Thursday, April 4, 2013

Postpartum Tips

I've been thinking lately what kind of advice I would give to a new mom about what to expect postpartum and what things I would do differently the second time around.

1. My #1 tip would be to take it EASY! Especially if you tear and have stitches. If you are one of the lucky ones that don't tear, then your recovery will probably be a bit easier. The biggest mistake I made postpartum was trying to do too much too soon. I had a second degree tear that required stitches and a few little scratches that didn't require any stitches. I remember just days after giving birth, I was trying to go out for walks. You get a bit of cabin fever taking care of a newborn! We would have to turn around and come home because it would start to hurt. Hello! That should have been a sign to me to take it easy, but no, I kept trying to go on walks because I wanted to get out of the house. Learn from my mistake, take it easy! I was sore for about 6 weeks and it probably would have been less had I not tried to go out on walks. An alternative to getting out of the house is to lay out a blanket in your backyard or front yard and enjoy the outdoors with out having to go anywhere! Plop your newborn out there next to you.

2. Start taking sitz baths immediately. If you can manage 3 a day, do it! Who has time for that with a newborn though? I took one a day. Jack would watch the baby every evening and I would go soak in the tub for 20 minutes and then take my shower. It really helped with the soreness.

3. Take stool softener. That first bowel movement is going to be scary. Take the stool softener to help it along. Also, make sure to drink lots of water and eat foods with fiber like apples and pears. I'm not a doctor so check with your doc before taking stool softener. They'll probably prescribe you some before you leave the hospital.

4. Tucks and the peri bottle are your friend. Fill the peri bottle up with warm water and squirt while you pee and afterwards. It feels so good. Then dab yourself dry and then dab yourself with tucks pads working the pad from front to back. Use multiple tucks pads. I would use a bunch each time I went to the bathroom, because they feel so refreshing. Here's another thing that surprised me, sitting on the toilet hurt like a mo fo. I remember I didn't want to go #2 because that meant I had to sit on the can longer. I would grip the doorknob and just cringe. It was worse than childbirth.

5. I never did this, but I should have. Wet a diaper or pad and then freeze it. Apply to your lady bits to ease soreness.

6. Don't stress about chores. Remember take it easy and let others clean the house.

7. Be prepared - your hormones will be out of whack the first week or two. I remember just crying at the drop of a pin for every little thing. Especially right before Jack went back to work. I had some full on sob fest, panic attacks about it. Just know that it will pass and you'll soon be feeling more like your normal self. Of course if the crying continues past a few weeks, talk to your doctor about postpartum depression.

8. Night sweats - they're normal. Seriously, no one tells you about this stuff beforehand. But I would wake up drenched in sweat for weeks. I think it's the body's way of getting rid of all that extra fluid from pregnancy plus the hormone thing.

9. Do something for yourself. For me, I liked to put on a bit of makeup to feel a little like my normal self.

10. It's ok to mourn your previous life a little. Having a baby is a huge life adjustment and it's a very difficult to deal with at first. I know some deal with it just fine and the transition is smooth. For me, not so much, and for Jack too. I remember we both had moments like, "what did we get ourselves into?!" Taking care of a newborn is hard!!! Of course you love your baby and wouldn't trade them for anything in the world, but it's OK to be a little sad about this life adjustment.

11. Final tip, enjoy all those sleepy newborn baby snuggles! Before you know it, they won't want to snuggle with you anymore so enjoy it while it lasts! I can still get my 5 month old to snuggle with me, especially before a nap or bedtime, but it's not the same as when he was a newborn. Already gone are the days where he would nap on my chest for hours. I already miss that.

One of the last times I remember him sleeping on me like this when he was 3 months 

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