Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to take over the Instagram of Tara Rochford, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, new mama and former client. Definitely check out TaraRochfordnutrition.com to learn more about Tara and check out her delicious recipes!
During the IG takeover, I chatted about all things related to doula work, pregnancy and more. But one thing I spent a lot of time talking about was postpartum recovery. I shared with her followers what my top four tips for women in the postpartum recovery phase are, and I wanted one be sure to share those with you too!
4 Tips for Postpartum Recovery
1. Prepare There are so many things you can do to prepare for recovery before baby even gets here! Things like meal prepping, bathroom prepping, making room caddies, staging your rooms for easy R&R… the list goes on and on.
Take some time during the “nesting” phase of pregnancy to get organized and prepared for your postpartum days. And if you need some inspiration on what things might make you feel more prepared, check out Mama’s Registry list!
2. Forget that “6-week” time frame We all know that at about 6 weeks postpartum, mom (finally) goes back to the doctor for a little check up. Doc will see how you’re healing externally by checking the healing of either the perineum (vaginal deliveries) or the cesarean scar, as well as typically paving a pelvic exam to check the uterus, ovaries and cervix. Assuming that things are healing well, you’ll receive a go ahead to resume “regular activity” as you were pre-pregnancy (exercise, sex, etc.).
But it’s important to know that just because your body seems to be healing well after delivery, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you can hit the ground running back to pre-pregnancy activities.
When it comes to workouts and any other type of physical activity, it’s so important to start slow and build up. This isn’t only important for your body- muscles, pelvic floor, heart rate, etc.- it’s also really important for your mental health and state of mind. Remember, you still have a newborn. Your sleep will be off, your mood may be off, your will power might not be there, your sex drive might not be there… That is all normal, and it’s all is OK!
So remember that each day you may feel different than the day before and that is perfectly fine. Postpartum recovery ebbs and flows and you should adjust your days and activities accordingly.
3. Give yourself grace During postpartum recovery, it’s so important to remember that while some days may be really good- you feel good, you’ve got lots of energy and you’re ready to tackle your day… the next day you may be exhausted and not want to even get off the couch. Again, BOTH are okay and normal.
When you’re recovering from childbirth, the most important thing you can do is rest and cuddle and bond with your baby. It certainly isn’t the time to feel like you need to do any and everything. Take advantage of the downtime, especially on the days that you’re feeling a little more tired/frustrated/overwhelmed. And for the days that you feel good? Feel free to cease the day, but remember not to over-do it. On the good days, try to aim for one or two tasks you want to accomplish, and reassess how you’re feeling throughout the rest of your day.
4. Ask for help A lot of times, women feel like they have to do it all. And while I firmly believe that women can do it all and have it all, I also feel the need to remind women that during this phase (an any phase, really) of life, they don’t have to do it all.
If you’re lucky enough to have a partner, friends, family, a doula to help after baby arrives… let them help. There are tools and resources and people out there ready to help you so you can recover, bond with your baby and enjoy these postpartum days, rather than struggle through them feeling overwhelmed and alone.
So please, let us help! You deserve to feel good and get rest.
With these tips, I hope that you remember that even though the postpartum days are oftentimes centered around baby, mama, you need some TLC too.
If you’re interested in learning more about postpartum recovery and how you can prepare yourself for a positive postpartum experience, visit my services page to learn about the Postpartum Prep service that is customized to you and your family’s needs once you bring home your precious bundle of joy.