Postpartum Tips to Help with Healing & Recovery
The truth is, the postpartum period can be hard. No matter how you give birth, your body will need time to recover, both physically and emotionally from the experience. Every mom’s timeline for healing is different and will require their own unique care plan. Having a strong team of healthcare professionals that you trust as well as being properly prepared in advance can help make your recovery significantly easier. At Celebrate Birth, personalized postpartum care is an important part of our practice. Our comprehensive postpartum care lasts for 6 weeks following the birth of your new little one, allowing us plenty of time to monitor your progress on the road to complete recovery.
Here are some tips to help you on your postpartum journey, helping you get back to your new normal; stronger, healthier, and better than ever!
- Make a postpartum care kit.
Before going into labor, have a postpartum bathroom kit that is stocked and ready to go with items to help keep you comfortable. You will be thankful that you put it together ahead of time when you’re in the early sleep-deprived weeks of your recovery! A peri bottle for rinsing while using the bathroom is a must-have, especially if you are sensitive from tearing or abrasions that happened during the birth. As your uterus heals from where the placenta detached, you will have quite a bit of bleeding in the following weeks so you’ll also want to be sure you have plenty of maxi pads on hand – overnight ones will work best. Even better: use them to line adult diapers for added comfort and protection from leaks.
- Try ice or heat therapy.
During the first week, you may be dealing with some pain and swelling around your vaginal area. Within the first 24 hours, icing the area may help you feel more comfortable. You can try placing a “padsicle” in your underwear, which is just a pad soaked in water or witch hazel and frozen ahead of time. (Here are instructions for making your own padsicles!) This can help decrease the inflammation and reduce your pain, but we do not advise them to be used beyond the first day of recovery. After the first 24 hours, turn to heat therapy for healing instead. A heating pad is excellent not only for sitting on but also to apply to other areas of your body that might be tense or stressed.
- Drink plenty of fluids.
Your body will lose quite a bit of blood during labor and it will need plenty of fluids to rehydrate. Staying hydrated is also important for breastfeeding as it will help establish a strong milk supply. Keep a full water bottle near you at all times and drink from it often, especially while you are feeding your baby. You’ll be happy to see that you and baby are both getting your fluids at the same time!
- Take it easy.
Following the birth, your body’s circulatory system will be working hard to regulate itself. This may cause fluctuations in your blood pressure and sugar levels, and because of this we advise that you do not plan on driving for the first two weeks; have your partner or a friend or family member drive you to your pediatrician and postpartum appointments. Then, for the following two to four weeks we recommend limited activity, staying at home as much as possible. Too much movement can increase your blood pressure which could prohibit effective healing and add to your discomfort. Giving your body the proper time to rest will help speed up your recovery process.
- Eat well.
Do you have friends or family that will be bringing you meals once your baby has arrived? Even if you already know that a meal train will be set up for you, it’s a good idea to start stocking up on freezer meals and healthy non-perishable snacks ahead of time. Good nutrition was an important part of your pregnancy but the benefits don’t stop there! Your eating habits will impact how well you recover in the postpartum period.
- Surround yourself with a solid support system.
Who will be available to help? Make a list of everyone you will be able to call upon in your time of need. This support system should be ready to help with meals, grocery runs, watching the baby while you nap or shower, or even simply visiting with you at home. The postpartum period can be lonely for some people and a visit from a friend might be just what you need to boost your spirits. Just remember to set boundaries for all helpers, making sure you let them know what you are comfortable with in regards to touching or holding the baby, asking them to call before coming over, and letting them know how long you would like them to stay.
We are always here to help you during your postpartum recovery. If you are having a challenge, we want to be part of the solution. If you would like to learn more about our postpartum care, give us a call or send us a message, and we would be happy to talk with you!