The postpartum recovery period is something we all dread. It doesn’t matter if it is your first pregnancy or your third, postpartum recovery is different each time especially if you’ve had a normal delivery. Whether you have had an episiotomy, a natural tear or no tear at all, there are ways that you make your recovery go smoother. In this MomJunction article, we explain how you can make your healing period go smoother and quicker with a few simple tips:
1) Follow A Nutritious Diet
We can’t stress enough of how important it is to follow a healthy diet during pregnancy. Eating good food will ensure that your skin stretches easily during labor (1). Make sure you include a lot of fiber, vitamins, and minerals, and most importantly drink plenty of water.
2) Do Simple Kegel Exercises
Kegel exercises are a great way to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles (2). And while some women start practicing it after childbirth, you can learn to do it during the pregnancy itself. Kegel exercises are also helpful if you suffer from stress or urine incontinence.
3) Place Ice Packs In Your Perineum
Apply ice packs on your perineum for the first 24 hours after giving birth. Keeping ice packs will help reduce any swelling or discomfort you have after childbirth. The hospital nurse might also give you an ice pack to place in your pad before leaving.
4) Don’t Force Your Bowel Movements
Though it’s recommended to not delay your bowel movements after giving birth, you shouldn’t strain while going either. Eat fiber-rich foods and drink plenty of water which will help you stay regular with your bowel movements. You can also ask your doctor about stool softeners that will get you going without straining your muscles.
5) Focus On Maintaining A Healthy Diet To Fight Constipation
Each fiber-rich diet and drink plenty of water so that your bowel movements stay regular. Eat smaller meals throughout the day and make sure you keep moving and stay active. Having a newborn can be challenging during the first few weeks making it harder for you to stay hydrated and focus on your diet. So, plan ahead and keep reminders on your phone to drink water at regular intervals.
6) Use A Squirt Bottle
Use a peri or squirt bottle to wash the perineal area during your trips to the loo. Using toilet paper for wiping may not be such a great idea during the first few weeks since your vajayjay will be still sore.
7) Wear Cotton Panties
You may not look your best in those granny panties, but you will definitely feel your best. Use breathable cotton fabric as your underpants. Your hospital may also give you mesh panties that are great to hold your pad and ice pack in place while also providing you utmost comfort. Mesh panties will also hold the loose tummy skin in place after childbirth.
8) Rest, Rest, And Rest Some More
We know you must be tired of hearing “sleep when the baby sleeps.” And while it may not sound practical, try to get enough rest by taking short naps whenever you can. It doesn’t matter if your house is a mess and you haven’t done laundry in a week. If it’s a battle between doing laundry or going for a quick nap, always go for the latter. Trust us, you won’t regret it.
9) Take All The Help You Can Get
Now, this may be hard for some of us since we don’t know how to say yes when someone offers to help. But remember that you are not being selfish by taking them up on that offer of hot chicken casserole or babysitting your child. They genuinely want to help you and you could use this time to take rest and relax.
Make sure not to miss any of your doctor’s appointments and follow your doctor’s orders. Lastly, take things slow and give your body the time to heal.