It is nearly impossible to be fully prepared for childbirth and labour. Every mum has a different experience, and our body surprises us with things we never even knew to expect. If you are expecting your first baby, you might be nervous as to what to expect from your body in the first 24 hours after birth. Here is a list of what you need to know about postpartum recovery, to help prepare you a little more.
Bleeding After Birth
Many of us are not prepared for postpartum bleeding and have no idea how long it actually lasts for. Vaginal bleeding can last for up to six weeks and can feel just like a heavy period. This is made up of the leftover blood and tissue from your uterus.
The bleeding is heaviest for the first ten days, and it does start to slow down after this. If you are bleeding through a maternity pad every hour or notice large clots, you should call your doctor. These are signs of postpartum haemorrhaging.
Postpartum Healing Tips
These tips can help to speed up your postpartum recovery, to help you feel better sooner.
- Use ice packs to help your perineum heal. Ice the area every couple of hours for the first day after birth. You should also spray warm water over the area both before and after going to the bathroom. This helps to stop urine from irritating the skin. Take warm sitz baths a few times a day for around 20 minutes to ease the pain.
- If you have had a C-section, you need to care for your incision. Clean it with gentle soap and water once a day, and dry it by patting it down with a clean towel. Apply antibiotic ointment to the incision, which is usually prescribed by your doctor. Avoid carrying heavy items and hold off on vigorous exercise.
- Your body will most likely be sore and achy from pushing. Use heating pads and hot showers to ease the pain.
- Try to eat fibre-rich foods such as fruits, whole grains, and veggies to remain regular. You can also use stool softeners to help with this as well. Avoid straining, as this will not be good for your C-section scar or perineal tears.
- It is likely that your breasts will be sore and tender following birth, and you might be trying to breastfeed as well. Use warm compresses or ice packs and gentle massage to ease the pain. Make sure to wear comfortable nursing bras and let your breasts air out after nursing and apply some nipple cream to sore and cracked nipples.
Stick To Doctors Appointment
It is so important to stick to your doctor’s appointments postpartum. They will help to ensure that everything is healing as it should, and they can also check in with you emotionally. Postpartum depression and baby blues are real, and they might be able to suggest the right help or give you advice on how to adjust to being a new mum.
You need to let them know of any symptoms that are bothering you and they will help treat them. Keep to these appointments to ensure you are recovering just as you should.
Keep all this information in mind on what you need to know about postpartum recovery!