You’ve been pregnant for 9 months. You’re ready for this baby to come. You’ve washed all the clothes, sanitized the bottles, and readied the nursery. You’ve spent so much time preparing for what the baby needs after they come, did you prepare for what you will need after giving birth?
The truth is a lot of women don’t expect what comes next. You’ve just given birth to a tiny human and your body needs time to heal. Here are some tips on how to survive the early weeks of postpartum.
The Dreaded Trip to The Bathroom
It’s true you might have never thought about it before, but once your baby is born you will have never feared having a bowel movement more. After giving birth it could take a few days before you have a bowel movement. The backup can cause women to be a bit nervous about going, especially if you have stitches.
Don’t hold it in, it’ll only make it worse. Instead, make sure you’re drinking a ton of water. Eat foods that are high in fiber and talk to your doctor about using a stool softener to help things make their way out smoothly.
Stock Up on Pads
The hospital is really great at giving you what you need for when you’re ready to go home. However, it’s a good idea to prepare and stock up on heavy duty pads. It’ll seem like you’re having your period for a very, very long time. Stay away from tampons as they might cause an infection.
Make sure you have plenty of underwear that you won’t mind throwing away. You might go through them quickly and you won’t want to be tossing your $30.00 Victoria Secret panties.
You just had a baby so why do you still look pregnant? Don’t worry it’s totally normal! Your uterus needs time to go back to its original size. Don’t be alarmed if your belly is still looking round. Breastfeeding does help the shrinking process.
While your uterus is shrinking it’s normal to also feel period like cramps. If something doesn’t feel right or if the pain is unbearable, be sure to call your doctor to make sure everything is healing properly.
Don’t feel bad if you need to cut the elastic from your underwear or sweats. It’s better to be comfortable and relaxed then thinking your body is going to just snap back into shape.
If you were able to avoid hemorrhoids during your pregnancy, after pushing a baby out you might not be so lucky. Don’t worry it’s normal and they usually shrink after a few weeks. In the meantime, you’ll want to treat them, so they don’t drive you crazy. Stock up on Witch Hazel. You can use cotton swabs and the Witch Hazel to put on the area or pick up Witch Hazel pads to use. This will give you some relief and you can apply when necessary.
You might actually feel hungrier after the baby comes then you did your entire pregnancy. You need energy, nourishment, and snacks to keep you going ;)
If you’re able to prep meals before you give birth that’s a huge bonus. Making quick and easy meals you can freeze ahead of time will save you the brain space later. If not, don’t worry. Feel ok about ordering out after the baby comes. Family and friends will want to bring you dinner, don’t feel ashamed about taking a handout or two! You just had a baby so it’s important you’re well fed.
Have your significant other stock the house with snacks and easy to eat foods. Things like muffins, granola bars, apples, bananas, or premade sandwiches will be really helpful those first few days.
Rest Is Essential
It’s hard to really rest when you’re a new mom. A newborn baby needs constant care. “Sleep when the baby sleeps” they say, sometimes that’s not always possible. However, make sure you find rest somehow and some way that works for you.
Taking a hot shower will seem like a tropical vacation after you have a newborn home for a day or so. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, let family or loved ones come by and give you a hand, accept friends bringing you dinner, and most of all don’t be afraid to ask people to leave.
Sleep when you can make sure you’re taking care of yourself.