7 Postpartum Recovery Tips After a Vaginal Birth

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Amidst the blur of sleepless nights, nappy changes and endless feedings it’s hard to prioritize self-care but, in the early days after giving birth, it’s vital to take the right steps towards your recovery. This article will guide you through the top postpartum recovery tips to heal after a vaginal birth so you are in the best possible shape to care for your newborn.

You can read more about the natural postpartum care essentials you need for recovery here.

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1 – Nutrition

Your body has just done something amazing which took everything you could give and more during birth. Eating as much fruit and vegetables as possible in the first few days can help speed up your recovery.

Good nutrition is essential to helping your body heal and repair, so the more nourishment the better. Adding in some of the best foods to eat after giving birth can really make a difference in your healing.

Go for soups, smoothies and stews to pack in extra healthy foods!

It can be hard to find the time or energy to cook with a newborn, so try batch-cooking and freezing all the nourishing meals you can in advance and ask any visitors to bring something delicious and nutritious.

Also it’s a good idea to stock up on some of the healthy postpartum snacks so you are never going hungry.

2 – Hydration

Hydrate hydrate hydrate.

There is no magic elixir for postpartum recovery, but water comes as close as it gets. You can try adding in a scoop of this postpartum protein powder with collagen if you are feeling really depleted.

If you’re breastfeeding, it’s especially important to stay well hydrated by drinking lots of water, alongside good nutrition, as it can also help with bowel movements after giving birth. While stool softeners are sometimes necessary, being well hydrated can help move things along.

Remember to avoid caffeine, drink lots of water and get a nice selection of herbal teas.

Check out this list of breastfeeding drinks and this list of lactation teas for some good ideas.

3 – Pain Relief After Birth

Taking effective pain relief can help keep you comfortable when everything feels sore.

Depending on the area that needs the most soothing, this can take the form of medication, hot water bottles, heat packs, nipple cream or cooling gel pads.

It’s vital to know how to take care of your vulva and perineum after giving birth and if you had a birth with stitches or tears you might also consider a soothing soak for your perineum to ease pain and aid healing.

4 – Gentle Exercise

Gentle here is the optimal word, so take it easy at first with some comfortable stretches.

Being in a sitting position after a normal delivery can be uncomfortable, so try to shift from sitting to lying down to help ease back and hip pain.

As soon as you feel ready, start pelvic floor exercises to improve continence and help the pelvic floor muscle healing process. This ebook is a great guide to some basic postpartum exercise that you can start the first week.

Remember that every woman is different so go at your own pace.

Build up strength slowly with walking and core exercises for postpartum yoga to help you return to your pre-pregnancy fitness.

5 – Comfortable Postpartum Clothes

Look for loose, comfortable clothing that’s easy to put on and breast-feeding friendly.

It’s all about the comfy pants so stock up on all things soft and stretchy to help you on the path to feeling like yourself again.

A well-fitting maternity bra, nursing tank like this one above, breast pads and maternity pads are also essentials and a breastfeeding pillow can also add comfort.

Check out some of our favorite postpartum clothing here.

6 – Rest

Rest might not look anything like 8 hours of sleep for a while, but it can mean making space in the day for yourself.

Even just 30 minutes where you can take a soothing bath while your partner or family member watches the baby can make the world of difference.

If you have a perineal tear or stitches, then bathing can ease soreness and swelling to heal faster after birth, especially if you add a soothing soak to the tub.

Taking time to do some gentle stretches or listen to some soothing music can also be restful and help your body and mind relax and recover, which can prevent postpartum depression.

While it may be difficult, allow yourself some time each day to focus on your rest.

7 – Try Postpartum Belly wrapping

Diastasis recti is a condition where your rectus abdominis, or the six-pack ab muscles, are stretched during pregnancy, leaving a belly bulge for months and even years after birth.

Postpartum belly binding or wrapping helps restore the separated abdominal muscles and prevents the decreased function and pain of core dysfunction. This method can help promote healing, especially in the first eight weeks after pregnancy, when the stretched muscles help support the most. It’s an underrated postpartum recovery technique that you should do.

Key Takeaway on Postpartum Care & Recovery

There is no definitive answer to the question of how long it will take to heal after giving birth, anywhere from 6 to 8 weeks, to a few months, or even longer for some.

So, it’s important to remember that you are working towards recovery in the long term.

Birth is a unique experience for every woman and her baby and so is the healing process, so our tips are here to add inspiration to whatever makes you feel good in those early days!

About the author:

My Expert Midwife was founded in 2017 to help with the physical recovery challenges that women face during pregnancy, childbirth and beyond. Working with in-house expert midwives, they have developed a range of award-winning products designed especially for new and expectant mums and new babies. Their midwife-developed products come glowingly recommended by thousands of mums.

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