Postpartum Recovery

During the days and weeks after the delivery of your baby (postpartum period), your body will change as it returns to its nonpregnant condition. As with pregnancy changes, postpartum changes are different for every woman.

In less than a year, you conceived, developed and delivered a beautiful, living creature. To perform this feat your body underwent some tremendous changes. Even after birth, you’ll experience more.

To help you recover from a postpartum we list listed down below 7 useful tips:

Limit your visitors
You will not get this time back. Use it to bond as a family, seek help with breastfeeding. Skin to skin is the best bonding tool! We want to help you succeed with breastfeeding. You can press your call light for every feeding if you need to. Your baby needs your love and protection. You are your baby’s primary advocate. Not all mothers’ choose to or are able to breastfeed. How you feed your baby is your decision and your nurse will support you. Ask visitors to wait until you’ve been home for at least a couple weeks. Settle in, recover. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If someone wants to visit, ask them to leave their little ones at home.

Plan to rest
This doesn’t mean sleeping, necessarily, but it means laying/sitting quietly for as much of the day as you possibly can the first couple of weeks to a month. Use this time to catch up on reading, nursing/bonding with your newborn, writing in your journal, catching up on phone calls, blogging or other writing projects, starting your baby book, etc.

Regaining a healthy weight and shape
Both pregnancy and labor can affect a woman’s body. After giving birth you will lose about 10 pounds right away and a little more as body fluid levels decrease. Don’t expect or try to lose additional pregnancy weight right away. Gradual weight loss over several months is the safest way, especially if you are breastfeeding. Nursing mothers can safely lose a moderate amount of weight without affecting their milk supply or their babies’ growth.

A healthy eating plan along with regular physical fitness might be all you need to return to a healthy weight. If you are not losing weight or losing weight too slowly, cut back on foods with added sugars and fats, like soft drinks, desserts, fried foods, fatty meats, and alcohol. Keep in mind, nursing mothers should avoid alcohol. By cutting back on “extras,” you can focus on healthy, well-balanced food choices that will keep your energy level up and help you get the nutrients you and your baby need for good health. Make sure to talk to your doctor before you start any type of diet or exercise plan.

Postnatal exercises
Postnatal exercises will help to tone up the muscles of your pelvic floor and tummy, and help you get your usual shape back. They will also get you moving and feeling generally fitter. You may be able to attend a postnatal exercise class at your hospital. Ask your midwife or health visitor.

Handle Hemorrhoids
Some women experience hemorrhoids—swollen veins in and around the anus and rectum—after birth. The surrounding tissue can become uncomfortable and make bowel movements painful. To ease the pain, soak in a warm tub often. It also helps to avoid constipation by adding fiber and plenty of fluids to your diet. Ask your doctor about using a stool softener or topical hemorrhoid cream.

Be Aware of Your Emotions
Feeling down, depressed or anxious? The “baby blues” are common after giving birth. Many women temporarily feel this way because they are overwhelmed by the changes to their lives. It’s normal and understandable. But if your sadness doesn’t go away within two weeks, don’t keep symptoms to yourself. Talk with your doctor. You may be suffering from postpartum depression, and treatment is available.

Give yourself a break
Sit at the bottom of the shower and cry if you need to every now and then, parenting is hard work. Learning to breastfeed is hard work and so is incorporating another member into your family. Sleep deprivation and shifting hormones will, in fact, make you feel crazy at times but it will get better. You will find your new norm. It’s not all cute onesies and hair bows, it’s more like poopy onesies and newborn rashes, and that’s ok.