Your Guide to Vaginal Birth and Delivery
Pregnancy and childbirth is an overwhelming experience, and if you’ve recently given birth, you might agree. Post birth, your body will now begin the process of healing and recovering, and that’s exactly why you need to invest in some self-care. Here’s helping you do just that! Keep reading to discover a quick self-care guide to help you post vaginal birth.
Recruit Help & Get Rest
Help and rest goes hand in hand. Once home you’ll need all the help you can get – help for chores and help so that you can rest. Help comes in many forms - a postpartum doula, friends, family, your spouse/partner. A postpartum doula is good the first week – she’s trained to know the ins and outs of what you need. If you’re breastfeeding the doula can help you with latching basics and first week questions. The doula is there to nurture, education, empower and prepare you for your journey ahead. Your friends and family are also good source of help, you’ll want to stagger them out. Don’t be afraid to ask them for what you need and make sure they each bring or are willing to help while visiting.
You’ll need the Right Foods
A study published in the Asian Journal of Psychiatry found a strong correlation between inflammation, serotonin levels, and postpartum depression. A further research shows a link between a lack of nutrients during pregnancy, lactation and postpartum depression affects key mood regulating neurotransmitters and is associated with higher risk of PPD. What does this all mean? it means eating the right foods that nourishes you after birth has never been more important. Choosing the right foods ensures that you’re healthy and have the nutrients necessary in the early days. Breastfeed or bottle-feed - you still need to ensure that you’re eating from all your food groups. You can find a list of what to eat here
Take care of your ladybits
No matter what kind of birth you have, there will be some pain and bleeding afterward. Bleeding should be for two weeks with gradual reduction in color and amount as the days go on. If you had a vaginal birth without hiccups (no tears, if so how much) you can expect pain for about a week. If you had tearing - depending on how much and received stitches you can expect it to take longer and even longer based on the level of tear. To help ease the pain consider soaking in a sitz bath, spraying dermoplast or use witch hazel cooling pads like Tucks.
According to the American Pregnancy association, postpartum massages are incredibly helpful in speeding up recovery and improving overall health of the mother. In general, massages tend to relax the muscles and bring about stress relief both of which are crucial for you postpartum. Data from the US National Library of Medicine states massages help aid hormone regulation, reduce anxiety and depression plus reduce any lingering back pain. Massage boost your lymphatic drainage, in turn decreasing swelling and fluid retention post birth. For moms who are exhausted after labor and childbirth, a soft and gentle massage help ease fatigue, reduce anxiety and makes you feel more relaxed.