Postpartum Recovery for Moms: Self-care after Childbirth

Postpartum Recovery for Moms: Self-care after Childbirth

Discover how to take care of yourself and your baby in the critical first weeks after childbirth. Learn about postpartum care, recovery, and wellness.

Many new moms experience postpartum challenges that require physical healing and emotional wellness solutions. This blog offers advice for how you can best navigate those waters post-birth.

Your body requires time and space to recover after giving birth, whether vaginally or cesarean. In order for the uterus to shrink and heal properly, milk to arrive, hormones to balance out etc.

1. Get plenty of rest

After giving birth, rest is one of the most essential steps you can take. While this may be difficult with a newborn in tow, try sleeping when the baby sleeps and avoid any heavy lifting.

Your body has gone through much during pregnancy and childbirth; don’t expect it to come back together immediately after. Be patient, listen to both your physician and body as it makes its return journey.

Some women can return to some normal activities immediately postpartum; others may require several weeks or months before feeling ready to drive or complete household duties. Your doctor can give you guidance as you navigate your recovery period and suggest methods of getting adequate rest.

Night sweats and hot flashes are an unfortunate side effect of postpartum recovery due to hormonal shifts. Staying cool, drinking lots of water and eating foods rich in iron may help these symptoms dissipate faster – but if they persist beyond two or three weeks postpartum, consult your healthcare provider about possible treatment solutions.

2. Eat a healthy diet

Pregnancy, childbirth, and the emotional rollercoaster that is motherhood take their physical toll. Breasts may engorge in pain; constipation may occur; hemorrhoids may flare up; and vaginal episiotomy (cut) procedures can be painfully uncomfortable.

An optimal postpartum recovery requires eating healthily, including plenty of lean protein, whole grains and fruits and vegetables. Steer clear of processed food with extra salt or added sugars. Drink plenty of fluids; water is the preferred choice but some moms may benefit from drinking tea, juice or soda too.

If you are having trouble with bowel movement, start by drinking plenty of water and eating fiber-rich food such as apples, bananas, pears, artichokes or beans. If symptoms continue, visit your physician and request that he prescribe a stool softener medication.

3. Exercise

If your doctor gives the go-ahead, exercise can make a world of difference for new moms. Exercise can help ease sleep deprivation caused by having a newborn while creating feel-good endorphins to lift your mood and manage weight. Many women gain weight during gestation or postpartum recovery periods which is where physical exercise comes in handy!

As long as they are clear from their doctor after six weeks and not experiencing complications, most women can begin low-intensity workout programs at six weeks, including walking, pelvic floor exercises, and abdominal muscle strength work, according to Porsch. Everyone’s recovery timeline differs so listen to what your body tells you as well as consult your healthcare provider regarding what you can and cannot do.

Till then, try getting as much rest as possible and applying ice packs to any swelling in your vagina or vulva to reduce swelling, says The Bump reader Kat28655. If this continues, speak to your physician about anti-inflammatories as Lochia should clear within several weeks and it becomes easier to perform more strenuous workouts and help your pelvic and abdominal muscles regain their strength and return fully to health.

4. Stay connected with your partner

Postpartum can make it challenging to find time for both of you, so try prioritizing your relationship as much as possible – it will not only benefit both of you but will provide your child with an example of healthy romantic relationships.

Communication between partners is also of vital importance in maintaining and strengthening intimacy in relationships. Don’t assume they know your feelings and if there are conflicts or differences of opinion bring it up immediately. Keeping an open line of dialogue will allow you to build stronger bonds within your partnership and restore intimacy over time.

Engage family and friends as a resource when needed; such help could include chores, cooking, babysitting or running errands to allow you more rest. Consider hiring a doula; these trained support individuals are capable of helping with various tasks.

5. Take care of yourself

Over the last nine months, you’ve likely been making preparations for the birth of your new baby: stocking up on essentials, selecting a name and setting up their nursery. Now that she is here, it can be tempting to focus all your energy on her, but it is equally important that you remember yourself during this journey.

Be sure to get plenty of rest and nutritious meals, stay connected with supportive people like your partner and ask for assistance when necessary. It is okay to ask for help when necessary!

As hormonal levels adjust postpartum, some moms can experience “baby blues”. If these mood swings persist and do not improve within a short time frame, seek medical advice immediately. If they seem severe and last beyond several weeks or months.

After giving birth, your pelvis should remain on rest (no sexual relations or tampon use). Sitz baths can help reduce swelling, reduce infection risks and soothe discomfort in both vulva and rectal areas.


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