When your baby is finally in your arms, you don’t bother about the rest of the world, not even yourself—everything takes a back seat. Now that your path to recovery has begun and you have a little human being to take care of, it is important that you pay attention to your own weak body.
The postpartum days could be painful and uncomfortable. While some women recover in about 2-3 months, others take six months or even a year to get back to their normal selves, and this doesn’t include losing those extra pounds that they gained during pregnancy—which, in fact, isn’t really a part of recovery.
After birth, your world starts to revolve around your baby. However, don’t forget to try these 5 ways to help your postpartum period pass easily.
1. Dealing With Vaginal Discharge
The vaginal discharge called lochia is your body’s way to clean up the leftover blood, mucus, tissues and other fluids in the uterus after birth. Irrespective of the process of birth, you are going to experience bleeding similar to your periods if not heavier. Use of tampons could cause infections so you would be advised to use maternity pads.
Initially, the flow would be heavy and you might have to change pads every few hours. Breastfeeding can help the uterus contract and reduce the bleeding. If you experience abdominal pain and cramps or the discharge is still heavy after a week and you are passing too many big clots after the first week, contact your doctor immediately as it could be a sign of hemorrhage.
2. Taking Your First Poop
Passing stool could become an issue as you may get severely constipated after birth. Also, women fear that putting too much pressure might accidentally open their stitches, however, that won’t happen. It isn’t unusual that you might not pass stool for 2-3 days.
Drink at least 8 glasses of water every day and include fiber-rich foods like fruits, whole grains, and vegetables in your diet. Your doctor may provide you with a laxative or stool softener to pass out the stool.
3. Soreness At The Site Of Incision
Women who had a c-section might relate to it very well—a c-section incision could become sore and painful. If you had a c-section or are going to have one, your doctor would recommend pain relief medication.
The incision might also feel itchy—ask your doctor to provide you an anti-itch ointment to apply on it. If you notice a discharge or swelling at the site of incision, visit your doctor immediately.
4. Sitting Down Becomes Uncomfortable
With lots of pushing and stretching, your nether regions will feel sore and inflamed. Even sitting down may seem like a painful task, especially for those who have undergone episiotomy or a perineum tear. The area could be painful, red and swollen.
Dab the area with a wet cloth or ice wrapped in a piece of cloth. If you have developed hemorrhoids, your doctor will provide you medication for it—avoid getting constipated at this time else defecating could become hard and painful.
5. Urine Incontinence And Strengthening Pelvic Floor Muscles
You might feel you need a diaper as much as your little one does. Urine leakage is common during pregnancy and postpartum because your pelvic muscles become weak holding everything intact inside of you including the baby.
Kegel exercises can help you get some control over it. Begin by holding your urine midstream for a second or two, then releasing it. This will help your perineal muscles gain strength. Start with 2-3 sets a day and continue up to practicing it 10 times in a day.
Visit bathroom whenever you feel you are full. Consult your doctor if the incontinence persists for more than 6 weeks.
All in all, take care of yourself, while you are devoting all your time to your little one.