What No One Told Me About Postpartum Care

At the beginning of the year, most of us are focusing on our health resolutions.  For some reason, there is a ton of focus on how to have a healthy pregnancy – for both Mom and baby – but I don’t recall seeing a lot of articles about what happens to Mom after the baby is delivered. What about postpartum care?  Sure, there’s a lot of hospital care guides, and how to make padsicles (by the way, not super convenient when you’re in bed upstairs and they’re in the freezer downstairs), but how should Mom take care of her body in the weeks and months to come?

I was in a lot of pain for the first couple of weeks after the birth of my daughter.  Considering the trauma of a 30+ hour delivery, with 2+ hours of pushing, it was inevitable that I would not be comfortable.  But looking back, there’s so much more that I could have done for myself.

Drink Water
Remember how much they emphasized this during pregnancy?  It’s just as important after baby arrives: particularly if you’re breastfeeding!  Keep a water bottle with you at all times.

Eat Fiber
Constipation.  Hemorrhoids.  Need I explain further?  Keep fruits and veggies fully stocked!  I also kept a box of fiber bars on my nightstand because I would wake in the middle of the night starving from sharing my nutrients with the baby.

I took such good care of myself while pregnant, but let it slip by the wayside postpartum.

Take it Easy
I remember seeing so many articles about the importance of exercising postpartum, in order to shed the baby weight as soon as possible.  However, I highly recommend that you give your body time to recover before doing too much.  Definitely do not do any strenuous exercising until you get the okay from your doctor – usually at the six week follow-up.  Be kind to your body: it spent nine (+) months creating a human being.  Don’t expect it to bounce back to normal in 6-12 weeks!

I insisted on taking my daughter for walks during the first week of her life, in order to feel like “me” again. Looking back, I wonder if my body was ready?

Do your Kegels
The terrible pain I was experiencing after the first couple of weeks subsided, so I wrote it off as being normal.  It wasn’t until six months postpartum that I noticed something… unusual.  After googling my symptoms, then seeing my OB-GYN again, it was determined that I have mild prolapsing.  It was easy to miss for so long, because I didn’t have the common side-effect of incontinence.  If I had been doing the things above, along with regular pelvic exercises, I might have prevented the prolapsing. 

If you noticed that all of the things I listed above are very simple to do, you’re right!  But as Moms, we tend to overlook our own basic needs.  Are there any other important tips you would give new Moms for postpartum recovery?  


One Response to What No One Told Me About Postpartum Care

  1. Mary C
    Mary C January 12, 2017 at 8:46 am #

    You are so right about there not being any emphasis on postpartum care!!! Holy cow! Everyone is so excited about pregnancy, and then you’re just expected to bounce back. Oh, you need help? WHAT?