Congrats, mama! You've just had a baby. While you've been busy taking care of your little one, it's important to practice some postpartum care for yourself. While it may seem easier said than done, you'll need some extra care during this postpartum stage.
It's natural to want to fit back into your pre-pregnancy clothing after having a baby. You're probably anxious for your body to go back to how it was before you got pregnant. Try to resist all urges to start dieting. Your body needs all nourishment it can get. So instead of dieting, focus on eating right.
This is especially important if you're breastfeeding. You won't have to follow a special diet, but you will want to make sure what you're eating is balanced. Make sure you're eating frequently enough to help maintain your milk supply.
Exercising after having a baby can boost your mood and help you sleep better at night. Exercise is a great stress reliever too!
You can start by taking walks with the stroller or doing some stretches such as pelvic tilts or kegel exercises. If you feel any pain exercising after having a baby, stop. Don't push yourself too hard. Start slowly, focus on maintaining good form so you don't hurt yourself, and work up to your goal over time.
If you've had a complicated birth or c-section, consult your doctor before starting any exercise program.
We know that we should be taking prenatal vitamins while pregnant, but what about after having a baby? The American Pregnancy Association recommends taking postnatal vitamins. These vitamins are helpful for moms that are breastfeeding because they help with milk supply and making sure you receive the extra nourishment you need.
Eating healthy, taking your vitamins and exercising are all important things to do after having a baby. And yes, we realize it sounds easier said than done, especially if you have a fussy baby.
A postpartum massage helps relax muscles, increase circulation and even lowers your stress hormones. After having a baby, a postpartum massage can also help regulate your hormones, and we're pretty sure you're feeling a wide range of emotions.
"Massage greatly improves postpartum hormone balance. Estrogen and progesterone hormone levels are very high during pregnancy and decrease after delivery. Prolactin and oxytocin hormone levels rise to facilitate breastfeeding. Studies indicate that massage reduces the stress hormone cortisol. Certain essential oils may also bring hormone and mood balance." Source American Pregnancy Association
Aromatherapy and essential oils are helpful in your recovery after having a baby. Not only do they help with the mental recovery, but the emotional recovery as well.
"...aromatherapy intervention improved postpartum physiological and psychological health, with positive effects shown on anxiety, depression, distress, fatigue, mood, nipple fissure pain, physical pain, post-cesarean-delivery pain, post-cesarean-delivery nausea, postepisiotomy pain, postepisiotomy recovery, sleep quality, and stress." Source US National Library of Medicine
After having a baby, apply heat to your abdomen to help with afterbirth pains. Place a hot water bottle or apply a Happi Tummi herbal wrap directly to your abdomen. The heat can help shrink your uterus back to its normal size.
Happi Tummi is a heating element combined with aromatic and therapeutic herbs. Happi Tummi is a fabric waistband, with a separate pouch insert containing specially formulated heating elements of wheat and flax seed, combined with a mixture of lavender, chamomile, lemon grass, peppermint, and spearmint.
When heated in a microwave for 15 to 20 seconds, the pouch is inserted into the fabric waistband and then wrapped around the infant’s abdomen. The combined effect of binding the stomach and heat provides nearly immediate relief of most common symptoms of fussiness. The herbs and aromatherapy prolong the effects.
Just like your pregnancy, postpartum recovery is different for everyone. You know your body best, so listen to it and try not to overdo it. Take your time to heal. Follow our blog for more helpful advice.