When you’re going through the process of giving birth, it’s easy to feel like your body has been through something life-changing, and you might expect that your physical recovery will be no less life-changing. Many women experience a slow, gradual healing process after delivery, but many don’t realize that there are things they can do to help their bodies heal even faster and minimize scarring and other types of pain associated with childbirth. In this article, we’ll share helpful tips to boost your postpartum recovery after the baby comes.
Talk to your doctor
Talking to your doctor about how you feel is a great place to start. Don’t be afraid to ask for help! Whether it’s through a physical therapist, massage therapist, or even just having someone come over and clean your house, there are many simple ways that you can keep your body healthy post-pregnancy. And if you’re interested in using medication as part of your post-birth plan, talk to your doctor about all of your options.
Try Essential Oils
Many essential oils are known to be effective at boosting mood, and many new moms will experience a bit of baby blues after giving birth. Try diffusing one of these oils to help you feel calmer and sleep better at night. The most popular ones include ylang-ylang, clary sage, bergamot, frankincense, lavender, jasmine, marjoram and sandalwood.
A regular yoga practice will ease you back into your normal, active life. The gentle movements and deep breathing exercises will help strengthen your core and keep you flexible, so that getting up from a chair or carrying grocery bags won’t feel like an Olympic event. During pregnancy, all of your focus was on creating a healthy baby—and making sure there were two of you to feed—but now it’s time to focus on giving yourself some much-needed TLC.
Make sure you eat right
One of your top priorities after giving birth should be to eat right. That’s because one of pregnancy’s main functions is to help you gain weight so that your body can produce enough breast milk or formula for your baby, according to La Leche League International. Since you and your baby are now going through similar weight-gain processes, it makes sense to share in a similar diet plan. During both pregnancy and breastfeeding, a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains is ideal.
Consider seeing a physical therapist
New moms, especially women who have had C-sections, are at a higher risk of getting adhesions—bands of scar tissue that can form between abdominal organs, causing pain. Pelvic-floor PT is often needed to relieve that pain by breaking up those adhesions and helping us stretch out again. It’s really important for most postpartum women to see a physical therapist at least once during their recovery period, says Dr. Keefer.
Use compression garments
They’re easy to find (do a quick Google search for your local medical supply store), and they’re super helpful in preventing blood clots, varicose veins, swelling, and bruising. It is important to buy good-quality garments that have been scientifically tested and approved by healthcare professionals; make sure you ask your doctor or OB/GYN where to buy them.
Be confident in your body again
Getting your body back after you’ve had a baby can be difficult, especially when you compare yourself to how you looked before. Instead of constantly comparing yourself to your pre-baby body, focus on taking care of yourself and boosting your self-confidence. The more confident you feel in your own skin, the easier it will be to enjoy life again. So ditch those baggy clothes and get out there—you got this!