Postpartum recovery tips
Regardless of your birth experience, your postpartum recovery can be a tough time. There will be pain to some degree and simple things you may have taken for granted (like taking a pee) will seem really daunting. Thankfully, when it comes to postpartum care, there are plenty of tips and tricks to help take the edge off things. Here’s a quick rundown of our top tips to help make your postpartum recovery a little easier.
A Peri Bottle (a bottle for squirting warm water) is perfect for rinsing the perineum in those first few days, you'll be using it for the weeks following too - It’ll keep you feeling clean and help ease any stinging sensation you experience around your stitches when you pee. Just fill it up with warm water and squirt it in the area while having a pee and thank us later. it’s also great for cleansing so If you have more than one bathroom in your house, just have one for each, and one for the diaper bag to make life easy.
Cold packs are a must-have for your postpartum self-care because cold therapy helps soothe the pain and irritation 'down there' after birth. You can use an ice or try making padsicle which is essentially a homemade cold pack - it is a frozen maternity pad filled with healing goodness that you put on your lady bits after birth. If you have vaginal swelling this is basically the most cooling and soothing thing your vagina may encounter during the healing process.
Sitz baths are one of our favourite postpartum recovery tips. It is essentially a warm, shallow bath or sitz pan with an Herbal bath Soak or Epsom salt soak which can feel like the ultimate relief once you’ve given birth. Not only is it soothing it can also encourage the healing process, increase your circulation, reduce swelling, cleans the area so there’s less risk of infection and ease itching. Sitz baths are also a great remedy for painful, itchy hemorrhoids.
Witch hazel is a great way to get some relief from perineal swelling and haemorrhoids. It’s an herbal skin soothing remedy with tannins and oils that can help reduce inflammation. Plus it has great wound healing properties which makes it an ideal remedy for reducing vaginal swelling and swelling of haemorrhoids. You can use a perineal spray that contains witch hazel, put it on your padsicles or directly on your pad (diluted with water) for maximum relief.
Don’t be scared to poop
Your first postpartum bowel movement will probably hurt a bit as you will be a bit constipated. This is because blood is diverted from your digestive system during labor and it will take a couple of days for you to get back to a normal rhythm. Eat lots of fibres and prunes to help get things going, If you need a little more help to get things going try taking some stool softener.
Do your Kegel exercises regularly
Kegel exercises can help to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles which will help to maintain urinary continence and strengthen your anal sphincter muscles. Kegels can also enhance sexual pleasure as it helps to increase the vaginal muscle tone. Try short intervals of clenching and releasing, then holding for up to ten seconds.
Lube is KEY
So your vagina after birth will never be exactly the same as before. Feeling pain, and having a tight or dry vagina are the main worries for new mums, with most resolving within a few months. Your hormones will be all over the place and can take a while to normalise to pre-pregnancy status especially if you’re breastfeeding. These reproductive hormones can cause a thinning of your vaginal mucosa, which can lead to dryness, so make sure to use lubrication and keep well hydrated! Most of all be patient with yourself.