Postpartum can be one of the most difficult times when it comes to balancing taking care of yourself and a newborn. It’s easy to fall into a habit of putting your needs last while making sure you take care of everything else instead. After birth is an essential time to make sure your needs are taken care of though because your body went through a lot and needs time for recovery. It’s necessary to slow down and listen to your body and know when it’s time to rest.
Don’t Stop Taking Your Vitamins
Now that the baby is here, you probably think it’s time to ditch the prenatal vitamins for good because you no longer need them. That’s not true, and as long as you are still breastfeeding it’s okay to keep taking them. If you don’t want to keep taking prenatal, there are many postnatal vitamins you can take instead.
Vitamins are critical after you’ve given birth because your body has just been through a lot over the past several months and it still needs proper nutrients for healing. If you’re a nursing mother, your body needs all the extra nutrients it can get to cover any losses associated with lactation. You want to focus on taking vitamins A, B, C, D, and E as well as iron, zinc, folate, and choline. If you’re not sure what to take, it’s a good idea to ask your doctor what they recommend to ensure you’re getting exactly what your body needs.
Follow Your Doctor’s Orders
Whether you’ve given birth vaginally or by c-section, your doctor sent you home with specific instructions catered to your healing. These are not just suggestions, but they should be followed to ensure adequate healing. Not listening to your doctor can result in longer healing times and even health risks. Healing from a vaginal delivery can take several weeks and you’ll want to keep the area clean and use an over-the-counter pain reliever. Your doctor will likely tell you to wait at least six weeks before having sexual intercourse again because that’s how long it usually takes to make sure you’re properly healed.
Healing from a c-section also takes approximately six weeks and you’ll have to avoid lifting anything heavy and make sure your incision stays clean to avoid infection. During the healing process you’ll want to get plenty of rest, so please avoid pushing yourself during this time.
Lean on Friends and Family Members to Help
After having a baby, you may feel like you’re supposed to be able to take on the world now. You’re a mom and it’s only normal to want to be able to do everything yourself. While you’re establishing a routine and healing from giving birth, it’s okay to ask for help. Your body just went through a ton of stuff during the past nine months and it could use a break. If you’re ever feeling overwhelmed, you need to feel comfortable asking for help.
Get Enough Sleep
You probably spent your entire pregnancy hearing people say, “when the baby sleeps you should sleep.” This is the truth and it’s something you should try doing. When the baby sleeps, you shouldn’t spend that time doing dishes and cleaning your house. You need to catch up on sleep to improve your overall quality of life. Your newborn is only going to sleep around one to two hours at a time and typically does not sleep through the night until they’re around three months old.
Exercise After Being Cleared
Don’t begin exercising again until your doctor clears you. Your body needs to finish healing before you can get back into working out. Once you’re cleared, aim to get around 20 to 30 minutes of exercise each day, starting with low-intensity exercises and gradually doing workouts that are more intense when you’re comfortable doing so.
Now that your baby is here, it’s time to start developing a routine that incorporates making enough time to take care of yourself. You need a balanced diet, proper vitamins, and the right amount of sleep to handle taking care of a newborn.