Your body needs time to recover after childbirth. The tremendous change your body has undergone in the past nine months along with the delivery process has changed you both physically and mentally. Give yourself time and follow these steps to get back to optimal health.
Rest when your baby naps
The first few months after having your baby will probably be the most tiring months of your life. The dramatic change your body has undergone along with lack of sleep will make you extremely tired. If you are planning to get your work done while your baby sleeps, things are not going to workout. Get your much needed rest and sleep while the baby sleeps.
Work when your baby is awake
If you sleep when your baby sleeps, how can you get all the cooking and laundry done? Opt to get your chores done when the baby is awake. All babies love to watch their mothers. Keep talking to your baby as you go about your work.
Take a walk
Sitting inside the house the whole day will not do you much good. The air and sunshine outside will freshen you up. Ask your husband to watch the baby and go for a walk even if it is only for ten minutes.
Seek help in cooking
You need your rest after the first few months of delivery. If you are too tired to cook for the whole day, ask your husband to help you with the chores or take over the cooking for a few months. You could also make large batches of food and freeze it for later use.
Change your focus from cleaning
Your house doesn't need to be spick and span as the baby is your first priority. If you are not able to spare any time for cleaning, try to get the help of a cleaning service.
Take care of your perineal area
It is very common to have a tear or sometimes an episiotomy during a vaginal birth. Soothe the pain by sitting in a basin of water several times a day. This will also help to keep the area clean and promote better healing. You could also use ice packs to minimise swelling and reduce pain.
Have a healthy diet
Eating healthy foods is important both before and after delivery. A healthy diet will give you enough energy to look after your baby and help in your healing. Getting enough nutrition is also important if you want to breastfeed your baby. Do not forget to avoid alcohol if you are breastfeeding.
Look out for problems
The postpartum period is a time for healing your body. If you suddenly start bleeding heavily again, develop a breast infection or feel pain in your pelvic region do not hesitate to call your healthcare provider.
The need to pay constant attention to the baby combined with lack of sleep and decreasing hormone levels can make any new mother to feel low. But these feelings should usually disappear within about ten days. If your depressed feelings continue for longer than that or increase, you may be having a condition called postpartum depression. Other symptoms of postpartum depression include:
Feeling anxious, restless or irritable
Loss of interest in life
Loss of appetite
Less energy and motivation which is not related to lack of sleep
Problems falling and staying asleep or waking up too early in the morning
Feeling worthless, hopeless or guilty
Little or no interest in the baby
Unexplained weight loss or gain
If you are suffering from a number of these symptoms for more than a week or two, consult your healthcare provider. You may need the help of therapy or even medication to get back to your normal life. Get help if you need it, and in turn spare your baby and yourself a lot of heartache.