The first few weeks postpartum are not something you typically think about, but thinking about it may be the best way to be proactive about preventing postpartum challenges and slowly ease you into parenting. With a little bit of information, you might feel a bit more confident in what to expect when you get baby home.
What should you expect in the first few weeks postpartum?
The early postpartum period requires rest, healthy and balanced diet, a slower pace to life, and physical and emotional support.
Soreness: It is perfectly normal to be sore after having a baby. You are going to be sore just about everywhere, especially if you had stitches or hemorrhoids after giving birth. We suggest a lot of rest, bathing routinely, and good healthy foods to help recover from birth. Here are a few items to have stocked at home before baby arrives to help with soreness: Witch hazel soaked pads/padsicles, herbal sitz bath, and a peri bottle.
Constipation: You went through a lot, and your body is trying to readjust and gain control again. Don’t be alarmed if you are experiencing gas or constipation. Here are a few items to have stocked at home before baby arrives to help with constipation: Increased water intake, stool softener and fruits & veggies. fruits & veggies are your friend. A healthy balanced diet will help keep you regular. Avoid dietary sugars, simple carbs, and be cautious with pain medications.
Breastfeeding: After a couple of days, your breasts will start to produce milk for your newborn, but sometimes it can take a while before you feel truly comfortable with your nursing routine. Your breasts will fill & empty with your baby’s feeding patterns, but do not hesitate to seek help from our midwife or our team of lactation consultants at The Nest. Here are a few items to have stocked at home before baby arrives to help with breastfeeding: robe instead of clothes for easy nursing access, nursing bras, or sports bras for easy nursing, natural nipple cream or simple coconut oil. Some moms set up a nursing area in their home prior to giving birth. A nursing area usually includes a comfortable chair, stool, a few pillows, some books, and maybe some snacks.
Diet: When you are nursing you should be consuming around 300 extra calories per day. In the beginning, you might feel very hungry as you adjust to sustaining your baby’s only source of nourishment and that is perfectly normal! Just make sure you are eating a healthy and balanced diet.
Emotional changes: Your hormones are in flux after giving birth and mood disorders are real and show up for many women in the postpartum period. Sleep is EXTREMELY important. If you start to feel “off” or “not yourself” please contact your midwife immediately.
What can you do to help yourself postpartum?
The most important thing you can do is to take care of yourself. You cannot pour from an empty cup. It is important that you get a lot of rest, healthy meals, and a little bit of “me” time everyday. If you need help, ask for it. Whether you need dinner, a few minutes to take a bath, or you want your partner to fill up your water cup while you are nursing. If you feel you need help from a professional with questions about your own personal health, you can always call our midwives. If you have questions about breastfeeding, or you just need support from other nursing moms, The Nest has some incredible programs for you. The most important thing to know about the postpartum period is that you are not alone. Lean on your friends, family, and community support groups.