Postpartum: 4 Tips for a Smooth Pregnancy Recovery
During the prenatal months, you may only have been planning for the labor and delivery of your new little one. Now that it is all over, you may be wondering why you did not prepare more for your postpartum weeks. While most doctors say that postpartum recovery takes 6 weeks for vaginal deliveries and 12 weeks for C-sections, keep in mind that every woman is different. Age, complications, stressors and hormones have a lot to do with how quickly you will bounce back. To get your body back to normal as quickly as possible try these basic tips.
Give Your Bottom Some TLC
If you have had a vaginal delivery, your bottom may be feeling pretty sore by now. Your vagina and perineum have been stretched, and you may even have had an episiotomy. All of this can lead to extreme discomfort and fear of cleaning down there or of using the bathroom. Be aware that bleeding can last for up to six weeks. In the meantime, take advantage of frequent sitz baths, ice packs and perineal cleansing bottles for after you use the bathroom. Be sure to take any medication that your doctor prescribed for discomfort. You might look into treatment options like ThermiVa through companies like Refined Dermatology.
Go Slow with Exercise
Depending on how your labor and delivery went, your doctor may approve you to start gentle exercise within a few weeks of giving birth. Be sure to start with something light, such as a gentle walk or slow yoga, because your body will need to get used to moving again. Moreover, the muscles and ligaments that hold the uterus in place will need to return to normal.
Stay Hydrated and Well-Fed
Water is vital for staying hydrated after childbirth. You may have received medications or fluid during childbirth, and these could cause you to hold onto water now. Remember that drinking water can actually decrease swelling as your body excretes toxins and wastes that have built up in it. Make sure you eat regular, nutritious meals, even though they can be hard to fit in during the postpartum period. Even if you do not have an appetite, you will need the nutrition from your meals and snacks to have the strength and energy to take care of yourself and your baby.
Watch Your Mood
Many women struggle with mild to moderate feelings of the blues after giving the birth. They have come off the high of being pregnant, and their hormones are fluctuating wildly. Some even suffer with severe depression. If you feel more down than usual or have trouble finding an interest in anything that you used to enjoy, check with your doctor who will be able to get you the right treatment.
Because every postpartum recovery is different, be sure to check with your physician or midwife if you feel that something with your body is not right. You are the one who is most in tune with your own body, and you know how much you can take each day. Remember that it is okay to let some everyday tasks slide for now as you care for yourself and your little one.