It took 9 months to grow that beautiful baby, and it may take 9 months to fully recover. Having some tools on hand during the immediate postpartum period can help kickstart the healing process (or at least make life a little easier on your miraculous body).
If you’ve had a vaginal birth, those stretched tissues are going to need some TLC. Especially if you experience a tear or an episiotomy and had stitches placed afterwards.
Derived from the bark and leaves of a North American shrub, witch hazel is an astringent originally used for medicinal purposes by Native Americans, and still used today for many types of healing.
Products made from this plant can help to decrease inflammation and speed healing, as well as soothe itching and slow bleeding. You may find witch hazel pads or sprays, which will make it easier to use in those busy days at home with a new baby.
Another product you may want to have on hand to treat a sore bottom: lidocaine-based spray. It’s especially helpful to numb the perineum right before you attempt to have a bowel movement in those first days after birth.
Whether you choose to breastfeed or not, your milk is going to “come in.” If you’re not breastfeeding, your breasts will eventually dry up. If you are breastfeeding, your supply will increase as baby eats more often.
But one thing that may happen in either situation is that your breasts may leak, and you may want to keep your clothing clean and dry. Nursing pads are available in disposable or reusable varieties.
Other supplies you might need in the early days of breastfeeding include a rice sock or specialty warm packs to treat engorgement right before a feeding (or to help with let-down when pumping), ice packs to treat engorgement between feedings, and nipple cream or lanolin for sore nipples.
Breastfeeding is going to make you thirsty … so be prepared with your favorite drink bottle filled with some cool, refreshing water. Add some lemon or lime slices, or other fruits and veggies, to mix it up a little.
Try using cucumber slices and melon balls for cool refreshing treat. While you don’t need to flood yourself with too much water, experts recommend drinking to thirst. If you’re feeling thirsty, you’re already a bit dehydrated.
Furthermore, water is essential for tissue healing (dehydration can slow wound healing and increase the chance of infection), will help you avoid constipation, and will ease fatigue a bit.
You’ll feel your best – and speed your recovery – if you’re eating right. Be sure that you’re not only consuming enough calories, but eating the right kinds of foods, too! Make each meal and snack a combination of protein, fat and carbohydrate.
A balanced, healthy diet of natural foods will boost your energy and support healing. Limit your intake of processed or refined products. Keep plenty of fruits and vegetables on hand. Consider snacks and meals that don’t take much preparation and that you can eat one-handed (with the baby in the other!).
High fiber foods will keep your bowels regular, while regular snacks will limit the effects of fatigue (which is really common with a baby in the house!). A registered dietician can help with an individualized meal plan if you have specific health issues.
When you plan for birth, you know that you’re going to be pushing a large mass through your narrow birth canal. But you don’t typically imagine beforehand how you will get your vagina back to it’s pre-birth condition.
Enter Kegel exercises, which can be enhanced by using specially designed kegel exercise weights. The Intimate Rose Kegel Weights are a series of 6 progressively heavier pessaries which are used with Kegel exercises to tone of your pelvic floor muscles.
These weight resistance exercises will lessen the chance of urinary or fecal incontinence, vaginal prolapse and weak pelvic muscles by increasing vaginal tightness and pelvic muscle tone. This kegel exercise device is better than kegel exercise balls because they are uniquely made to fit the body of women for comfort.
Intimate Rose Kegel Weights come with doctor-developed training materials to guide their use, and are manufactured with body-safe materials.
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