You’ve just given birth - congratulations! Your body has just gone through one of the most natural and remarkable things that it will ever do and, after 9 months of waiting, you’re probably looking forward to being at home with your new baby. In the coming weeks, it’s normal for all your focus to be on your baby, but it’s important to remember that you need to take care of yourself too.
No matter if your delivery was complicated or fairly straightforward, fully recovering from childbirth can take months. On average, by the time your baby is 6-8 weeks, you’ll feel almost fully recovered, but the path to recovery is unique and different for every woman. It’s important not to push yourself and avoid getting frustrated and, instead, relax and take your time. With that in mind, here are 3 tips for looking after yourself after giving birth.
Rest, Then Rest Some More
We all know the saying, “sleep when the baby sleeps” and whilst it’s an old saying usually given to new mums, it is important to get as much rest and sleep as possible in the first few weeks. If you’ve had a natural or cesarean birth, you need to remember that what you’ve gone through is a large procedure and will require a lot of rest and recovery, especially in the first few days. Then, you’ll soon learn that babies have very different time clocks to adults and typically wake up every 3 hours.
As well as getting to grips with a newborn, you’ll also likely get an influx of visitors over the first few weeks as they will want to say hello to your new addition. Remember, it’s completely down to you if you feel up to welcoming visitors, so don’t be afraid to say no if you’re not feeling up to it.
Eat Healthily and Stay Hydrated
Your body has gone through a lot, both during and after birth. As well as resting enough, you also need to support your body through nutrition. It’s completely natural to gain weight during pregnancy, as this helps support your body in the recovery period and if you decide to breastfeed. A lot of professionals suggest eating as and when you’re hungry, but as a new mum, eating might not be your first priority - you might be too tired, busy or simply forget!
It’s best to eat a healthy, balanced diet after giving birth, full of natural foods, fruits and vegetables. But remember, eat as and when you can and if there are certain foods you just fancy, enjoy! Drinking lots of water can help to support your body in a number of different ways in the first few days after birth and can help keep things working as they should
As you did whilst pregnant, taking some multivitamins and supplements can help support your body in the recovery phase post-birth. Iron is hugely important as it can help to replenish the iron lost during childbirth, as can vitamin B12 or vitamin B complex.
Ask For Help
A lot of new parents are wary of accepting help when they first give birth. A mixture of protection, pride and often fear are the main reasons why a lot of mums don’t accept help or an extra pair of hands. But, if you’re offered help, whether it’s in the form of washing up, cooking a meal or even just making a hot drink - take it! It can make your recovery process so much easier, plus means you’re not stretching yourself as thinly in those important first weeks.