A Guide to Postnatal Recovery

In the early days, it's not just the baby that will need to be cared for. Your body will need to heal and recover after childbirth. Here are the top 5 tips that can help start your recovery, as well as helping you settle in to your new life as a parent.

1. Ask for help

It can be hard to ask for help when you think you can handle everything on your own, but the reality is that everyone needs an occasional helping hand, especially when your life and your body has gone through dramatic changes. There are plenty of people (friends, family or neighbours) eager to lend a hand to help wash the dishes; make you a cup of tea or get shopping for you. You just have to take the first step, and ask!
Also, it's important to remind yourself that you're in a point of recovery, so find as many ways as you can to ease unnecessary stresses on your body. There are many tools and products created with post-natal recovery in mind, to make your post birth recovery as smooth as possible, so there will always be something (whether that's a friend or product) to help make your recovery that little bit easier.

2. Eat well & stay hydrated

It is always a good idea to eat a balanced diet, but now more than ever. Your body is working hard to recover and heal, so it's important to help the healing process as much as possible by eating nutritious balanced meals, and including your five-a-day. Keeping hydrated is very important during and after pregnancy to help the body meet its changing physiological needs, such as building new tissue, producing extra blood etc. If you are breastfeeding, staying hydrated becomes even more of a priority for your body because some of your water is lost through breastfeeding. Also, the amount of water you drink may affect the amount of breast milk you are able to produce.

3. Sleep

Try to sleep when the baby does. It can be difficult to do this, but napping when you're able to will allow your body and mind to heal from child birth. There are different things you can do to help you get to sleep, such as silencing your phone, hiding the laundry basket and ignoring the dishes in the kitchen sink. Using some of these activities may allow your body to relax and be ready to rest when your baby falls asleep.

4. Get Fresh Air

Going out for short walks, or sitting outside can help boost your mood and have a positive impact on your mental health which is essential for healing. Lightly exercising can also help your body to heal, you can exercise on your own or you can join fellow new parents in an exercise class. Exercising and befriending other new parents can also help provide some normalcy back into your life and a sense of community. 

 

5. Be Kind To Yourself

Many new parents experience a mixture of feelings after they have given birth. It’s normal to feel emotional and upset in the first few days, this will usually pass within a couple of weeks. If it doesn't it is always a good idea to talk to friends and family about how you are feeling. If it gets worse, go directly to your GP.