Finally. After 40 weeks of sweat pants, hairy legs, awkward sleeping positions and intense labor — you’re finally ready to take home your little bundle of joy…hooray!
But if you find yourself overwhelmed with your postpartum experience, you’re not alone. Many first-time mothers are so occupied with planning for their baby’s arrival, that the discussion of after birth recovery is all but forgotten.
While every woman’s birthing experience is different, here’s a list of postpartum recovery essentials to keep in mind. Mamas, take note!
- Ask for help, and don’t be afraid to receive it. No one expects you to be Super Mom, and overexerting yourself will certainly delay your recovery. If you have the support, let your partner, family members and friends bring you meals, run to the grocery store or do a couple loads of laundry.
- Don’t be afraid to say “no.” Naturally, everyone is super excited and can’t wait to meet the little bundle of goodness. However, it’s exhausting to play hostess. Give yourself space when you need it, and your loved ones will understand.
- Disposable undies are your new BFF. I always advise new Mamas to take a bunch of these home from the hospital if they can — they are great! Postpartum bleeding can last up to six weeks, so avoid the extra laundry and spot cleaning if you can.
- Stock up on ice packs incase of tearing during birth or swelling after.
- Don’t forget about hemorrhoid wipes and cream. Yes, they are common after labor…even if you have a C-section! Many Mamas swear by the power of witch hazel to relieve hemorrhoids; however, sitz baths can ease hemorrhoids and heal tearing.
- Buy some super absorbent pads. It’s kind of a war zone down there after birth, so be prepared! If your hospital has ‘em, ask for extra thick pads to take home (some women prefer using Always overnight pads — but anything thick, long and absorbent will do the trick). Once the heavy bleeding subsides, thinner pads and panty liners will do.
- Get your breastfeeding essentials ready! If you’re planning to nurse, start researching and shopping for all the goodies that come with it. This includes breast pumps, organic nipple cream, milk pads and nursing bras (You! Lingerie has some of the prettiest nursing bras and tanks out there, btw). If you’re having a C-section, consider an organic herbal tea to increase lactation.
- Take some me-time. This may be the hardest lesson new Mamas have to learn. While you may want to be there for every moment, you will quickly wear yourself down being everywhere at once. A big part of recovery is taking care of your own emotional and mental needs. Don’t be afraid to treat yourself to whatever luxuries you can afford, whether it’s a soak in the tub, a massage or catching up on “The Real Housewives…”
- Take care of your postpartum bod. Whether you have a C-section or vaginal birth, one thing is true: your body is changing once again! It’s critical to begin a healthy after birth diet and proactive skincare regimen during this transitional period. For example, early treatment of stretch marks and C-section scars, will greatly reduce healing time and appearance.
What’s on YOUR postpartum checklist? Share below!