9 Postpartum Recovery Tips For After A Vaginal Birth
You’ve got everything planned for the baby now it’s time to prepare for you using these postpartum recovery tips.
It’s important to plan for your postpartum recovery before the baby is here.
Postpartum recovery usually takes about 6-8 weeks.
Do remember though that every new mum is different so everyone’s recovery will be different.
It’s going to be super sore ‘down there’ if you’ve had a vaginal birth.
If you’ve had stitches it’s going to be even worse (sorry).
The following postpartum recovery tips for after a vaginal birth will help you heal faster.
1. Giant Maternity Pads
You’ll have postpartum bleeding for up to 6 weeks after giving birth and it is heavier than a period. Your body has a lot of stuff to get rid off including all the protective tissue that’s been protecting your little one in there.
Therefore you’ll need giant maternity pads. Lots and lots of GIANT maternity pads!
These are different from sanitary pads – they are much thicker and much softer!
You’re going to need plenty of these to start with as it’s super important to change them regularly.
My favourite ones were from Boots.
2. Giant Cotton Underwear
You know the ones I mean ‘granny pants‘.
You’ll need these to hold those maternity pads and keep everything nice and secure.
Black ones are best as you don’t notice blood stains so much.
Cheap ones are best as you’ll most likely throw them away afterwards. I got mine from Primark.
3. Sitz Bath
Sitz baths are great for helping soothe all the areas ‘down there’.
Fill the bath with an inch or two of luke warm water and just sit in it for about 20 minutes to soothe the area. You can do this 3 or 4 times a day.
You can even get fancy and find recipes for sitz baths that include Epsom salts, witch hazel, or essential oils. Bathing will also stop your stitches getting infected.
If your stitched are unconformable or you think they maybe getting infected speak to your health visitor.
4. Stay Hydrated
It’s important to keep your fluids up during this time by drinking plenty of water.
You’ll be having hormonal changes and night sweats so you don’t want to be come dehydrated.
Plus drinking plenty will help you avoid constipation and dilute your urine so it doesn’t sting so much when peeing.
5. Stool Softener
You’ll thank me later. Pooping after birth is nearly as bad as giving birth itself. In fact I believe they should provide you with gas and air for your first poop!
Constipation is common after birth- everything is swollen and bruised to it’s not surprise that this happens.
Use a stool softener to make it a little easier. Straining is not going to help that soreness or stitches ladies.
Take it slow, take your time and it will be easier next time.
Also do each plenty of fresh fruit, vegetables and wholegrain cereals to get things going.
You’ll be peeing more after birth as during pregnancy you retain a lot of fluid.
Your body has to get rid of all this fluid after birth and one way it does it is by making you pee more.
Peeing after a vaginal birth can sting quite a lot – especially if you’ve stitches.
Use one of these bottles to spray water on your perineal area whilst you pee – it will help it sting less.
Then pat dry with a clean towel.
It will help it feel less sore and help you heal faster.
7. Kegel Exercises
During pregnancy it’s not unusual for you pelvic floor muscles to weaken.
You may find that when you cough, sneeze or laugh you wee a little. This is totally normal and happens to the best of us!
Doing Kegel exercises will help strengthen your pelvic floor again, giving you better bladder control.
8. Ice Pack
Use an ice pack to help the swelling go down. This is good to do a few times a day especially in the first 24 hours after birth.
Make sure you have a cloth layer between your skin and the ice pack and keep it on for about 15 mins.
These cold pads may also help.
Rest, rest and more rest.
Your body has been through a lot you need to take it easy for a few days.
You may still get some cramps after birth – this is your womb shrinking back to it’s normal size.
It’s important to rest and let your body heal and practice some self care.
Postpartum Recovery Tips – Mental Health
Postpartum recovery isn’t just about the physical healing. You need to keep an eye on your mental health to.
After birth it is normal to suffer from the baby blues for a week or two.
However, if you are finding you are still struggling after this you must tell your health visitor or GP.
After birth it is not uncommon for women to suffer from postpartum depression or other perinatal mental health illnesses.
The sooner you receive treatment for these the better and easier you will recover.