In reality, nobody knows precisely how giving birth and recovering from it will be for you – because each birth differs, and each individual has his own path to follow from pregnancy, labor, and delivery, all the way up to postpartum recovery. However, you can strive to be as ready as you can be so that at least you can anticipate what’s coming your way.
What It’s Really Like
There are just so many details on pregnancy and even hundreds of advice on how to surpass labor challenges; we don’t know much about postpartum care. Perhaps it’s because each parent who experiences it is in a daze, and it could be not easy and, of course, not fun to discuss. Postpartum talks tend to occur in small, trusted circles.
But it would simply be unfair to ourselves if we decide to ignore these postpartum conversations. So we called and interviewed a few of our most reliable counselors in the area to share their pieces of advice with us so that moms – and dads – can go through their postpartum journey as smoothly as possible.
Coming home from the hospital, things can still be a bit of a haze, so remember these tips if you want to be resilient enough to overcome postpartum blues.
- Energize Yourself. Nourish yourself by eating frequent yet small meals. Avoid too much sugar and drink a lot of water. Also, load up on vitamins to keep your immune system strong and healthy.
- Do Not Ignore The Tears. Tearing is usually seen in mothers who have had vaginal births, about 90% of them, although the rate gets lower for successive births. This is entirely normal and common, and the recovery varies depending on the degree of the tears. Ensure your body is healing by monitoring for pain or fever, as this could mean that an infection is present. You can use cold packs, peri-bottles, pain relievers, and donut-shaped cushions, among others. These are simple yet very useful tools that can help heal your body after giving birth.
- Get Sufficient Amounts Of Sleep. Mental and physical rest is what your body needs after you give birth. To augment your healing, allow other family members to take care of you. Perhaps your eldest daughter can do the cooking, and your teen son can do the cleaning. You’ll need them to do these things to get the rest you need to recover. This is especially important if you are breastfeeding. And since you’re the official baby feeder, maybe dad can do the diaper changing, the swaddling, and more.
- Yes, you need to give your body and mind some rest, but it will also need to move. Start with walks around the neighborhood. This way, you get to see some view, talk to people, and forget about being tired for some time. You can do these two weeks after you’ve given birth. But remember to walk – not run. Listen to your body, and don’t overdo it. And Kegel exercises are always a recommendation.
- Lubricate Down There. Of course, you can’t think about having sex so early after the delivery, but you will eventually want to do it again. Unfortunately, if you are breastfeeding, you will most likely experience vaginal dryness. To avoid this, buy mild lubricants and moisturizers. You can choose from a variety of brands and sizes, and they can be found in supermarkets as well as in pharmacies. Do this by inserting some lubricant in your vagina two to three times weekly. Most moms have tried this and will vouch for their effectiveness.
- Listen To What Your Body Is Telling You. If you feel good, then don’t stop doing what you’re doing. If it doesn’t feel right, then stop it. The guidelines for postpartum exercise, bathing, weight lifting and more, are often subjective. Use your common sense. Walking, exposing yourself to the sun early in the morning, and striving to return to your previous activities are things that don’t guarantee complete recovery with a specific date. But if all these make you feel good about yourself, then it means that your body is benefiting from these activities.
- Visit Your Doctor. Postpartum care ideally encompasses an initial evaluation, either through phone or face-to-face, within the first and third week postpartum to efficiently address severe postpartum problems. This evaluation must be followed through continuous care, ending with a thorough well-woman visit within 12 weeks after giving birth.
Source: everymum. ie
- You Can Always Seek Early Intervention. If you have concerns about anything after just a few days following giving birth, then go ahead and consult your doctor. There is nothing wrong with seeking help early. Your body has just experienced a major change, and caring for it is quite challenging, but it won’t have to be.
- Just Choose Sleep! This is not a joke. If you have an option to do what you need to do, always choose to sleep. It’s the best gift you can give to your body, mind, and spirit.