3 Ways to Prepare for Postpartum Recovery
June 28, 2017
While many expecting moms put a lot of time and effort into preparing for labor, many fail to adequately plan for what happens next. (Maybe it’s because it’s more fun to focus on the excitement of your child’s arrival, and not on the mesh underwear and diaper-thick pads you’ll most likely be sporting for awhile. Just a thought.)
Never fear, we’re here to help you with three ways to prepare yourself for postpartum recovery. (And don’t forget to check out our tried and true postpartum recovery guide here.)
1. Have a realistic recovery timeframe in mind.
You can never be 100% sure how your body is going to handle your delivery, especially if your birth doesn’t go exactly as planned. So make sure that you’ve allotted yourself plenty of time to heal and recover. Whether it’s tacking on a little extra vacation time to your maternity leave, or planning to have family come and assist you with your baby, it’s vital that you create some “me-time” to allow your body and mind time to heal.
2. Make sure you have all the necessary supplies to aid your recovery.
I mentioned mesh underwear above, because that’s not always something that’s talked about. Given the fact that you’ve just birthed a child, whether vaginally or via C-section, there are going to be some items that will be helpful postpartum. Here’s a little list of items to consider:
- Mesh underwear
- Heavy flow maxi pads
- A peri bottle
- Ice packs (for your nether regions)
- Tucks pads and/or witch hazel pads
- Dermoplast (a must if you have any stitches from a vaginal delivery)
- Belly binder (this is especially important if you’ve had a C-section)
- Red raspberry leaf tea
- Nursing pads (if you plan on breastfeeding)
- An electric pump (also if you plan on breastfeeding)
- Donut pillow
- Nipple cream
Try to stock up on all of the items they provide you with at the hospital (e.g. mesh undies, maxi pads, peri bottles, tucks pads, Dermoplast, etc.) so you don’t have to buy them yourself. Don’t be afraid to ask for extras, either. This will save you time and money.
3. Prepare yourself emotionally.
While you’re not going to know exactly how you’ll feel once baby has arrived, you can mentally prepare yourself for what is to come. Some of the best advice I received before having my oldest was from my mother, who told me, “Honey, you’re probably going to feel like an alien for a little while after having your baby. That’s normal, and you’re not going to feel like that forever.” Your hormones are going to be a little overactive, and you might not feel like yourself. Don’t freak out, it’s totally normal.
Typically, you are going to feel a little weird, because of said hormones, lack of sleep and the fact that your body is healing. Once baby has arrived, try to take care of yourself by showering daily, putting on fresh clothes (even if it’s just another pair of pajamas) and spending some time outside every day. You’ll be amazed how much that can help.
**However, if you are experiencing issues with overwhelming depression or anxiety, or having trouble bonding with your baby, please seek help immediately. Postpartum Depression and Anxiety are no joke, and should be addressed by a professional who has the tools to help you.**
Hopefully, this information will help you better prepare for your child’s arrival, and help you arm yourself with the knowledge you need to make your postpartum period as successful as possible.
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