Well, let me first start out by saying, HOLY MOLY, does your body go through A LOT having a child. I mean, surprise, surprise, you’re birthing a human, BUT like, OMG!! Until you go through it, ya just don’t really know. AND why don’t people talk about it more?!! On this post I’m going to give you all the details about the things I did to recover, including my midwife, Erin’s, care. As y’all know I’ve been very transparent about my pregnancy and birth. My hope is to HELP y’all find what works for you during your journey.
Sooooo, you just had a baby, now what?? And I’m not talking about taking care of the little one, but YOU – physically AND emotionally! After giving birth vaginally, some women tear and/or get cut (episiotomy). This means your lady parts are going to need ample time to heal and recover. OH and your uterus is shrinking back down, organs are moving back into place and hormones are on high alert!!
Below I break down each thing I experienced postpartum with details along with a shop including what I used. Feel free to leave a comment with any questions.
Here we go…
Baby blues are real, y’all! After coming down from the high of giving birth, a few days after, I started to experience crazy emotions. For me, it lasted for about two weeks. I would cry at just about anything. This is not typical for me, and I knew going into it, my hormones would be all outta wack! So what did I do?? I gave myself grace, was self aware of my emotions and just plain and simple, felt them. Instead of pushing it down, I moved through it. I recommend TALKING to your inner circle about what you’re going through. Having a child can be isolating, so don’t further it by bottling up your emotions. Speaking up is a healthy step in moving forward. If you are a new mom or about to be, please know this is totally NORMAL!
My midwife recommended one week laying in bed, one week on your bed (sitting) and one week around your bed. This may seem like A LOT of time to most, but trust me, your body needs it! This is what I did and I truly believe it was very helpful for a quick recovery. Another thing I decided to do was have no visitors until I felt ready. I had no expectation of when that would be and communicated that to my family and friends. I wanted the bonding time with Ford, Luke and myself. I’m grateful for this time.
Breastfeeding can take a toll on your nipples, and especially in the beginning when you are getting the latch down. Mine were a bit tender and soar at first, but after the first week, they were back to normal. Sometimes your nipples can get dry/chapped so a balm is super helpful. I used this one – Zoe Organics. In general your boobs become tender and achey. For this I recommend these soothing nursing pillows – they can be heated or cooled. We can’t forget about nursing bras/tanks! Here are my favorites: option 1, option 2 and option3.
The things most don’t talk about after birth… how much you bleed, and what to do to help your vagina recover. Ya, I said it!! It’s typical to bleed for about 3-4 weeks after having a child. That means you are going to need A LOT of pads!! I purchased different sizes for day and night. I used the organic brand, La Vie. A tip Erin gave me, was to spread a thin layer of honey on the pad. It may sound weird, but it is very soothing and helps to heal skin wounds.
Ok, let’s talk about going to the bathroom… It’s sensitive and not the most pleasant thing, BUT there are things you can do to help. For peeing, I recommend getting a peri bottle. Fill it with warm water and squirt on your vagina as you go to the bathroom. It will help with the stinging and is great to clean yourself after – no wiping. Number two (pun intended), drink magnesium while pregnant and after!! This will help soften your stool and decrease the pain the first few times you go to the bathroom. I also ate high fiber foods like flax seed, oats and avocado. Trust me, what you eat really helps with this!!
Along with your vagina, your perineal is recovering. I did sitz baths regularly to help reduce swelling, inflammation and relax the muscles. Erin created a homemade herbal soak for me but there are options you can purchase here and here.
After the baby is out your belly feels and looks like jelly! There is no way to get around it. In time, it goes back to normal. I promise! My stomach was extremely dry so I continued to use my Zoe Organics belly oil from Pregnancy. Many have asked if I wore a belly band. I am currently 7 weeks postpartum and have not. My Midwife informed me that all of my organs are moving back into place after baby, and putting a band around your belly is not in your best interest. It made sense to me so that’s why I chose not to.
As far as food, it’s important to feed yourself warm foods that are easy to digest and full of nutrition. I found that stews and soups were my favorite. Here are some recipes that I made: Chicken Soup, Turkey Chili and Curry Soup. In addition I wanted to make sure I was eating specific foods that would help with my milk supply. I created a lactation energy ball recipe that include 3 ingredient to support breastfeeding – oats, flax seed and almonds! I also had a friend send me lactation cookies from Miracle Milk Cookies. They’re delicious!!
One of my favorite things to do after birth, was taking a shower or epson salt bath and having 30 min for a little at-home spa time!! These are the most basic things, but trust me, after everything you’ve gone through, it’s THE best feeling! Check out my self-care post for my favorite face masks.
Erin, my midwife, provided 6 weeks of care after birth. I am so grateful for her. As I said in the beginning of this post, your body goes through A LOT before, during and after carrying a child. One of the best things Erin did was help get my bod back to normal. Throughout my recovery, she checked my uterus and abs as they were healing as well as aligned my hips and sacrum.