Postpartum Care: Tips for the Recovery Process
During your pregnancy, you’re surrounded by tons of different pieces of information, but the only thing you need to worry about is your baby. Most women do that without thinking about getting back home from the hospital, but you should also focus on the consequences of your labor as well. Sometimes your doctor will walk you through all of the stages of your postpartum recovery, and sometimes you’ll have to deal with all of the changes on your own.
Find time to sleep
Sleep is a big part of any type of recovery and it’s crucial after going through one of the most exhausting experiences of your life. You need to rest whenever your baby’s sleeping, and this is the golden rule all parents should remember, especially the mother. Whether you’ve had a C-section or natural birth, it’s important to let your body heal and regain energy, and the best way to do that is by resting and sleeping.
Ask your partner and family members to help you with your chores – from making lunch to walking the baby – so you can find time for a nap. Just keep in mind that your baby can sense your exhaustion, so if you’re tired and cranky, your baby might get fussy as well and turn into a very nervous infant.
Proper care of the perineum
Sometimes during the labor, perineum tears and this can be painful especially if your doctor wants you to start walking soon after the delivery or a C-section. This pain is unpleasant and it can prevent you from making yourself comfortable by lying or sitting. In order to make this problem go away quickly, you need to take proper postpartum care of this area of your body.
If there’s an opportunity to do that in the hospital, ask for an ice pack to cool down the area and just make sure to wrap it in towels. Aside from that, there are different medical sprays that can soothe the pain and allow you to keep the area sterile and clean to prevent any bacteria from getting in contact with your wound. When it comes to sitting, use a special pillow for this situation as these will provide you with the right support and shift the focus away from the wounded area.
Eat healthy meals
One of the biggest sources of energy in our body is food and many new moms make a mistake by eating everything they couldn’t eat during the pregnancy. You’ll still struggle with gaining weight which can take up to even a year to lose, so make sure you switch to a healthy diet straight away.
Increase your intake of whole grains, proteins, vegetables, and fruit, but don’t forget to think about portion size as well. Don’t be afraid if you experience fatigue and constipation, but try your best to overcome these problems with proper nutrition. Drink plenty of fluids, especially if you’re breastfeeding, and remind yourself why it’s important to pay attention to beverages that have lots of added sugar.
You’ve probably already heard about the importance of Kegel exercises during your third trimester and why it’s important to do these to prepare for the delivery. During your postpartum care, you need to make sure you work on regaining your muscle strength, and this is where these exercises might come in handy.
What you need to do is to make yourself comfortable and try to relax because this is something you can do whenever you can. These exercises consist of repetitive contractions of your pelvic muscles which will help you control your urination flow. You have to start doing this from the first day of your postpartum because it will help you relax and get in control of your bladder activity.
Body changes and effects
You probably read about how to start breastfeeding or have a doula to help you get started, but you need to be prepared for what comes with feeding your baby this way. Many new moms experience different pain during or after breastfeeding if they position the baby improperly, and this is something you need to work on too.
Different moms and different babies like different positions, and you need to find one that’s comfortable for both of you. This will allow you to see and hear your baby, assess whether it’s eating or sleeping and whether it’s latching properly. All of these things will prevent your baby from rupturing your nipples and if it comes to that, there are compresses that could help you ease the pain.
Postpartum is when you’ll go through so many changes and you need to assure yourself that you’re doing your best. Many moms struggle with different types of depression due to hormone changes, so ask for help if you’re feeling overwhelmed or not in a good mood.