After giving birth, taking care of your new little one will be at the forefront of your mind, but your own postnatal care isn’t to be forgotten. Your body has been working hard to grow a healthy child over the gestational period and you have just experienced the mentally and physically exhausting miracle of birth. So while it will be easy to put off your own recovery to focus on your newborn, a mother’s postpartum care is of the utmost importance. Here are a few ways to help your recovery after childbirth.
While physical recovery after giving birth might be the first thing that comes to mind when talking about postpartum healing, making time for mental health is important as well. There are a number of huge life changes that take place in quick succession while giving birth and caring for a newborn.
Always remember to have someone that you can confide in and feel safe talking to about your feelings. Functioning on less sleep and caring for a newborn without emotional support to help you through is something no new mother should have to endure. Whether it’s your partner, a parent, a close friend, or a counselor, be sure to be honest about your feelings.
Talk to your healthcare provider if you feel like you might be struggling with postpartum depression. Most importantly, know that you are never alone and that someone is always there to help.
As the saying goes, “sleep when the baby is sleeping”. While that might be easier said than done, giving your body the rest it needs after giving birth is essential to a full recovery. Don’t hesitate to let others that you trust step in and help watch your newborn while you get some much-needed rest.
Between nighttime feedings and all the adjustments that come with bringing your new little one home, sleep routines will probably be thrown off and re-established many times before things settle down.
Even if you aren’t able to sleep when the baby is sleeping, use that time to let your mind rest. Don’t feel like you need to be doing something or catching up on something constantly. Ask for help when you need it, people who care about you want to help.
Just like newborn checkups are so important, postpartum checkups for the mother are in place for a reason. Your midwife or health provider can help answer any questions you might have or discuss any concerns over development, breastfeeding, healing, your health, or medications. Attending regular checkups with your midwife or provider can help you feel confident about you and your baby’s health and it allows you time to ask for help if you need assistance.
Taking Care of Your Body
While rest and postpartum care are two important pillars of letting your body recover after childbirth, there are additional ways to take care of your body as well.
It can be really easy to hibernate in the nursery or bedroom with a newborn, but try to get out for some fresh air. Try taking the newborn for a slow walk around the block, some sunlight will do you and baby good. Stretches like these safe stretches that you could practice during pregnancy can also be practiced postpartum.
Be sure you are nurturing your body with nutritious meals as you recover as well. Your body is adjusting to so many changes, so nutritious and balanced foods are essential in helping you feel your best. Especially if you are breastfeeding, being sure you are eating enough is important. If you have questions or need guidance, your midwife or healthcare provider can help guide you in the right direction.
Contact a Certified Nurse-Midwife
The Certified Nurse-Midwives of the City of Oaks Midwifery give comprehensive care to women before, during, and after pregnancy in the Raleigh, NC area. We want your transition into motherhood to be as smooth as possible, and these steps to recovery after childbirth could help. If you need further guidance, call us at (919) 351-8253 to make an appointment.