Congratulations dear mother on the arrival of your baby! Bringing forth your tiny bundle of joy can be a very memorable but overwhelming event; an experience not to be underestimated. From the very first moments of pregnancy to the last stages of labour through to delivery, your body has gone through some strain, and physiological changes and it will take some time for it to transit back to its non-pregnant state. Just as pregnancy and women differ, transitional phases are equally different too. The postpartum period may vary from several weeks to several months.
Within the first six weeks after delivery, your uterus returns to its normal size. Breastfeeding helps to achieve this faster, and you might feel uterine contractions/cramps as you nurse your baby. One noticeable change as your uterus returns to normal is the gradual reduction of your abdomen.
Tips on postpartum recovery
If you experience vaginal numbness, you can have Sitz Baths. This procedure involves sitting in a warm bath or on a bucket with steaming water, at least thrice daily. Adding antiseptic to the warm bath/steaming water before sitting in/on the bucket helps as well. The soothing feeling of this practice not only helps relief the soreness in your perineum but makes healing a lot faster. Lying on your side rather than on your back will also give some comfort and aid perineal healing.
Postpartum is usually a time of excitement laced with phases of fatigue as your body recovers gradually from the tiring experience of pregnancy, labour, and eventually childbirth. Trying to get your body back into shape through vigorous exercise routines should be avoided till your doctor gives you the green light. You may feel you are up to it some weeks after birth, but it’s best to give your body all the rest it deserves before whipping it up again. There are a couple of light postnatal exercises that will get you moving and back on your feet in no time; however, it’s recommended to talk with your doctor/midwife before engaging in any.
Pelvic floor exercises are such exercises that can be done and without putting a strain on your postpartum recovery. It is a vital exercise technique recommended during pregnancy as well because of its ability to strengthen vagina and bladder muscles. Pelvic floor exercises engage the gently squeezing of the bladder tube or region around your vagina as if to stop the flow of urine, for about 10 – 15 seconds. This technique is so easy, and can be repeated over and over again. You can practise it anytime and anywhere; lying down, standing or sitting with at least 10 – 15 repetitions per session 4 – 5 times a day. You could also try them out while still sitting right there on the toilet bowl after urinating!
Maintaining a well nutritional diet which may come in small portions during postpartum is an essentiality for quick recovery. Healthy eating is certain to get you back into shape in no time, while also ensuring that your nursing baby gets the adequate nourishment it requires in his/her first weeks in life.