Speed up your postpartum recovery by following these 11 natural postpartum recovery tips during the first 6 weeks of your postpartum recovery while at home.
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The first 6 weeks of postpartum recovery is a time of a lot of uncertainty. There are a lot of unknowns. Unfortunately, this is also a time when you are home, usually alone with your baby, with no medical advice from your doctor on how you, mom, are supposed to recover. In this article we’ll discuss 11 natural postpartum recovery tips that you can do to help improve your overall health during the first 6 weeks after having a baby.
1. Get as much sleep as possible
It’s inevitable that you will be lacking sleep as a new mom. Your baby is waking and sleeping at odd times during the day, and that will completely disrupt your sleeping pattern.
So the only thing you can do to get the rest that your body needs is to sleep when your baby falls asleep, no matter the time of day.
Try to at least squeeze in 1 nap a day, preferably during the longest stretch of sleep time your baby has during the day (if you happen to know what that might be).
If you are fortunate enough to get two naps, try to take those naps when your baby naps during the day. This will give you energy to conquer those long nights when your baby is awake. This will lead to you being in a better mood for your baby and for your husband!
2. Breastfeed your baby (or exclusively pump)
Breastfeeding and exclusively pumping are both great options for improving your overall recovery.
The act of breastfeeding helps to stimulate the hormone oxytocin which helps stimulate the uterus to contract and return back to it’s normal size.
Breastfeeding helps to burn calories and will help you to return back to your pre-pregnancy weight faster. Of course the ultimate benefit to breastfeeding is providing your baby with healthy nutrients and a well balanced diet, but I just love to point out how breastfeeding is extremely beneficial to mama as well.
3. Do NOT make exercise your priority the first 6 weeks
There is a lot of false information out there about exercise during the first 6 weeks of postpartum recovery. I highly recommend as a physical therapist to let this be a time of recovery and not a time for your workout routine.
Exercise during the 6 week wait can be dangerous for some and can prevent the healing process and slow down recovery.
The best thing you can do for physical fitness during the first 6 weeks is walking around your home at a comfortable pace avoiding large increases in your heart rate. It’s beneficial for new moms to get a little cardio in during the day to boost your mood and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
But it’s also important that you don’t make exercise a priority during this time. Once you are cleared by your doctor at the 6 week postpartum wait, then you can put more of your focus into your workout routines. Learn how to begin working out for the first time after having a baby in this article.
4. Eat a well rounded healthy diet
Your postpartum recovery will be squashed completely if you don’t put healthy foods into your body.
In order to get the energy you need to take care of your baby and for proper healing to take place after childbirth, you need to have good sources of vitamins and minerals in your diet.
Be sure to eat plenty of protein rich foods, healthy carbohydrates, multiple servings of fruits and vegetables during each meal and avoid high sugar and high fat foods.
Definitely check out this awesome article from Lisa at Birth Eat Love where she lists the best foods to eat for a strong postpartum recovery.
5. Continue to take prenatal vitamins or postnatal vitamins
Taking prenatal vitamins or even postnatal vitamins during postpartum will help you to continue to get the nutrients that are needed to breastfeed your baby as well as the nutrients needed for yourself.
Moms who breastfeed may not get all the nutrients they need from their diet alone. This is a great way to assure you are getting enough vitamins and minerals while breastfeeding.
If you still have some prenatals left over, finish those up first and then get some postnatal vitamins the next time you need more.
6. Drink lots of water
This is essential! All new moms need to be drinking ample amounts of water. You need to stay hydrated, especially if you are breastfeeding.
You will feel groggy and your mood will start to go down if you are dehydrated. Keep a water bottle in every spot you typically go to in your house and definitely keep one nearby when you are nursing. While your baby drinks, you should drink.
7. Ask others for help so you don’t get burned out
If you are not feeling well, whether it be due to lack of sleep or pain after childbirth or maybe you are starting to get burnt out, be sure to ask someone for help.
Your days will be brighter if only you had someone to help you for 1 hour a day. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Maybe all you need is for someone to hold your baby for 30 minutes a day. That 30 minutes can allow for you to get a few things done, and you’ll feel like you accomplished something for yourself.
8. Have awareness of the signs and symptoms of postpartum depression
Postpartum depression is something to be taken seriously. Unfortunately, there’s not a lot of education regarding postpartum depression before leaving the hospital and going home with your baby. You are left to do the research yourself on the internet.
Take the time to read some reputable articles on what postpartum depression is all about and how you can safely manage it if you start to notice signs and symptoms.
9. Don’t be afraid to call your doctor if you need help
Since you are home for an entire 6 weeks with no follow up from a doctor, be sure to utilize their services from home by calling your doctor’s office and asking to speak to a nurse.
Just because you don’t have an appointment, it doesn’t mean you have to wait all 6 weeks until you go to the office to ask all your questions about postpartum recovery.
If something comes up, like excess bleeding, engorgement, feelings of depression, back pain, call your doctor right away and ask for advice over the phone.
10. Have a Postpartum Recovery Kit
Don’t forget to have your postpartum care kit handy and ready to go. Have it in an easily accessible location in your bathroom, have a large trash can near and be sure to keep it well stocked so you don’t have to keep restocking it throughout the week.
Your postpartum kit will include a peri bottle, maxi pads of various sizes, dermoplast or Herbal Perineal spray, extra mesh panties or large panties of a dark color, witch hazel pads, hemorrhoid cream, heat pack, hand wipes and hand sanitizer.
11. Wear a postpartum belly wrap
Wearing a postpartum belly wrap will do wonders for your body and for your confidence.
You can wear one as early as 48 hours after giving birth. I recommend wearing it every day to help your uterus contract faster and shrink down to its normal size.
Without a belly wrap, some women have a hard time getting their uterus to ever go back to the way it used to be. A postpartum belly wrap speeds up this process and can help with a faster recovery once abdominal exercises are introduced at 6 weeks postpartum.
Postpartum Recovery Tips For Faster Healing
This list of postpartum recovery tips will help you to feel better after giving birth and heal faster. The sooner you feel better, the sooner you can return to your normal healthy lifestyle as a new mom.
Did you know that postpartum belly wraps are only effective for a certain window of time? Continue to find out more information about the best time to wear a postpartum belly wrap and how many hours you should wear one each day.
This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.
*It is important to always consult your doctor before beginning any exercise program and get medical clearance. Always warm up thoroughly and stretch after all workouts. LiveCoreStrong.com and Jena Bradley will be not be responsible or liable for any injury sustained while exercising at home, gym or elsewhere. Perform exercises at your own risk.
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