Everyone told me this too shall pass, but no one said to me that it would pass like a kidney stone. Yes, you heard me right, I am talking here about my postpartum recovery period.
I had never thought in my wildest dreams about the stress and trauma that the postpartum period will be for me. Jumping on to the responsibilities of motherhood right after the exhausting vaginal birth and a ninth month-long pregnancy period made my postpartum recovery a more challenging one.
Many new mums are in desperation to know about the healing process and time after baby’s birth. Still, unfortunately, people won’t talk about it much. Whether the delivery occurs vaginally or via c-section, the healing and recovery need extra care and time.
Since very long pregnancy and child’s care has gained all the importance and postpartum care lacks behind.
From shrinking uterus to sore boobs, from changing pads to pooping difficulties and along with an ocean of emotions, I am here to guide you in your most life-changing phase. You are not alone in this new mommy!
Problems occurring after vaginal birth
Well if you thought pregnancy and childbirth was everything so my dear you are very wrong. The postpartum problems are a real deal, and you must be ready for facing it and acing it.
Vaginal discharge and bleeding
Bleeding and discharge from the vagina can continue up to six weeks after delivery. It is a natural way of the uterus to get rid of extra tissues in the process of shrinkage. The whole scenario can be understood as a form of a heavy period lasting up to a few weeks.
If the bleeding occurs extensively with massive clots, then a doctor visit is necessary to check up on any internal injury.
Swelling and soreness
Childbirth is hard on the delicate tissues of the vagina. Stitches and tearing make it worse. Therefore swelling and soreness are very common difficulties occurring post vaginal birth. They usually subside after four to six weeks. Still, the time can extend depending on the amount of stress the vagina has experienced during the delivery.
Difficulties in peeing and pooping are common suffering seen in the women after vaginal birth. The soreness, bruising, and swelling makes it difficult. The pelvic muscles undergo a real weak state and make going bathroom a great challenge.
Contractions are often felt even after delivery for a few days and especially during breastfeeding. It is also a normal phenomenon of uterus contraction occurs with pain and contractions.
Postpartum care and pain relief tips
The goal is to be comfortable and relaxed as much as possible during your postpartum recovery period. There are various tips to help you out in the most crucial stage of the motherhood journey. Stock up on the postpartum care necessities and follow these recovery and pain relief tips to be in ease.
Big maxi pads
Stock up on to big maxi pads for as much as you can. Don’t even shy out in carrying your extra pads from hospital to home post-delivery. Because postpartum bleeding is extreme and continues for a few weeks. It could be a real challenge if you didn’t get prepared for it earlier. Stocking it up early won’t leave you in stress amidst of baby excitement.
Change your pads often to prevent infections. Choose more absorbent pads, like hospital pads. (therefore I recommended to carry hospital pads because they have the best absorbent capacity). You can even ask them for extras after all you paid for it.
Being already prepared for the immense postpartum bleeding will help you to cope up with it more comfortably.
Comfy, breathable underwear
Big mesh hospital panties seem ugly but are the most comfortable ones. During your hospital stay, you will be given those panties to wear. But it is better to stock them for home as well. Having big breathable panties in postpartum recovery kit is a brilliant idea.
Postpartum is not funky; therefore, your fashionable panties won’t work here. Sad but true! These breathable oversized panties will keep your vagina free of sweat and itching. And getting disposable ones will exempt you from washing it regularly.
Because at the end of the day, vaginal hygiene is the key to postpartum care. And by having numerous breathable, disposable underwear in your closet, you don’t have to worry much about it.
Painkillers and padsicles
Having a bottle of prescribed painkillers is a very good idea to get relief of the after pains, soreness and swelling. Although the process of inflammation and pain is a good sign of your body but still too much of it can become a source of distress and tissue damage. To free yourself from discomfort, have it in your side closet.
I have never thought of the wonders that padsicles can do. Yes, you heard me right. It may seem crazy to freeze your sanitary pads but trust me they are lifesavers. The level of comfort that they can generate down there is beyond explanation. I was a bit nervous when I tried it for the first time, but they had become the utmost necessity in my other two deliveries. Get these cooling pads if you find freezing your sanitary pads a little odd.
In my opinion, you should be doing padsicles remedy soon after your childbirth.
Laxatives and stool softeners
I am sure you do not want your pelvic muscles to strain more or your stitches to tear. Therefore smooth and comfortable pooping is all that is needed.
But constipation can occur more often in the postpartum period, and many new mommies suffer a lot. To refrain from the pain of pooping, do yourself a favour and get hands-on to stool softener. If you have a smart doctor, then you will already be having it in your prescribed medicines on your way back home post-delivery.
You can even use laxatives to poop easily. Eat healthy and high fibre food with lots and lots of water or juices to keep yourself away from the pain of constipation.
For me, pooping for the first time after my first child was as difficult as pushing out a baby from the vagina.
It may sound a little odd to you, but having your hands on one of these benzocaine’s spray will ease many of your problems.
The use of anaesthetic spray will release soreness and keep your vaginal area numb and comfortable. Hospitals will provide you with this, but you must stock up on an extra.
Vaginal stitches are too bizarre, to get them to heal early, use of a healing ointment to aid the healing process is a smart idea. Although the healing is a natural process which will occur on time of its own, the things supporting it will only make it better.
Ask your doctor to prescribe you one or get this amazing gel. It has one of the best healing properties (as according to my experience) with no side effects. It even relieves pain. You can try this one for sure.
If you do not want to use any ointments out of fear then don’t worry. You can even apply essential oils or neem oil to keep your sensitive area smooth. The moisturizing and healing properties of the oil also work great.
Never ignore peri bottle necessity in your postpartum period. Wiping off after peeing and pooping is not a good idea because of the stitches and soreness. You will end up hurting yourself. Therefore rinse it by using a peri bottle every time you need and pat a toilet paper dry.
The rinsing will help in washing out germs and prevents infection and irritation. Therefore it’s a must-have. You can grab one home from the hospital or can buy one of the cleaning bottles for yourself.
Fill it with warm water every time you need to wash. You can even get some peri washes to add in your bottle, which will help efficient cleaning and give a soothing effect. Or you can also make one at home by mixing aloe vera and Epsom salts.
It may sound useless, but it works wonders. Water works as a blessing in disguise. You just can’t ignore the multiple benefits that you will have on your health only by keeping yourself hydrated enough.
Losing a lot of blood and making milk will eventually increase your body water demands. Therefore keep yourself hydrated as much as you can.
The vitamins and essential nutrients help our body to heal and work efficiently. The amount of stress that the body has gone through during childbirth and is still going through breastfeeding and postpartum effects demands extra care.
Continuing your prenatal vitamins in your postpartum period is a good idea to keep your body nourished with essential nutrients. It will make you active and also aids the healing process.
And I hope you don’t want your nails and hairs to be under the postpartum effect and gets ugly. Therefore do not forget your multivitamins.
Nursing friendly clothes
Well, you might think about why it is needed when you can easily breastfeed in your regular clothing. Well, I thought the same during my first child. But I was wrong. Nursing friendly bras and clothing should be your priority to shop.
They make the whole process of nursing a lot easier and comfortable. Obviously, you are not in shape to fit in your older clothes nor would you like to wear your maternity clothes and look extra frumpy. Therefore shop something earlier to be a cool nursing mama.
Breastfeeding is a real challenge if you are a new mommy. The hormonal changes in your body often appear painful. The formation of milk in your breasts make them sore, and even oozing can occur for a few weeks. Your nipples will become painful because of the constant suckling for the first few weeks.
Therefore stock up on of these nipple cream that have anaesthetic properties. Have a breast pumping kit to feed your baby efficiently. Use nursing bras to avoid spoiling your cool bras with oozing milk for the few weeks.
By doing these few things, you will be thanking yourself later for being smarter.
Some self-care tips
Amidst all the chaos of motherhood and excitement of the baby, self-care would not be in your to-do list. Things and tips mentioned above are the necessities that you require for your body to function. Still, self-care is something that will give you peace of mind with body strengthening.
Do not forget yourself while giving all your attention to your baby. The things I am mentioning below will help you feel good about yourself and provide mental wellness.
Have a body massage while being on postpartum recovery. I can bet on the amount of goodness and wellness that it will bring to you. Releasing the strains from your aching muscles and tired mind will provide a good few minutes of serenity and peace.
Ask your partner to prepare a sitz bath for you. It is a most relieving therapy to release perineum stress and discomfort and provide you with proper comfy 20 minutes relaxation.
Healthy eating will boost up your body and brain energy. You will be able to perform your duties correctly and with an active mind. The one thing that is utmost needed in the postpartum recovery period is your mental wellness and satisfaction in bearing and coping up with after effects. Therefore it is necessary to feed your body healthy.
There are multiple exercises available on the internet for postpartum recovery. For example, kegel exercise, they are perfect for strengthening pelvic muscles in your postpartum recovery. Do it whenever you feel like it. You don’t have to be regular on this. Just do it for yourself. It will make you feel good.
Rest and rest
Rest as much as you can. Your body is going through already. No need for thinking of any extra work other than your baby and yourself. These two responsibilities are enough to stress your body and mind. Therefore avoid every sort of additional pressure and work. And be happy with it.
Other things can wait. First, heal yourself and stabilize your baby routine everything else comes after.
The postpartum recovery period is awful, but thank god the awfulness hides out under the joy and excitement of baby. Taking care of yourself will help you to care better for your baby. So don’t neglect it.
Postpartum healing varies from person to person, depending on the intensity of the childbirth. So don’t worry if your body is taking time to heal. Because this time, your body needs to be deal with a gentle and calm routine.
Following the above tricks and tips will help you to enjoy your postpartum period despite all the challenges. And I wish you and your baby good health.
Good luck, new mommy!