Recovery Essentials That Every Mom Needs
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New moms don’t recover fully in just a few days after birth. Full recovery can take months! Even for those who sailed through pregnancy without any complications and had the easiest delivery, it might feel like your body has turned against you after delivery. So it would help if you had time to regroup. Also, the hormone levels fluctuate a lot, so you might not be thinking clearly during this time.
Whether you had a virginal birth or C-section, the first 6-8 weeks are considered a “recovery” period. While most new moms feel recovered when this time lapses, it might take others longer to feel like themselves again. Keep in mind that all our bodies are built differently, so every new mom recovers at her rate.
Common Symptoms to Expect
Some symptoms experienced right after giving birth are normal if they don’t become unbearable or go on for too long. Here’s what to expect during your postpartum recovery:
- Baby blues. You might struggle with feeling excited about the new baby and sad at the same time. Hormone changes cause this.
- Abdominal pain. The shrinking of the uterus causes this as it returns to its original shape and size.
- Sore perineum. You may feel discomfort in the area between your vagina and anus for several weeks postpartum.
- Constipation. It’s very common to have issues with bowel movement in the days following childbirth. It could be a result of fear, especially if you have stitches down there or the anaesthesia administered at the hospital.
- Haemorrhoids. These are painful swellings in the vein found in the rectum are the aftermath of pushing during delivery. They’re painful, itchy, and bleed after a bowel movement. With proper care and treatment, they should shrink over time, but you should contact your doctor if they don’t.
- Diastasis recti. This occurs when the rectus abdominis muscles separate from being stretched. This separation can cause the belly to stick out months or even years postpartum.
- Sore nipples and breasts. It’s normal for women to have sore nipples and breasts during the first few days of breastfeeding.
- Vaginal discharge and bleeding. Even if you had a C-section, expect vaginal bleeding, often referred to as lochia. This happens as the body eliminates the extra blood and tissue used to nourish the baby.
- Weight loss. Expect to lose only a few pounds immediately after, depending on the baby’s weight. It’ll take several months to lose the baby fat. Due to postpartum edema, your hands, legs, and feet continue to hold water due to the progesterone hormone.
- Water retention. You may be eager for that weight you gained during pregnancy or the swelling that occurred to go away shortly after childbirth. Unfortunately, it doesn’t, for a while longer after delivery.
Vaginal and C-section Deliveries
Most postpartum symptoms ease up within a week, while others like sore nipples, backaches, and perineal pain may continue for weeks. Other symptoms like leaky breasts can stick around for as long as the baby keeps breastfeeding, which could be years. In all this, try not to get frustrated. Remember that your body is not aware of the different timelines and expectations.
Depending on how long you pushed during your vaginal delivery, expect to have some perineal pain that lasts for a few weeks postpartum. In this case, recovery can take anywhere from three weeks if you didn’t tear to six weeks or more if you had a perennial tear or episiotomy.
If you delivered via C-section, expect to spend at least three to four days in the hospital recovering. However, it takes about four to six weeks before you start feeling back to normal again.
Things That Mom Can Do to Speed Up the Postpartum Recovery
The best thing you can do for yourself and the baby is eating well, rest, give yourself a break, and get as much help as you can. When caring for your newborn, you need to be in the best possible state of mind. This will keep away postpartum depression which is very common among new moms.
Here are some healing tips to help your postpartum body recover from childbirth:
Eating healthy meals promotes faster healing, helps fight constipation, and guarantees an uninterrupted breast milk supply. Increase your intake of fluids, fiber (found in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains), proteins, and complex carbs.
This is the easiest way to get your vagina back in shape and make your sex life more enjoyable for you and your partner. Apart from doing Kegel exercises, it would help if you also tried out some light workouts as advised by your doctor.
- Keep your doctor’s appointment.
Regular visits to obstetricians and gynecologists will help ensure that everything is healing as expected. Don’t forget to let the doctors know if you have any symptoms that concern you, like a high fever and tenderness around your stitches.
Postpartum Essentials that Every New Mom Needs
Some of the essentials for every new mom during the postpartum period include:
- Painkillers to help with perineal pain and overall aches
- Maxi pads to help with postpartum bleeding
- Nursing bras and pads to help make breastfeeding easier
- Nipple cream that works wonders to treat and prevent cracked nipples
- Sitz bath to sit in and soak away postpartum pain
- Stool softeners to gently help get things going