Most of us are so excited about the birth of our baby that we don’t even consider the difficulties of postpartum recovery, all while looking after a newborn!
Don’t trust what you see on TV, you do not pop back to normal and feel yourself again straight after vaginal delivery – it does take some time, and quite a bit of care, to heal.
Postpartum recovery is not something to be taken lightly, and it is so important to read up and find some great tips to promote a faster postpartum recovery before your baby arrives.
While you will have to go through the discomfort and pain of postpartum discovery, there are some ways to recover quicker, making it easier to care for your newborn!
How To Have A Quick and Easy Postpartum Recovery
1. Wear Comfortable Clothing
You need to make sure that you have some comfortable clothing, and comfortable underwear, to wear while you cover from childbirth.
In some cases, you might have had stitches placed during natural birth, and tight clothing will not only irritate and possibly damage these stitches, but they will just be so uncomfortable to wear.
This is the perfect opportunity to throw on your favorite sweat pants and ditch the tight leggings and skinny jeans. Choose clothing that will not rub against your crotch, and which has space to comfortably fit a maternity pad.
You could even wear maternity clothes until you are better healed, otherwise loose pants and some full-cover underwear are perfect.
2. Have Your Postpartum Kit Ready Before
Once you hit your third trimester, you want to have all your postpartum essentials purchased and ready to go.
Some hospitals do provide a couple of goodies for you to take home. It does help in making postpartum recovery faster, but (at most) it was only a three-day supply.
3. Keep Clean And Dry
Keeping yourself clean, especially your vagina and surrounding areas is the best, and most important, way to a quicker recovery. You have to keep up with cleanliness during the recovery process. It might seem like a lot of extra work, but without it, you could land up with infections.
Clean after using the toilet – Purchase a perineal bottle from your clinic and use it to clean downstairs every time you go to the toilet. It should clean both your front and back and should be used with every toilet visit.
A perineal bottle is so important to have ready to use at home, as it is recommended that you stay away from toilet paper for a while. It might rip and stick to your stitches or really hurt when used.
Sitz bath – Having a sitz bath is one of the best ways to ensure you are clean postpartum. Make sure your bathtub is properly cleaned before running the water and adding in ½ cup of Epsom salt. This helps keep the area clean and soothe any pain as well.
If you don’t want to get in the bath, you could rinse yourself or wipe yourself down with a sitz bath solution over the tub as well.
Keep dry – Try and ensure that the area stays dry while you are healing. This helps to eliminate moisture, which could end up leading to infections. Once you have washed or used a perineal spray, gently pat the area dry with a clean towel. Do not rub the area.
4. Keep Using Your Pregnancy Pillow At Night
Now that your baby is home, you will be waking up during the night for feeds and cuddles, and those few hours you get to actually sleep are going to be so precious.
Your pregnancy pillow will help alleviate pressure off of your lower half, and hopefully reduce pain when you sleep, making the most of the few hours you get to rest.
5. Sit Using A Doughnut Pillow
Sitting down is not going to be the same for a while, and you will be so thankful to have a doughnut pillow to soften the pressure of sitting down. Along with stitches, you might also be dealing with hemorrhoids and tears, and keeping as much pressure off the area as possible really helps
A doughnut pillow leaves the area affected by childbirth suspended, while still giving you support when sitting down.
If you don’t want to purchase a doughnut pillow, you could always ask friends if they have one you could use for a few weeks, or look to buy one secondhand.
6. Do Abdominal Massages
Abdominal massages work wonders and do help to quicken recovery. The massaging helps to release any blood which is still in your uterus, and by doing this, it reduces the risk of infection and other issues.
It also helps to get your uterus back to its original size, by shrinking it and lowering it, back to how it was before you fall pregnant.
You can practice abdominal massage when lying in bed or even during your sitz bath.
7. Avoid Sex
This is important, so much so that your doctor will most likely drill it into your head as well.
Everyone heals at their own pace, so generally, it is recommended that you wait 6 weeks before having any type of sexual contact. Some might need longer than this, some might be ready before. It is best to listen to your body and speak to your doctor.
Postpartum sex and sexual intercourse will probably not feel the same for quite some time either, your body has been through a huge amount of change, and will need some time to get used to things again. Sex too early will only cause more damage and pain, and even risk infection.
8. Use Postpartum Girdles
Postpartum girdles and stomach ties have been used for many generations. The belief is that the girdles or ties put pressure on the abdomen and compress it, which helps your uterus to shrink back to its original size earlier.
You can purchase some great postpartum girdles online that help with recovery and support, but something simple works as well.
9. Eat Well And Exercise
A well-balanced diet gives your body all it needs to recover properly, and your body will have a lot of recovering to do!
Eating the right foods will also help improve digestion and bowel movement, which many moms battle with after birth.
When it comes to exercise, only do very light exercises such as kegel exercises, which help to strengthen your pelvic muscles.
10. Rest And Take Things Slow
Try to get as much rest as possible (with a newborn at home) in the first few weeks after delivery. You need to give your body the time it needs to heal. Avoid rushing around and putting too much pressure on yourself to be busy all the time.
While you shouldn’t exactly sit on the couch for six weeks straight, do things at your own pace and take things slow.
Go for a walk in the park with your baby a few times a week, and just enjoy the time at home with your precious new baby.
Don’t be scared to ask for help from family and friends.
You have quite literally created life! And although your journey is just beginning, you deserve some TLC.
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