How quickly you recover from childbirth varies across women. As per a recent study among new mothers, many women were found to have "high levels of exhaustion, back pain, urinary incontinence, sexual problems and perineal pain" even at six to seven months after giving birth! Of course, the recovery time is often longer for women who have had to undertake a surgical route, but even mommies who have given birth via normal delivery need time to recuperate. Childbirth is a very serious change for your baby and there is a lot that's been going on since the time you became pregnant.
The important thing to remember is that how much time you take to recover from the delivery doesn't reflect on your abilities as a mother. Or on how much pain you are able to handle for your baby. It is simply a function of your body and mental state and all of us are different individuals. You do your very best and that is what matters!
That said, you should definitely do what you can to speed up the recovery process. There is a lot of responsibility on your shoulders and you need to be healthy and energetic to fulfill these. Here are the must-dos you should follow to heal from your delivery quickly:
Also Read: 10 Important Things Moms Who Have Had a C-Section Must Do After Childbirth
To adjust to how your breasts feel different
Your breasts can become large and tender on the third or fourth day after your delivery and they will fill up with milk. Wear supportive bras to support your breasts. Massage your breasts with warm oil and express breast milk to relieve the pain caused by engorgement in case you are feeling uncomfortable.
To manage the heavy bleeding
After your delivery, you'll have vaginal bleeding that's much heavier than a typical period. This is because you'll be bleeding where the placenta was attached all this while, as well as shedding the uterine lining. This bleeding can get really uncomfortable and go on for several days. Try and use thick, heavy-duty sanitary pads and avoid tampons for a while. You should also get as much rest as possible, hard as it seems.
Warning: See The Doctor At Once If You Have Excessive Bleeding After Delivery
To stop feeling bloated in the abdominal area
Your abdomen post childbirth will still look quite big and saggy and feel bloated due to water retention, and also because your uterus hasn’t shrunk back to its normal size yet. Eating a balanced diet and drinking plenty of water and trying to get moving post-delivery can relieve the heaviness you feel in your abdomen. Continue breastfeeding as it helps with the process of contracting your uterus. ||
To stop leaking urine
You might experience temporary incontinence, that is, accidental urine leakage when you cough or laugh or move suddenly, post-delivery. You can do Kegel exercises to tighten your pelvic floor muscles to prevent this. You might also find it difficult to pass urine in the first few days after childbirth owing to the soreness you feel. To ease the pain, drink lots of water as this will dilute your urine and make it easy for you to pass urine.
To make going to the toilet easier
In the initial days of delivery, you may face problems with your bowel movement, and you might feel constipated or suffer from haemorrhoids. Avoid constipation by following a healthy postnatal diet consisting of fruits, fibre and vegetables.
To lift your mood from hormonal swings
Since giving birth to a child is an emotional experience, you will face many changes in your hormone levels that will impact your moods. You might feel cranky, low, sad and depressed. But time will heal such negative feelings. Try to take good care of yourself and your newborn, don’t hesitate to ask for help and seek expert advice if your baby-blues or postnatal depression seems to last for a long time.
To deal with acne on your skin
Childbirth exposes your body to such a surge of hormones that you might find yourself dealing with pimples again, just like in teenage. Amidst everything else you are battling, this can really make you feel overwhelmed. Just adopt a moisturising skincare routine and start incorporating Vitamin C and beta-carotene in your diet. Read this guide to get further tips on dealing with postpartum acne. Also, never pick at your pimples or pop them as that will make things worse.
To stop feeling detached and overwhelmed
Feeling of detachment with the newborn is common since you may feel overwhelmed with a sense of responsibility and helplessness. Try to build a bond with your newborn by keeping the baby close to you and breastfeeding him and spending time holding him. The more you hold or cuddle your child, the more you will feel attached to him. During breastfeeding, a hormone called oxytocin is released during breastfeeding which can help you feel relaxed.
To stop getting an infection due to weak immunity
To improve your immunity post-delivery, you might have to go for some immunizations like MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine, if you haven’t already taken them during your pregnancy. In case you are rhesus negative (RH-) and your partner is rhesus positive (RH+), you might need an injection to prevent your second baby from becoming anaemic, and to protect your newborn from becoming (RH+) rhesus positive.
Even after observing these must-dos, some mothers may need a whole year to recover, physically and emotionally, after they give birth to a child. Don’t stress too much on having a normal routine yet. Having a baby is a big change and it needs time to settle in. Meanwhile, just take your time to bond with your little one by spending quality time with him, and get prepared for your journey to parenthood. All the best!
With inputs from The Guardian
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