6 Ways To Make Postpartum Life Easier For New Moms
Perhaps you're getting close to your 40 weeks or just starting to think about baby names, but having a postpartum plan will make a world of difference in how you feel during those first months of motherhood. Hacks to help make it easier for you and your partner can help ensure new parenthood doesn't take a toll on your relationship. Having a new baby is really the most wonderful and challenging time of life, and you want to make sure to take care of your own healing while also taking care of your first babe. Here are a few tips to make postpartum life easier for your new family.
Tap Into Your Tribe
As the mom, your focus will be on your new baby and healing your body. Everything else should fall in someone else's hands, whether that's your partner, friends, or extended family. Dirty dishes? Not your job. Laundry piling up? Also, not your job. Don't be afraid to ask your parent or BFF to start a food chain so neither one of you has to cook, and make sure your fridge is stocked with plenty of prepared meals.
Labor can wreak havoc on your body. Of course, everyone's body is different and will experience the physical pains of postmortem differently, but prepare to care for your perineum area for some time. You'll have to ice the area every couple of hours for the first 24 hours and you'll have what feels like a heavy period for up to six weeks.
Have maternity pads on hand, a perineal cooling pad, a heating pad for aches and pains, and bath salts. A 20-minute bath will help ease postpartum aches and pains. Book a postpartum massage or physical therapy session if and when you're ready for it. If you've had a C-section, care for your incision as your OB/GYN recommends while taking it easy on the exercise.
Give Your Breasts Some Love
If you are breastfeeding, wear a comfy nursing bra and give your breasts a daily massage. This will help stimulate lactation while also soothing them after feeding and pumping. Stock up on lanolin cream to prevent cracked nipples too (which can be more painful than labor!).
Go on Walks
Ask your doctor when it's ok to get back to your exercise routine and start to take daily walks with baby to help heal your body, even if it's just around the house. A walk around the neighborhood will be good for you too: You'll get some fresh air, bond with baby, and start to feel like you again.
Lack of sleep those first few months is no joke. Have plenty of fiber-rich foods (whole grains, fruits, veggies) on hand to help you stay healthy, energized and positive-minded despite the lack of sleep. You'll avoid constipation and prevent hemorrhoids too. Drink lots of water and skip alcohol or caffeine so that when you do have time for sleep, it's solid.
Schedule Follow-Up Visits
Mark your daily planner with your post-labor visits. Your OB/GYN can check your physical health but also your emotional health to make sure you're adjusting to mom life well.
You've got this mama. Be gentle with yourself and your partner while getting to know your little one and you'll get through those so-precious early months with ease.
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Theresa Gonzalez is a content creator based in San Francisco and the author of Sunday Sews. She's a lover of all things design and spends most of her days momming her little one Matilda.