Postnatal Recovery: What New Mothers Should Expect
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Postpartum recovery can be very challenging for many women. It can last a long time, and with a baby on your hands to take care of, you may feel so swamped that you have no time to focus on yourself.
The time it takes to recover completely varies depending on your body’s healing abilities and whether or not you had a complicated pregnancy and delivery. Still, no matter the variations, there are some tips that all moms can follow.
Check the following suggestions if you want to get an idea of where you can start the recuperation process.
Table of Contents
Get enough rest
This advice can seem naïve, and you may be rolling your eyes right now, but it’s not all that impossible to achieve. While newborns are notoriously known as sleep schedule destroyers, routinely waking you up at 3 am.
There are ways to bypass that exhaustion and get the sleep you need. Your body’s resources are going towards post-delivery healing, making you feel like you’re completely lacking energy. Because of this, it’s essential to get as much sleep as possible to help speed the recovery process.
One way to do that is to try and sleep when your baby sleeps. You may be taking the time your little one is dozing off to complete household chores like doing laundry, but it’d be better if you prioritized having a break.
Looking after your baby will be a challenge if you’re so tired you’re ready to drop. You should also not feel embarrassed to ask for help. Ask your spouse or another family member to help you out. Just because you’re the mother doesn’t mean you have to do everything yourself.
Don’t forget nutrition
Much like sleeping, a healthy diet is also crucial in postnatal recovery. Eating balanced meals will provide your body with nutrients and energy and make the entire process run smoother.
According to research, nursing mothers should consume roughly 500 extra calories daily to meet the demands on their bodies. However, nutrition should come from healthy sources. You require healthy fats, carbs, proteins and fiber to help your body recover.
So make sure you include Greek yogurt, fruit, honey, fish, leafy greens, vegetables and chicken or lean beef in your meal planning. Protein bars are a good choice for a quick snack, but you should check the label to ensure they contain at least 15 grams of protein and don’t contain too much sugar.
You’ve eaten dehydrated fruit, and it’s still real fruit. Earth Breeze Laundry Sheets are along the same lines. They’re actual laundry detergent but made in eco-friendly sheets. They’re just dehydrated laundry sheets that come in cardboard envelopes.
Supplementation is also essential as breastfeeding uses up your caloric intake and vitamins.
It is beneficial for nursing mothers due to being a galactagogue, a compound that increases milk production. Moreover, it nourishes and supports your body during this intensive period. Another benefit of the product is that it helps regulate normal hepatic functions.
Your liver can often be put under a lot of stress during pregnancy, and recovery can be challenging. Milk thistle, particularly an antioxidant called silymarin, positively affects the liver, supporting its natural regeneration processes.
Pick comfortable clothes
You may be impatient to return to all your previous habits, including wearing your usual, non-maternity clothing. While that can give you a sense of accomplishment, it can also adversely affect your body.
It’s best to go for comfortable, loose clothing that is stretchy and convenient. But just because you’re prioritizing the utilitarian aspect of clothing doesn’t mean that you can’t look cute.
Joggers and leggings are tried-and-tested options. They are comfy, go well with anything, and are perfect for running errands and sleeping.
You can always pick a unitard if you don’t want to struggle with mixing and matching your pieces. You need to add a cardigan and maybe a cap, and you’re ready to go. And don’t forget to consider some sleepwear if you’re lacking in that area.
Nightshirts are a great idea, as they’re breezy and many have front buttons, which come in handy when you have to wake up often in the middle of the night to feed your baby.
But if you’re not a nightshirt type, there are many two-piece pajamas to pick and choose from.
Look for a combo that is not too constricting and is made from breathable materials to ensure maximum comfort.
Start working out
When recovering post-baby, you are likely to feel so tired that working out is probably the last thing on your mind. Just the simple thought of it might make you want to sigh.
And it would be a completely understandable reaction. But getting back into physical activity will benefit your immune system and overall well-being, so you should get into it as soon as possible.
If you’re unsure when that would be, you should talk with your physician. They can advise you about the ideal moment to start working out again and the type of activity you should start with.
It’s most likely a good bet to avoid anything too strenuous initially, even if you feel like your energy levels are up. Walking is an excellent exercise to start with. Not only is it effective, but it can also give you some quality time to spend with your newborn, as you can take them along in their stroller.
Other options include exercise ball workouts. For example, you can alternate by reaching your opposite arm and leg, holding the position for a few seconds, and then changing sides. If you’re looking for a good stretch, you can try the classic cat-cow in tabletop move, which helps reduce back pain.
Give yourself time
After giving birth, you’ll have a lot on your plate. A baby is a huge responsibility, and your routine will change drastically to accommodate the tiny human. Your whole schedule will revolve around them, and you’ll start doing everything with them in mind.
Their safety becomes your primary concern, and their comfort is your main priority. This is why it’s important not to put any additional pressure on yourself.
You may feel that you’re slower or less efficient during your postpartum recovery, which can make you feel frustrated. And while that’s completely normal, it’s important not to force yourself throughout this process and let everything happen organically.
Besides, when you hyperfocus on your recuperation and worry that it’s not happening fast enough, you are likely to miss out on the beauty of some of the moments spent with your baby. And you definitely don’t want that.
Erin is the mother of identical twin girls and their slightly older brother. She is a domestic engineer, and previously had a career leading customer service teams for a major HVAC company. Cleaning without harsh chemicals, and cooking easy and usually healthy meals are part of Erin's daily life. She volunteers with youth leaders, and genuinely wants to help others win. Erin has a degree in Communications, with a focus on Broadcast Journalism.