Being a new mom is scary, we know. Not only did you just endure forty weeks of pregnancy and a nerve-wracking childbirth, but now you’re probably worried about both taking care of your baby and taking care of your body. Let’s face it; your body’s going through a lot. As much as you probably want to get back to feeling normal again, the next six weeks are your official recovery period, so take it easy and use some of our best postpartum recovery tips.
Keep the Essentials on Hand
To speed up the recovery process, you have to help your body heal itself and ease all those aches and pains that come after childbirth. If you had a vaginal birth, make sure to apply an ice pack wrapped in a paper towel on your perineum every couple of hours for the 24 hours after giving birth. Warm sitz baths a few times a day for about twenty minutes can also ease your pain, and make sure to have acetaminophen pills handy to decrease the discomfort.
If you had a C- section, gently clean the scar from the incision with soap and water once a day, pat it dry with a clean towel, and then apply a topical antibiotic. Depending on what your doctor recommends, you’ll either leave the wound by itself or cover it. Make sure to avoid heavy lifting and exercise until your physician says otherwise.
Heating pads are great for aching breasts and make sure to invest in comfortable nursing bras. Nursing pads can help with leaky nipples, and Lanolin cream can help prevent and treat cracked nipples. Another postpartum recovery tip is to pay attention to the vaginal bleeding you’ll experience, as you cannot use tampons or any other insertable menstrual products.
Stock up on maxi pads for the heavy bleeding that will occur, and be sure to call your doctor immediately if you see large clots or extremely excessive bleeding, as this could indicate a postpartum hemorrhage.
Even if you’re not experiencing postpartum recovery, this should be a priority, however, it’s essential even more so when you are recovering. To overcome fatigue and constipation, stick to a healthy, nutritious diet of five smaller meals throughout the day filled with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, complex carbs, and protein. Eating plenty of fiber will help with your bowel movements and with preventing hemorrhoids, so don’t skimp out on that apple a day! When you do have your first few bowel movements, remember not to strain yourself and to use stool softeners if you need to. Also remember to drink as much water as you can, at least 64 ounces each day.
Regular Checkups are Key
To make sure the healing process is going well, don’t forget to check in with your physician and OB/GYN. If you had a C-section, make sure to have your doctor remove the stitches on the wound at the appropriate time. This way, the scar doesn’t look worse if you leave in the stitches for too long. In every appointment, brief your doctor on all of your symptoms, ask as many questions as you can, and trust his/her advice.
Postpartum Recovery Tips at Dr. Susan Fox’s Center for Women
Dr. Susan Fox’s Center for Women has everything you need regarding gynecology and any female medical needs, especially with other helpful postpartum recovery tips. We would love to see you at our office in Miami, so make an appointment soon!