Congratulations! You are now officially a Mom, you had a baby. But now what? Most mamas are not aware of postpartum recovery, especially first-time moms. I was lucky enough to work with my midwife for our first & second babies. They gave a whole new perspective & importance of postpartum recovery that helped me with fast recovery from giving birth. Most importantly the tips & secrets to help in the fast recovery process.
That being said, Please NOTE: I am not a doctor or any healthcare professional. And this is not a piece of medical advice. I highly suggest you speak to your healthcare provider and do your own research before using any of the below recommendations. I personally did extensive research and made educated choices that may not be right for everyone.
The need to understand the importance of Recovery after giving birth
Labour is an incredibly taxing experience and takes a huge toll on the mother’s body. Instead of pushing mamas to be active and running around, we should ask them to sit back & relax. She just had a baby! My midwife was very understanding and told us about the importance of postpartum care. For starters, she had a conversation with my husband & family and set expectations on what to expect during the days after childbirth.
Being a first-time mom with my girl I was more enthusiastic to get back to a normal routine within weeks after baby. Although I was given the basic education on the importance of postpartum care by my midwife, I was not fully prepared for the routine under midwifery care. With my second baby, I was more cautious and prepared for my recovery well in advance even before giving birth. No matter how easy or quick the labour was, taking care of yourself after the baby is of great importance & it definitely makes a huge difference.
So let’s dive into the details of postpartum care tips & secrets:
1. How can I speed up healing after giving birth?
It might sound simple & old fashioned but most of us forget to follow the rest routine. I am not talking about “sleep when the baby sleeps” crap, genuinely get as much rest as you can. Don’t go anywhere, don’t do anything for the first 10 days after the baby is born. Stay in your bed, lay down or recline as much as you can, and let everyone take care of everything else.
Your body went through an intense process and is now trying to rearrange your organs after birth. All this takes time and the best way to help your body is by giving it rest. Do not roll your eyes for this old fashioned tip. Honestly, I did not follow the rest routine with my first baby as I was excited to get back to my normal life. I realized the importance of rest when I was overwhelmed and my body started to hurt, delaying the recovery from giving birth.
Lesson learned, did the exact opposite with my second baby. I planned well in advance & prepared my family to function without me for at least for first 10 days. All I did was eat, sleep, feed the baby & repeat. I totally see the difference in myself when compared with first & second postpartum care.
2. Keeping it clean helps in quick healing
Do not forget to shower every day, because there are open wounds down there, and staying clean help. This might sound like a lot to do when you have a hungry baby sucking all the energy out & you instead would be happy to rest, but staying clean down there help avoid infections. My midwife also suggested using a sitz bath 3-4 times a day for optimal benefits. And of course, we all know about Peri bottles’ help in recovery from giving birth.
3. Benefit from Kegels during recovery from giving birth
Kegels exercise helps in perineal healing, strengthens pelvic muscles, and also helps in regaining bladder control. The best thing about Kegels is it can be done anywhere and everywhere and no one will know that you are doing it 😉. Well, I was told about all this in my prenatal yoga class. But only realized when I actually tried once during my postpartum recovery.
4. Airing it Out gives instant relief
Here is the fun stuff. I am not kidding. The best way to a speedy recovery from giving birth is to let it all hang out as often as possible. Open-air helps in healing. This is a great recommendation during the initial days of breastfeeding as well, as you will be sore. The best way to do this is by choosing a particular time in a day to shoo everyone away and have your personal time alone without feeling awkward. Also, keep some bed pads handy during this time. I chose to do it during noon while the baby napped and had no visitors coming during that time. Try this & you will thank me later.
5. Heat/ Cold Packs helps to relieve soreness
Another most helpful tip. Keep Ice packs & heating pads handy. I regularly used them, especially while breastfeeding during the initial days. Also, some padsicles or ice packs down there do magic. They give instant relief. It can be at your bedside and you do not have to worry about running to the freezer.
6. Limiting Guests help you relax
This one is really hard. And I feel it is up to each individual family to decide. Some need extra company & some need privacy. The main thing is not to overdo & stress about it. If you are living out of town & need someone to visit during the initial days and stay for a while, choose wisely if that individual will be a good fit or adds stress. Do not be sorry to prioritize your rest over the guests.
Do not feel sorry to ask friends not to visit during the initial month while you and the baby are adjusting to each other.
If you are someone like me, you would do all your shopping well ahead of time and would not want to stress about essentials after the baby. By essentials I mean – Diapers, Maternity pads, breast pads, Toiletries, warm blankets, cosy slippers, a book, Snack boxes next to your bed for the first few hungry nights, Water (Make sure you drink 8-16 oz a day to keep yourself hydrated). Read about all the essentials that helped with recovery from giving birth here.
8. How should I lie down after giving birth?
This. was. the. the best advice I ever got. And I am really thankful to my midwife for telling me about it. The initial days are very demanding for the baby to breastfeed. The expectation was to nurse every 2 hours. It took a while for me to get comfortable the very first time and I was struggling. Side-lying was a great tip. The baby was fed while I got my needed rest lying down sidewards.
9. Belly Band & Pain killers
I recently learned that the after pains get worse with subsequent babies. The day after giving birth to my second baby was the worst. I felt like I am having contractions all over again. And it continued up to 5 days until things got back to normal. Nothing really helps other than pain killers to manage these contractions. Tying a belly band did help in managing some cramps especially while breastfeeding.
Well, hopefully, you learned a few tips for postpartum recovery from the experience listed above. Labour is hard work, don’t be ashamed to get your rest. And do not repeat the mistakes I did. Depending on the person, health & the difficulty of labour you may need less or more time to recover from giving birth.
All you need to do is LISTEN TO YOUR BODY.
Last but not least – if you find this post helpful, do share it across with other moms & pin it to your board to read later. Let’s spread the word about recovery from giving birth. Thank you!❤️