Postpartum is something a lot of mums forget to prepare for. Sometimes, it’s because of all the excitement over preparing for the baby – with the result that they forget to prepare for their own recovery!
Luckily for you, we’re here to help. Today, we’ll give you our postpartum recovery checklist so that you have an idea of what to get ready for your big day!
You’ll very likely feel a bit achey after you deliver your little one. There’s little reason to suffer the pain, so don’t be afraid to do what you need to do in order to soothe yourself.
Which painkillers are recommended varies from case to case, of course (and you should check with your gynaecologist), but ibuprofen is arguably the most popular option. This is because it doesn’t tend to transfer to the baby if you’re breastfeeding and also acts as an anti-inflammatory substance – which most new moms will appreciate!
That said, medications aren’t your only options, keep in mind. If an ice pack or warm compress can ease your pain as well, try those!
That first bowel movement after birth tends to take a while. Fortunately, aside from eating food rich in fibre, you can ask your doctor to help by prescribing stool softeners.
These will help you avoid straining, which can cause damage to your perineum – aside from leading to haemorrhoids!
Most women will bleed for a while after birth as though having their periods. This is normal and is due to the body discharging leftover blood and tissue – the discharge is called lochia.
The length of time this lasts varies. In some cases, it can last as long as six weeks after birth. As such, postpartum essentials should always include maxi pads, which can catch the lochia.
If you’re wondering, by the way, it’s not advised to use tampons at this time. Only maxi pads or even adult diapers are recommended when dealing with this bleeding.
Comfortable and disposable underwear
These are a must when you’re in the middle of recovery from a massive change to your body. That said, it’s advised to also use disposable ones or ones that you won’t mind losing for several reasons.
For instance, there’s always the possibility of your postpartum bleeding leaking out of your maxi pad. Moreover, there’s also the risk of incontinence of some sort happening in the postpartum period.
If you’re wearing disposable underwear, that means you won’t be too upset if something like that happens. It’s also less stuff to do stain removal on!
Ice packs are wonderful things, as most mums discover shortly after giving birth. They belong on every postpartum recovery checklist as they can help with so many issues.
First, they can help soothe your perineum, which is very likely to be sore after your baby’s delivery. Some experts even recommend icing that area every two hours for the first day after your baby’s birth.
Second, you can also use the ice packs to soothe your nipples once you start breastfeeding. They can be helpful too whenever you start feeling achey from breast swelling.
(If you got a C-section) C-section incision care items
This is most likely going to be prescribed by your doctor, but it never hurts to check and prepare these in advance. A C-section incision requires care to heal properly, and it certainly needs to be kept clean with the right materials.
Ask your doctor about the care routine ahead of time, from how often cleaning should be done to whether or not the wound is better exposed to the air or covered. Being aware of all this ahead of time makes the actual maintenance easier later on.
Peri rinse bottle
We can’t say enough good things about these! These belong on your postpartum essentials list because they make keeping yourself clean so easy even after birth.
Typically, the area around your vagina and perineum will be sore after delivery, which is why traditional toilet-paper wiping can be painful for a while. A peri rinse bottle solves that problem by letting you squirt water at the area to keep it clean without too much pressure.
This can technically be replaced by a regular bathtub, but it’s so much more convenient to use this that we recommend it if you can get one.
A sitz bath is a small basin that goes over the loo and lets you soak the vaginal and perineal area for 5 to 15 minutes in cool or warm water. Why do this? Because it helps soothe the area and can even bring down swelling.
Get more mummy and postpartum recovery advice!
That should help you get ready for your big day. If you want more advice like this, whether it’s about breastfeeding tips for nursing moms or figuring out what should go in a diaper bag, check out our blog. We have a wealth of guides for moms and new parents there!