hydrated, which will also optimise our recovery.
Nourish Your body – It’s tempting to eat junk and snack when you have little or no time to cook, but you want as much energy as possible to encourage your body to heal. If you are able to, prepare wholesome cooked meals before the baby arrives or request that any visitors to bring a dish! It can be as easy as a chicken soup or vegetable broth – meals that are nutritious and easy to digest are ideal.
Rest – Easier said than done, but honestly, if you can lie in bed with baby whilst feeding or at any other opportunity as opposed to tackling chores, do it! Your body needs as much energy stores as possible to nurture baby and heal itself.
Be Kind to Yourself – Don’t pressure yourself to get back to your usual state, you just created a human you Superwoman! It’s also important to highlight that it’s not simply a process of physical recovery, but equally, a mental and emotional one so be kind and compassionate to yourself.