Updated: Jul 7
Post Birth Recovery: The Postpartum Moments
By Heartfelt Gestures
It's been a long pregnancy for some but for others its gone way too quickly. Its most likely been a time of excitement, but may have also been a time of struggle for others. The day finally arrives and the gorgeous bundle of joy finally makes an appearance! It's the most amazing, life changing moment. A special, beautiful moment where a woman becomes a Mum. The transition to parenthood is a unique time. It's a magnitude of emotions; ups, downs and a time of change and development.
Once the little one is born however, its all too common for the new Mum to become a little bit forgotten. New gifts such as cute little booties or tiny little outfits come flooding in, and although absolutely gorgeous, what actually should happen is the preservation of a protected, safe environment for Mum to recover from childbirth. This can take a huge toll physically, mentally and emotionally. This sacred time should promote recovery, restoration and bonding.
Considering this, the first six weeks is a time where a lot of these changes and transitions occur, so we have shared our top tips to support recovery and transition throughout this time:
Don't underestimate the power of 'Skin To Skin'! Immediately after childbirth, little one is usually placed 'Skin to Skin'. There is much more to this than meets the eye Baby is usually dried and placed directly onto Mums chest and covered with a blanket. This can also be a clever trick to use any time after birth to calm and sooth baby. Skin-to-skin contact is comforting to baby and can also help boost a new Mums milk supply. The mere act causes a burst of healthy and loving release of hormones in both Mum and baby and helps to combat stress. It regulates baby's heart rate, temperature and breathing, preparing them for transition to life outside the womb. Skin to skin is the most simplest, magical power that comes naturally. It helps the colonisation of the baby's skin with friendly bacteria and in turn helps protect against nasty infections. Skin to skin can be a tool that Mum can use in times when baby seems unsettled.
Our Suggestion: Get together a little survival kit. Nipple cream, snacks, hot drink, book, TV remote, phone, blanket or what ever else you may need. Keep it next to the sofa or bed and snuggle up under a blanket skin to skin with your baby for an hour or so, Maybe read or watch your favourite TV programme. Not only do you get a boost of all those stress busting, bonding and breastfeeding promoting hormones, it will aid your emotional recovery and aid positive wellbeing.
Aromatherapy! Sometimes having a beautiful smelling candle or using a relaxing sleep-inducing pillow spray can help create a relaxing environment and help provide some clarity. It can be a tiring time with those night feeds, and can sometimes make the days feel a struggle or stressful. A little bit of aromatherapy can have a powerful effect on how we feel and can be one of those little little steps to creating that safe and positive environment while you recover.
Our Suggestion: Use a pillow spray of an evening, Your nights may be broken but the sleep you do get needs to be the best quality possible. These can help aid a restful sleep in-between those night feeds.
Tears, grazes, lacerations and stitches can cause a little bit of stinging and discomfort when you first go to the toilet and it's important to keep the area clean to promote healing and prevent infection.
Our Suggestion: Keep a bottle that you can refill with clean tap water or a jug next to the toilet. This can be used to pour over the areas that sting while going to the toilet to dilute and therefore ease stinging and pain. This will help keep the area clean while you recover. Make sure that you dab dry the area afterwards using a clean towel that is only used by you to prevent infection. In addition to this, a perineum spray can be used to ease discomfort. Mist it over the perineal area whenever you are experiencing discomfort.
Don't rush to make routines or structured days. Now we know some people need structure and routine, its like their coping mechanism. But they key is to reduce that personal expectation that we sometimes place on ourselves. The first six weeks really should be slow paced. Your whole life just changed over night and this is going to take some adjustment. If you feel the need to plan and have structure, concentrate on organising practical things that will help your day flow better rather than timings or routine. For example, having a nappy changing kit ready to go.
Our Suggestion: Rather than trying to create strict routines in the early days, try to take each day as it comes and celebrate the positive that happened each day. If you feel like you function better on structure, try organising things that will help your day flow better instead of routines and times, Some examples of this are; Nappy changes (will happen when they need to), there is no controlling this, so maybe have a nappy changing kit ready and set up to make that element of baby care easier, Try having a nappy bag packed and ready next to the door to make leaving the house easier and quicker. Feeding will need to be in response to baby's cues and needs, and will not be scheduled initially, so If you need to sterilise any equipment then have this done straight after each feed so its ready for the next. For personal care, have breast pads and maternity pads in a set place that are easy to grab.
Take it easy and rest up. Listen to your body and get to know what's normal postpartum. Family and friends are excited to visit, and although well meaning, they can sometimes forget that you are a recovering Mum. Get your visitors to make you a cup of tea or bring some food with them. That way they can look after you a little rather than you running around making drinks or snacks.
Our Suggestion: Follow the advice above, but also remember you are physically recovering. Get to know your body and what is normal. Take a look at your stitches so you can observe any changes and seek help if you are worried, unsure or in pain. Listen to your body if you feel like you have over done it, as this can cause some aches. Take it down a notch and rest up.
Take a look at our Postpartum Recovery Gift and Care packages: Self-care is extremely important, and our care packages and hampers are designed specifically to help aid your recovery and transition as a new Mum.
Follow our blog for more New Mum and Postpartum Recovery Tips.