When I was pregnant with my son I was on the research mode all day and night. I was the Google Queen feeding every brain cell of mine with baby gear reviews. If that got tiring I read all about handling labour, taking care of my newborn, breast feeding and cloth diapering. Do you know the one thing I was totally unprepared to take care of? Myself! That’s right! I didn’t have a clue about what waits after the labour.
No, I am not trying to scare you. I am just going to share my 2 cents with you that would make you spend less time in the bathroom trying for the nth time to get things going down there.Postpartum period can hit you real hard if you are totally unprepared.So here is a list of things that helped me survive postpartum.
You will be bleeding a lot in the first few days. It is usual to bleed for about 6 weeks after delivery. So stock up on sanitary pads. I used Always overnight pads wings and had to change every 4 hours in the first few days. But if I had to do it again I would choose to use Cloth pads.
You don’t want to wear designer lingerie made of laces and satin. You need something light and comfortable. Cotton panties are the best, they are soft and breathable. Honestly I liked using the Granny panties given in the hospital. They were soft, stretchy and I cared less tossing them in garbage if they got stained.
Say Hello to your new best friend! He will be there waiting for you after every bathroom trip. You simply fill the bottle with water and squirt it to cleanse your perineum. I filled it with warm water as I hate anything cold touching my body. Some moms even make a special solution with essentials oil (witch hazel,lavender,calendula etc). A couple of gentle squirts cleans the sticky lochia (postpartum discharge) and helps to soothe itchy tears. Trust me you don’t want to be rubbing toilet paper against your sore bottoms. Most hospitals do provide a peri bottle, if not, please ASK!
The first poop after delivery is a night mare. It takes time, a lot of fluids and some stool softeners to get things going down there. I was given these at the hospital and I continued taking them for a week or so because I was super constipated. Even if you don’t want to buy them before hand, do remember these when the struggle gets real.
If you have previous history of constipation, then be prepared to be hit by it again and it can be pretty hard. I took fiber supplements to help with my constipation. You can take these mixed with water,apple or prune juice. Make sure to drink lots and lots of water when you are taking supplements.
Cool gel pads :
Your bottoms are going to be sore and swollen from the tears and pushing. Placing cool gel pads against your bottom can reduce swellings and can be soothing.You can even soak your sanitary or cloth pads in water mixed with few drops of essentials oil,freeze it and use them as cool pads.
Haemorrhoid cream and Tuck pads:
Many women are prone to get haemorrhoids after labour. All the pushing can be strenuous on the muscles in the surrounding area hence causing haemorrhoids. Simply apply the cream after every bowel movement (or more if feeling irritated) and place the tuck pads over the haemorrhoid for instant relief.
If you are planning to breast feed then check out my post on Breastfeeding Essentials.
Postpartum recovery is very crucial not only for your physical health but also to your mental and emotional health. Do not expect your body to bounce right back. Take heed to the clues your body gives and take it slow. Use this time to catch up on some reading, enjoy sweet snuggles with your precious little one and abide by the good old ‘sleep while your baby sleeps’ commandment.
So don’t forget to pack your postpartum survival kit along with your hospital bag. I hope this list helps you with a speedy recovery.