Take care of yourself first and everything else will fall into place.
With all your focus going towards actually having your baby, postpartum recovery probably won’t be on your radar. However, this 6-8 week period is very important. Your body will undergo yet another round of changes, and it’s imperative that you make your health a priority. You simply can’t take care of baby if you’re not properly taking care of yourself first. Here are our top 8 dos and don’ts to help guide you.
It may be tempting to skip meals because baby has fallen asleep in your arms or you’re trying to lose baby weight, but don’t do it. In order to for your body to heal and recover properly, you need to eat nutritious meals and drink plenty of fluids throughout the day.
DO nap when the baby naps.
When baby arrives so does a mess. Suddenly there’s laundry and clutter everywhere, and that’s normal. While you may want to use baby’s nap time as a time for chores, don’t. There will be plenty of time to get the house in order once baby is a little bigger. And, even if you can’t fall asleep, you should still lay down, close your eyes and rest.
DO wear comfy underwear.
Tight, restrictive clothing is a big no. So go ahead and wear the granny pants if they’re the most comfortable. And say yes to absorbent disposable underwear that can handle heavier postpartum flow if you prefer the peace of mind that comes from extra coverage.
DO help your perineum heal.
The soreness will eventually go away, but for the first 24-hours post-birth, apply ice every couple of hours. A combo cold pack/pad can be a lifesaver.
DON’T think that breastfeeding will be easy or come naturally.
Breastfeeding is a journey, so be kind to yourself. It takes time and practice for you and baby to get the hang of things. You may get frustrated or feel like giving up. Take it one day at a time, and find help if you need it -- talk to friends who’ve nursed or a lactation consultant.
DON’T do any heavy lifting.
Resist the temptation to pick up anything heavier than your baby. Abdominal muscles, episiotomy stitches and C-section stitches need time to heal without stress.
DON’T strain to poop.
Just like heavy lifting, straining to poop is bad for you. Instead, eat fiber-rich foods, go for walks and use gentle stool softeners. And if nothing seems to work, make sure to talk to your doctor.
DON’T allow everyone to visit.
Of course everyone in your family will want to come see your new little one. Don’t be afraid to draw the line when you’re tired or simply want some family bonding time. What to do? Politely limit or say no to visitors.