Why you need to prepare for postpartum recovery
Mamas, you’ve heard it time and time again, childbirth is painful, scary and traumatizing, but oftentimes, the postpartum recovery process is downplayed or avoided in conversation! I’m not sure why that is, but us mamas need to stick together and help each other out! Quick recovery is so important when you have a newborn at home to learn to care for. With that said… here are the best pieces of advice I can give you about postpartum recovery and what you can do to get yourself into fighting form when baby arrives. Be sure to also check out my best labor tip before its baby time!
What you can do to prepare in advance for postpartum recovery
I think this might go without saying, but its hard to find time to do things once you have a newborn at home! Take the time to get things done while you’re still pregnant, whether its nesting projects for baby’s room or a clean home, prepping freezer meals, exercising or shopping and stocking items you will need, the best time to start is now! The more you get done early, the easier it will be to rest and recover when you get home from the hospital and the more time you can spend cuddling and playing with your baby rather than running errands.
Padsicles for comfort and healing
Aloe Vera. Witch Hazel. Maxi Pad. Freezer. This is the most comfort you will get while you are recovering. Especially if you have any tearing or an episiotomy. The cold will help with swelling. Witch hazel aids in healing. Aloe vera provides soothing comfort. Mix equal parts witch hazel and aloe in a small bowl. Open your pad while leaving the packaging intact and add about 1-2 tablespoons of the mixture over the top of the pad spreading it out as evenly as you can. Fold the packaging back up and toss it in the freezer. Seriously… this is the BEST tip I can give you. Stock up, prep them ahead of time and store them in gallon ziplock baggies in your freezer for when the time comes. You can thank me later 😉
Projects to help you save time and energy
If you haven’t checked out my post on nesting projects, now is a great time! Projects that save you time or energy, or help keep you moving in the last few weeks of your pregnancy will be invaluable when baby arrives. Ideally, you will want to come home from the hospital to a clean home where you don’t have to do too many things around the house in those tough first few days home from the hospital. This way you can use any spare moments you have to rest and let your body recover. Save your energy for baby!
Exercise for quicker recovery time
The stronger you are before birth, the stronger you will be post birth, and stronger means you’ll be up and moving and healing faster. This is what I wish I had focused on more when I was pregnant with Samson. I had such a rough pregnancy! I had 90% of all the pregnancy symptoms I’ve ever heard of including morning sickness for over 25 weeks. It was hard and when I got close to the end, I had some pretty bad hip pain which was partially caused by the pregnancy but also from a pre-existing condition. This made it so hard for me to work up the energy or the drive to exercise, but it also made the postpartum recovery process more difficult. I had a hard time with my hips and my abs when I got home and getting up and down from laying down was a struggle. For a couple of days hubby had to help me. I encourage you, mama, do a little exercise if you are able. Whether its some light walking, yoga, or light lifting, do what works for you! (and always check with your doctor!)
Items to have on hand
Here are a few other things I recommend having on hand. These will be helpful in different ways, but avoid a trip to the store after giving birth and stock up now or order on Amazon!
Stool softener – This will be your friend. I would also recommend having a few prunes on hand. The first poo after giving birth can be terrifying. Trust me, after pushing a human out, you don’t want to have to push at all for a bowel movement.
Donut pillow – I highly recommend throwing this in your hospital bag too! Sitting up in those stiff hospital beds can be pure agony after a few hours, especially if you have hemorrhoids.
Extra pads – Typically, bleeding will last up to 6 weeks postpartum. Having a few extra pads in the cabinet will save you a trip later. Have a few different sizes on hand. Remember… no tampons until your doctor clears you!
Above all else, mamas, remember the pain and recovery is a small price to pay to bring your little one into the world. Stay strong, mama!