Hi guys, before I start writing about postnatal fitness, fashion, nutrition or how to loose the baby fat, today I will be talking to you about the most basic postnatal care, tips and tricks, that will help make your recovery a little bit easier. I realized that almost everybody talks about pregnancy week to week then they prep you for labor a little bit but they don’t talk to you about post-natal recovery much. New moms need all the extra care they can get because childbirth is really demanding both physically ,mentally and physiologically. For those who have had a smooth recovery from child birth, props to you guys! But for those of you who have a hard time or its your first pregnancy, I hope these tips would give you a general view of what its like so that you are not caught off-guard.
Quick disclaimer, these are things that I have noticed and found out from other women. You could have a totally different recovery but from the research i have done, this is pretty standard for most women.
So the first thing I’m going to talk about is pain. As far as pain goes, I guess it’s safe to say that it comes with the territory when it comes to postnatal recovery. Just incase you had no idea, most women still feel contractions the first couple days after giving birth and theses can be painful. Contractions during breastfeeding are as a result of the uterus being pulled back to normal state so somehow the sucking from the baby tells the body to recover. I am not saying that if you don’t breastfeed you won’t recover, but it is faster when breastfeeding. Feeding your baby kind of makes your uterus shrink so don’t panic, your body is going back to normal. When this happens, my advice is to use the same breathing techniques you used during labor. Breath and put your mind where it needs to be.
As far as pain management goes, aside from any pain pills you may have been prescribed at the hospital, wear loose underwear, it will make a difference. You will be wearing pads for couple days after labor due to the discharge coming out. So when you wear more fitting underwear, it pushes the pad up closer against your skin and therefore increase the pain. Looser underwear keeps things looser down there!
After a few days, you would feel better and want to do some chores around the house or start walking. Relax you will have all the time in the world!. Making yourself very active very soon after birth might get you sharp pains under there and you don’t want that, right? I recommend that you limit your activity at least for the first couple of days because pain and bleeding will get stronger with activity. Your body went through a major process and needs to recover. So keep that in mind, you may feel great but you still need to go easy on yourself. You know your body more than anyone else and recovery is different with different women. Be aware of your body and how it reacts to activity. Some women feel better as soon as 5 days but some take longer.
For postnatal back pain it is not uncommon. Most moms feel pain in the lower back especially when they bend due to it being out of shape. Do some stretches accompanied with breathing techniques and it will fade. I will post about postnatal stretches and exercise in the next article.
Bleeding oh the glorious bleeding of postnatal! You didn’t have your period for almost 10 months so you are going to have to make up for lost time. Don’t be shocked, just know it will end. At first it’s really heavy bleeding because its essentially a wound. You just had a baby and gave birth to the placenta as well so now there’s a big wound there and all that blood, discharge and fluid has to come out. Then the second stage of bleeding is lighter discharge. It might feel like its never going to end literally. No girl, it ends. You will be okay, have some patience, take care of yourself and feel better soon.
When you pee after birth, you can’t just wipe your pad too so you may not feel super clean. Make sure to use warm water to keep things fresh down there. You can also use baby wipes to pat it down or mom panties, the ones that come with a pad. They are stretchy and comfortable.
When using sanitary pads, change it every time before it gets full. This might feel wasteful but its not since you are taking care of yourself and hygiene. There’s so much coming out and you don’t want bacteria to grow. Trust me, the last thing you want is an infection on your lady-parts when recovering. Shower and clean yourself every single day as hard as it may be. I know when you’ve had a baby and people are in and out of your house it could be hard to find a few minutes to shower but you don’t want to get in and out of the shower immediately because it beats the purpose. So as hard as it may be, take your time to make yourself feel clean. In my community, a woman recovering from child birth showers very early in the morning and in the evening using very very hot water. It helps with pain as well as recovery.
breastfeeding & booby milk
I know that breastfeeding and booby milk in general is something that varies from mom to mom. For some,when the milk first comes in, the boobs feel really big and hard and this crazy sensation can hurt a bit. Then,they will start brewing and there is free milk. If the pain is too unbearable and you are thinking,holy crap! Wrap them in warm packs when they are hard and ice-packs when milk is already flowing and let them sit there. You can also wrap the packs to the side too because sometimes milk may come through there too. Second piece of advice, get your husband/boyfriend to massage them, or learn to do it on your own it really helps with lifting pain.
The first few days you will be leaking especially if you have a good milk supply, you can even wake up in a puddle of milk. So invest in good nursing pads especially to sleep in as they will prevent the milk from staining your bed sheets. Nursing gowns are also good for postnatal belly and great for nursing. They give you ease of access which comes in handy compared to a t-shirt where you have to pull it up every time you feed your baby. Lastly, whatever breast you don’t feed your baby from leaks and can soak your bra. So try to feed your newborn from both boobies.
I hope this was helpful to someone. Until next time! Cheers!