a very rare day that I actually had makeup on, I think this was after Christmas brunch when Jack was 10 days old.
Ok, so earlier this week we talked about newborn essentials but today I want to talk about postpartum recovery as a new mom! I feel like this is the biggest shock as you enter motherhood because NO ONE TALKS ABOUT IT. I’m going to talk from a vaginal birth with an epidural perspective because I’ve personally never had a C-Section and can’t speak to that experience.
I want to start by saying that every woman’s experience is different and the ultimate goal is to deliver a healthy baby. Let go of expectations for yourself and be in the moment. It is a really incredible experience if you let it be. I felt this way more the second time around so I just want to remind you that it’s okay to have all the feelings surrounding labor and delivery. It’s okay to feel unprepared and scared. I can easily say this is the biggest transition you will ever make in your life so remember that YOU ARE CAPABLE. You are strong and worthy of whatever emotions come up for you. You’re going to be okay. You’re actually going to be great, I promise. Remember this letter I wrote to myself when Charlie was 15 months? I hope it helps you, too.
Let’s talk about what is going to happen…
When you think about the fact that you’re pushing a human head through a 10cm hole that usually operates around 0cm hole, it makes sense that you’re going to be a little beat up down there post labor. BUT, when you’re pregnant, you are too focused on bringing a human life into the world and keeping it alive and all the other responsibilities coming your way. It makes sense to be a little shocked by the aftermath of delivery but I’ve learned a few things along the way!
So, you’re going to have a baby. Then you’re going to deliver your placenta. There is going to be a lot going on down there as you hold your new baby on your chest. I had 2nd-degree tears with both of my boys which required stitches, a lovely addition to recovery (but VERY VERY COMMON!). In my case, I had an epidural with both of my boys and you really don’t feel much of this at all, maybe some pressure and pulling. However, once the epidural wears off and you’re sitting in a hospital bed, you’re going to start feeling sore. You’re going to bleed along with some other bodily fluids.. This lasted 3-4 weeks for me with Charlie and 10-14 days with Jack — I attribute my quicker recovery with Jack to WAY MORE REST.
With Charlie, I was in such a rush to get back to life and pop into motherhood like it was this easy transition which ultimately led to a few months of postpartum depression. A simple reminder to nurture your body, nurture your mind and space. Give yourself grace, let yourself be – everyone understands and there is no other priority greater than allowing yourself to be with you baby and ease into motherhood.
In terms of recovery, the hospital is going to provide you with a ton of direction. techniques and products to help you recover more quickly and help with pain! But I’ve learned that there are a bunch of products out there that can make the transition even easier once you’re at home.
Shop this post: No. 1 Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask // No. 2 YETI Tumbler // No. 3 Earth Mama Nipple Butter // No. 4 Ice Roller // No. 5 Breast Gel Packs // No. 6 Bamboobies Nursing Pads // No. 7 Frida Mom Cooling Pad Liners // No. 8 Earth Mama Perineal Spray // No. 9 Frida Mom Instant Ice Maxi Pads // No. 10 Frida Mom Peri Bottle // No. 11 Fruit of the Loom Seamless Panties // No. 12 LAKE Pajamas Robe // No. 13 Postpartum Bath Soak // No. 14 UGG Fluffette Slippers // No. 15 Nursing Bras
Postpartum Mom Essentials
For your vagina:
Comfy undies. I ordered these and these. A lot of people recommend the disposable ones – I think these are the exact ones the hospital gives you. Ask for a pack of them before you leave and then I just prefer to buy a larger size of comfy undies that will ultimately get thrown away.
Frida Mom Peri Bottle, this will be your best friend to clean out down there. Follow up with this Perineal Spray, super cooling and cleaning. I actually brought both of these to the hospital with me with Jack!
If you’re breastfeeding:
Nipple butter or Lanolin (I like and use both!). It’s going to take about two weeks for your nipples to get used to those hard baby gums! Expect bruising, swelling and some bleeding. It’s a toe curling pain (sorry!) but your nipples will toughen up eventually!
Hot and cold packs! I love these because they can go either way. Great for swollen boobs, engorgement, clogged ducts or signs of mastitis. I used these a lot!
Your boobs are going to leak and I recommend these nursing pads for your bra! I personally don’t love the disposable ones (although I usually have these on hand, too) because I always feel like you can see them through your bra/clothes.
In general, the best thing you can do for your body is rest, go on slow walks, drink lots of water (the best gift for new moms!!), lounge — oh my gosh I can’t wait to do this with baby #3!
Invest in pajamas and loungewear you love because you’ll be living in them. Here are a few of my favorites for nursing/new moms:
anything from Lake Pajamas maternity collection
I’ve linked a ton of these items in my Amazon Shop for new moms!