When you first give birth to your baby, you would be so busy looking after them and looking AT them that you forget to look after yourself. Of course, during the first one year, your baby needs that full-time love, care and attention. But this doesn’t mean that you neglect your own health and recovery. After all, if you are not taking care of yourself, then how will you look after your baby?
Here are a couple of ways how you can be prepared for the recovery period after delivery:
1. Be prepared for excessive bleeding
After delivery, you will bleed out a lot. This is because your blood volume doubles during the pregnancy and your body needs to get rid of this extra blood. You would need to use maxi pads during your recovery stage which may last anywhere between 2 to 6 weeks. If the bleeding doesn’t stop even after 7 weeks or if the blood is still a bright red, you would need to consult your doctor about this.
2. Constipation postpartum
It may take up to 3 days post giving birth to actually have any bowel movements. This may be because the muscles have weakened. It may also be because the mother is just afraid that the stitches will rip open and are attempting to hold it in out of fear. Drink plenty of water and eat lot of fiber rich foods to help your digestive system. Controlling your bowel movements and holding it in is a no-no as it can make your constipation problem worse. If you are feeling scared, then talk to a doctor to reassure yourself. The only thing you have to worry about is to avoid any strenuous activity.
3. Take plenty of rest
You have just delivered a baby - this is the hardest yet most beautiful thing you will ever experience in your life. After all that work your body has been doing those nine months plus all that time you spent giving birth, you need to allow your body to rest and recover itself. This means sleeping whenever you can and taking it easy. If sitting feels painful, you could use an ice pack to sit on. Ask your family or friends to help out with the baby whenever possible so that you can get the rest you need.
4. Don’t bottle up your emotions
Pregnancy and delivery is a very complicated time for mothers. They go through a wide range of emotions - sadness, love, anger, and joy. But through it all, she may feel like nobody understands what she is going through. This can make a mother feel depressed. The important thing to do after having a baby is to ensure you have someone to talk to on a regular basis. If you feel like your emotions are too much to handle, you should consult a doctor about this. They will be able to guide you through it.
5. Ask for pain medications
Mothers often need to take help of pain relief medications to get through the pain postpartum. This is because of all that painful cramping as the uterus shrinks and of course, nursing pains. Don’t hesitate to ask your doctor if you feel that you need them.
6. Care for your breasts
After birth, a mother’s breasts tend to be engorged and painful. It is important to care for them during this period. Spend time in finding a bra that fits comfortably. Use nipple butters to treat and prevent dry and cracked nipples. Also, keep a good stock of comfortable clothes that you can wear during the nursing period.
7. Exercise to get stronger
There are certain exercises like kegels that will help you make your uterus and pelvis stronger. You can also go for a walk with your partner. But make sure to do this only after consulting your doctor. A caesarean delivery may require more time to recover when compared to a normal delivery.