While the chaos of labor might be over, the whirlwind of the postpartum period is just beginning. For about 6-8 weeks after giving birth, recovery will be a top priority. From everything healing to adapting to motherhood, we know you will need top-notch home care tactics to help you along with a speedy and healthy postpartum recovery. Keep reading for an overview on the key postpartum tips for new moms.
Whether it is caring for tears or scars, you will need the right tools and postpartum recovery tips. Talk to your doctor about the necessary protocols for you to follow after birth to work towards recovery. If you have a C-section scar, be sure to follow those recommendations and have the right tools for gentle cleaning and antibiotic ointment. For breast tenderness and pain you might need both warm and cold compresses as well as nipple cream and practicing gentle massages and frequent breastfeeding or pumping.
For vaginal soreness, opt for ice packs and sit on a ring shaped pad or pillow. You might also need maxi pads, a peri bottle to ease the discomfort of urinating while promoting cleansing, and a sitz bath to cleanse, relieve itchiness, reduce swelling, and help with hemorrhoids. You will likely also need over the counter pain relievers, stool softeners, and most certainly, comfortable clothing. Whatever tools you need, do your best to prioritize comfort and monitor symptoms while keeping open communication with your personal and medical support systems.
Giving birth is exhausting, and so is having a brand new baby up during the night. It might seem like an impossibility, but getting enough sleep is essential for a speedy recovery. In fact, prioritizing rest is one of the most important things you can do after birth to promote recovery and help you stay fit to care for your new baby.
Perhaps one of the best postpartum tips for new moms is an oldie but a goody. Do your best to sleep when your baby is sleeping and take help from others whenever you can to catch up on as much missed sleep as possible. Even just a few minutes here and there can accumulate and become a very valuable source of extra rest. Consider dividing roles with your partner or another loved one where you are responsible for feeding and they are responsible for soothing your little one during the night. Splitting responsibilities can make it easier for you to get the rest you need.
While you’re still going to need to take it slow and avoid any strenuous activities for a while, movement is an excellent way to relieve stress and improve energy. Talk to your doctor about starting to move more and beginning to exercise postpartum. Once you have the approval, you might want to start scheduling it in. Gentle exercise like walking and yoga can be a great way to start. Be sure to avoid heavy lifting and ask for help whenever you need it around the house.
After giving birth vaginally, your body is almost definitely going to need tender, loving postpartum home care to recover to its fullest. Pelvic floor exercises, such as Kegels, performed daily can help the vagina and perineum heal and go back to their original shape after stretching during birth. It can be very helpful to see a specialist or talk to your doctor for directions on how to prioritize these exercises for healing and the best possible daily functioning.
With all of the chaos of bringing a new baby home, and the new responsibility of feeding, nourishing the body is more important than ever. Maintaining a healthy diet is key to recovery, relieving symptoms like constipation and fatigue, but also breastfeeding, and being able to take care of the baby. It can be difficult to remember to eat sometimes, so make it a priority and create a schedule if you need to.
While you might feel motivated to lose any additional pregnancy weight, it is absolutely crucial to avoid unhealthy weight loss diets. Losing weight too quickly can be problematic for you and even your baby. So, focus on eating enough quality foods to keep you and your baby healthy. Talk to your doctor about the proper diet for you. Perhaps consider lowering fat and sugar intake and taking vitamins. Be sure to focus on eating fruits and vegetables with healthy proteins and carbohydrates. Don’t forget! One of our top postpartum tips for new moms is to stay hydrated. Drinking additional fluids is necessary to accommodate breastfeeding and keep your new baby happy and healthy.
Once you get home with your newborn, it is time to assess the situation. You will need help and that is ok! Don’t be afraid to ask for it. Whether it is a partner, sibling, parent, friend, or professional, you will need helpers to assist you with recovery and provide your baby with any additional care. Figure out your team or support system and start dividing responsibilities. Maybe you need help cleaning, grocery shopping, or soothing your little one. Remember, you need to prioritize resting too!
Keep in mind that it is totally normal to feel overwhelmed, tired, and even anxious. It is a lot to adjust to with a new baby at home and hormone levels dropping after delivery. Postpartum home care goes beyond the physical to include the mental and emotional too. Keep an eye on whether the baby blues become something more. If it starts to last longer than a few days or weeks and if symptoms become more severe talk to someone. Keep your personal and medical support systems involved with how you are doing. If you suspect postpartum depression, getting treatment as soon as possible can be crucial.
At Coastal Kids Pediatrics, we are here every step of the way to make sure your baby has the best health and care possible. While you prioritize your postpartum home care and recovery after the birth of your child, let us help you prioritize your newborn, too. To make your first appointment, visit us at www.coastalkids.com. We look forward to meeting you and your new baby!