Once again, I’m not going to sugar coat things in this blog post. If you are not a woman, or someone interested in reading about my honest postpartum experience (which may involve me talking about menstrual pads and hemorrhoids) then this blog post may not be for you!
Before I even got pregnant, I was busy researching anything and everything I could learn about pregnancy. When I was pregnant I kept researching and learning about all of the changes that were going on in my body. I even started learning about what breastfeeding would be like after giving birth, but for some reason I never really thought about what life would be like right after having our baby.
I haven’t shared my full birth story here, but I did on Instagram. To keep it short, I had a WONDERFUL natural water birth at home without any complications or interventions. So I kind of thought that my recovery would be super quick and I would get back to living my normal life immediately. While I did recover pretty fast, it was not something that happened in a week or two.
Resting the first few weeks after Cole was born was honestly a really challenging thing for me. I’m a busy person; I like to keep my house tidy and clean, I like to see friends and family, I like to walk by the beach, etc. But I really needed to be sleeping when my baby was sleeping, and eating, and that’s it!
I felt like it was taking forever for my body to recover (not impatient at all LOL). I think that over exerting myself is one of the reasons I got postpartum hemorrhoids THREE times in the first two months after giving birth 😭
In many cultures, the postpartum period is a time for the mother to solely focus on nourishing her body and bonding with her new child. Women uplift the new mother and care for her. There’s a saying that “new mothers need to be mothered too”. I didn’t read this book, but I love the premise that mothers should be focusing on a highly nutritional diet after giving birth.
Here are some things I wish I had known:
- You will be sore down there! But there are tucks pads and claraderm spray to help.
- Make yourself some “padsicles” (pad+popsicles) with toxin free pads and witch hazel before you give birth.
- Forget underwear for the first few weeks. Wear disposable Depends (you read that correctly). LIFE CHANGING during the healing process.
- When you are ready for underwear again, forget thongs – opt for comfort and remember to wear panty liners.
- Don’t even look at toilet paper, just use a peri-bottle after going to the bathroom.
- Take sitz baths as often as you can.
- Ask your friends and family to set up a meal train so that loved ones can bring you meals while you rest.
- When you run out of meal-train food, arrange for a food service like HelloFresh or Sun Basket to deliver ingredients your spouse can whip up for the both of you.
- Dishes can wait, use biodegradable plates while you’re healing.
- Don’t even THINK about trying to lose weight. Focus on keeping your calorie-count up so that you can establish a milk supply for your baby (if you’re breastfeeding). Even if you’re not breastfeeding- you NEED energy to care for your new baby. Focus on eating nutritious food.
I hope that these tips help you and please feel free to reach out if you have any questions.