I’ve read a lot of articles about postpartum tips. As a pregnant mommy it’s one of the major things you feel like you need to know. The postpartum journey is super important! Having gone through it twice, there are a few unique tips that I don’t remember seeing often, if at all, and so I’d like to share them with you since knowing them beforehand would have been majorly helpful. Here are some Postpartum Tips and Other Things You Should Know.
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Postpartum Tips and Other Things You Should Know
If you’ve researched postpartum healing and what to expect, you already know a bit about what’s ahead. You likely have a general idea of what takes place.
There are a few postpartum facts you may not know, however, and some tips you may haven’t thought about. That’s what I’m going to share with you.
Postpartum Tips and Other Things You Should Know
1: Contractions After Childbirth
Once you push baby out the relief is instantaneous. You can feel an immediate difference afterward. Then comes the afterbirth, accompanied by a contraction.
It’s much easier than pushing out baby, and you’re already so emotional and over the moon as you meet your little that you’ll likely not be paying all that much attention.
But that’s not the end of contractions. It would be so nice if it were, but your uterus has to contract to heal, and begin shrinking down to its original size.
What you may not know is that breastfeeding your baby triggers those contractions.
But it doesn’t feel amazing. It feels like contractions. If you’re not ready it can be brutally disappointing. Here you thought you were done with all that pain and hard work and now you’re feeling more contractions?
This is why you need to be aware. It can be pretty uncomfortable, and being taken by surprise while you and Baby bond during breastfeeding is a rude interruption.
Note: The contractions can be more intense with your second baby on than with your first.
Now, on down to the trick to help you out with these contractions!
How I adore the nurse that shared this trick with me when my second son was born!
If only I’d known this with my first! This tip was an amazing help!
Remember those contractions I said you’d get while breastfeeding? Well, there is something you can do about it.
About 2 minutes before you nurse, massage your uterus for a few minutes. It’s a little tender but the benefits are worth it!
Massaging your uterus before nursing will make the contractions feel less like labor and more like menstrual cramps.
It works! And I owe that nurse a present for that invaluable tip!
2: Postpartum Belly
You may already be aware of this, but if you aren’t it can be quite a surprise to see.
Expect to still look 5-6 months pregnant after giving birth.
It’s disappointing, I know. But your body has done a lot of shifting around to make room for Baby, and your uterus has grown quite a bit. It doesn’t all go away immediately after giving birth.
It can take anywhere from weeks to months for your tummy to go back down.
Don’t be hard on yourself. Give yourself time to heal.
Make sure your pajamas and what you pack to wear home from the hospital is sized to fit at 5-6 months pregnant.
3: Postpartum Restrictions
If you have a c-section, you’ll have a lot more restrictions and it’s non-negotiable.
But for those of you who have a vaginal delivery, the bounce-back time will feel much shorter. The healing is faster and after getting that baby out you’ll feel so much relief.
You need to be careful.
Yes, you feel relief and the pressure is gone. But that doesn’t mean you can go home and return to normal. Your body still needs time to heal.
Some may feel a little more sore than others, and that’s a good reminder to lay low and get plenty of rest.
For those of you who feel almost completely normal a couple of days later: beware!
You still need to take it easy! Your body has done a lot of shifting around to accommodate baby. Not only that, but even though you feel fine you are still healing from giving birth.
You are still restricted to light duty. I was shocked when my nurse told me I couldn’t pick up my oldest son for 6 weeks! What!? How was I supposed to manage that?
She suggested kneeling down to hug and comfort him, and was very firm about not lifting him up. That excessive lifting can delay the healing process.
I haven’t been perfect about that, but I’ve certainly done my best.
As mamas, we don’t think about it. If our tot is crying or hurt and we feel able, we’ll scoop them up and cuddle them close. No question. According to my postpartum nurse, that isn’t the wisest choice.
Use your discretion. Maybe let your tot climb up next to you and snuggle while you put your feet up.
4: You’ll Need A Helper
If this is your first baby, a helper is nice to have. If this is your second baby or more, a helper is a necessity.
Since you are restricted, you’ll need someone around to help you manage your other babies.
You’ll also need a helper to do some of the heavy duty cleaning. Things like lifting a full laundry basket, scrubbing the tub, mopping and vacuuming are not a good idea while you’re healing.
Even if you feel up to it, all of your healthcare professionals are going to tell you not to. You need to give yourself time to recuperate.
Aside from that, you’re going to be exhausted. Your baby will need to eat every 3-4 hours (if not more frequently).
Trying to manage it all alone with a newborn and other kiddos around can quickly turn into a nightmare.
Have someone you trust be around to watch your other children and help with chores will make your postpartum journey much, much more manageable.
5: Meal Prep
When you get home from the hospital, the last thing you’re going to want to do is have to figure out how the family is going to eat.
Everyone still has to eat. It’s not like laundry, where it can be put off for a couple days.
This is probably one of the most important things to prep before you go into labor.
I didn’t do it, and I wish I had. I ended up with a severe infection postpartum and simply didn’t have the strength to cook three squares for the family.
Had it not been for my mom and other family members who graciously brought/cooked food, things would have gotten pretty crazy.
You may feel well enough to cook, or you may not, but it’s not a good idea to risk it.
The cool thing is that most dads get paternity leave these days and can help out (unless you’re a business owner like my husband, then the work never stops). Still, it’s a good idea to have a plan.
Either have some meals prepped and ready in the freezer or have a plan on how you’re going to feed your family. Stock up on snacks for those kiddos in advance.
6: Meal Prep for The Kiddos
If your kids are older then you’ll probably be fine prepping dishes for the whole family.
But if you have a toddler who likes to eat what they eat, you’ll need to think about that before you go into labor.
Once you’re home and healing up, you won’t want to have to stress about rummaging up some food for your little.
Have a plan for what they’ll eat those first few days in so that whoever is helping you can prepare it for your tot.
This might seem a bit strange, but you mamas of tots know how picky they can be, and just how creative you have to get sometimes. It’s stressful during normal times, let alone when you’ve just come home from giving birth.
Have a plan in place.
7: Newborn Station
I’ve mentioned this before in my other posts about baby’s first week home. It’s super important and will save your sanity.
Have a caddy in your room, near your bed and baby’s bassinet, stocked with baby necessities. When it’s 3:00 in the morning you’re not going to want to be running around the house trying to track down what you need.
And baby will wait to have their massive poop blowout until you’re at your most exhausted state. Then they’ll explode through their diaper and wreak havoc on their pajamas.
All hope is not lost on those pajamas! Get this simple, non-toxic trick to remove baby poop stains with just 2 ingredients!
Stock your baby caddy with:
- Burp cloths
- Extra baby pajamas
- A muslin swaddle or two
- Diaper cream
Pro-Tip: Put a small, cloth storage bin in the caddy for baby’s dirty clothes. Save yourself all those trips to the laundry and just fill up the bin and then take the bin to the laundry when it’s full. (Thanks, Mom for that amazing tip!)
8: Nursing Friendly Pajamas
Remember that you’ll be on light duty? That means you probably won’t be doing laundry for a little bit.
The last thing you want to run out of is pajamas!
Just take my word for it. You’ll want plenty of pajamas to get you through the first couple weeks. After showering and freshening up, you’ll want to put on a set of fresh pajamas.
You’ll appreciate soft, comfy pajamas that are nursing friendly. You’ll be in the comfort of your home, recuperating and trying to rest up.
Having lots of pajamas on hand to relax in will make things that much more comfortable.
9: An Extra Newborn Station
I didn’t learn this one until Baby #2, and I wish I’d known it all along.
Having that newborn caddy in your room is crucial. But it’s also nice to have another, smaller one set somewhere in a common area of your home as well.
You won’t want to be purely confined to your room during your postpartum healing.
Have a small, cloth caddy set up somewhere in your living room, family room, or another place you like to spend time for newborn. You won’t want to drag the one from your room all over the house.
You can set extra diapers, wipes, a burp cloth and swaddle, and whatever you need to feed baby in the smaller caddy. Set it somewhere near a place where you’ll spend some time.
Then you can relax and you’ll have what you need on hand.
Postpartum Tips and Other Things You Should Know
10: Have Your Postpartum Kit Ready
If you’re pregnant you’ve probably already researched this. It’s one of the most important things you can do to minimize your stress. Don’t wait until you’re back home and needing supplies to set everything up.
You’ll want to have things things on hand:
- Postpartum pads
- Postpartum spray/oils
- Pain meds as prescribed by your OB
- Lots of water!
- Postpartum underwear
- Nursing friendly pajamas
- Breast pump and haaka
- Nursing balm/shield
These Postpartum Tips and Other Things You Should Know will help you minimize your stress and make your postpartum journey much smoother!
Happy healing and bonding, fearless mama!
Hey, Natural Mama!
Note: Wear with form-fitting brief-style underwear for best results.