Congratulations on making it through the roller coaster that is pregnancy and the life changing event that is labour! As you may have guessed, the journey doesn’t stop once your baby is placed in your arms in the delivery room, you now have a lot of recovering to do as well as a bundle of joy to care for. The kind of recovery you’re going to have will ultimately depend on the kind of birth you had, if you had a natural birth with little or no intervention then you can usually self-care at home, however if your birth was little more complicated or involved a birthing injury – you can find out more about birth injury causes here – then your midwife or postnatal care team will advise you on your recovery.
Here you’ll find some simple, straightforward recovery tips that all new mums can benefit from.
Don’t be afraid to say no
Overbearing relatives, advice you don’t want or need, and hypercritical grandparents are all things that new mums probably have to deal with…It’s true that all these people mean well, however it isn’t always the best thing for your mental health. Remember, you’ve just gone through a huge physical and emotional ordeal, so don’t let anyone play that down. You need time to adjust, to find a routine that works for you and your newborn and of course, get to know you new addition. Don’t be afraid to say no or reject the advice of people who are making you feel inadequate or that you’re doing something wrong. If you’re unsure or do want advice, speak to your health visitor, midwife or someone you trust.
Get as much rest as you can
With a little one needing feeds every couple of hours, getting any sleep at all sounds like a minor miracle. However, rest is an important factor in your postpartum recovery, so put your feet up as much as you can, sleep when the baby sleeps and don’t worry about things like housework or menial tasks.
Eat for health
Most pregnant women like to indulge a little when they’re expecting. But now you’re on the other side of labour you need to start eating with health in mind. Plenty of fruit and veggies are an absolute must, as is drinking plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated. Remember, the better you eat the more energy you will have, and if you’re breast feeding then your baby will also benefit from your diet too!
Take the baby for a light jog or walk around the block in the buggy, try a little yoga in the living room, or try swimming. Most midwives recommend exercise after a natural birth at around 6 weeks post-delivery. However, every pregnancy is different, and you should consult your midwife before exercising.
The baby blues are a completely normal part of motherhood. However, if you’re worrying about your mental health or experiencing emotions that don’t seem right or you’re concerned it might be something more serious, then speak with your GP or midwife. You’ll always receive good support and guidance after giving birth, so if you need help, don’t be afraid to reach out.