Postpartum recovery can be a tricky time, from dealing with physical pain, to postpartum depression, to pelvic floor issues, to fluctuating feelings of baby blues, to sore nipples, to learning how to care for a new baby, the first few weeks after giving birth can be rough.
This is a monumental shift in a mother’s life, both physical and emotional. Mothers need all the support they can get during the postpartum period. If you’re planning to deliver during the fall months, try making preparations ahead of time so that the first weeks after delivery go smoothly. From cozy clothes, to postpartum support wraps, to breastfeeding essentials, here is everything you’ll need for a successful healing process this fall.
Make sure to stock up on postpartum healing essentials.
1. Witch hazel pads.
Witch hazel can aid in the healing process by alleviating vaginal pain. Witch hazel is a natural astringent that can relieve burning, itching, and irritation. These botanically-based, convenient, versatile pads have a wide variety of health benefits and can be used to ease pain after childbirth.
Witch hazel pads are gentle and effective, and their cooling properties help reduce inflammation and decrease swelling.
Put witch hazel pads on your postpartum sanitary pads or in your underwear. Witch hazel is also useful for alleviating pain from hemorrhoids, which are also common during pregnancy and postpartum.
2. Peri bottle.
A peri bottle or squirt bottle is ideal for rinsing off after going to the bathroom instead of using toilet paper, which can be scratchy and irritating. Most hospitals provide a squirt bottle, but you can purchase one as well. Fill the peri bottle with lukewarm or warm water, and use it to rinse off the perineal area while urinating.
3. Sanitary pads.
You will need a good stockpile of sanitary pads for the recovery period, whether you have a c-section or vaginal delivery. Vaginal bleeding can fluctuate for the first six weeks or so after birth, and new moms should not use tampons or menstrual cups until they are fully healed.
Sanitary pads are essential for postpartum care. The hospital might provide moms with some pads and mesh underwear, but they’ll most likely need more for postpartum recovery at home. Postpartum bleeding that involves large blood clots or very heavy bleeding (soaking a pad or more within an hour) should be treated as an emergency and the mother should seek medical attention. Excessive bleeding could be a sign of postpartum hemorrhage.
4. Sitz bath.
A sitz bath is a shallow tub filled with warm water and is used to relieve pain in the perineum or perineal area. Sitting in a sitz bath can relieve vaginal pain, especially in the days after you give birth. Most hospitals have a sitz bath available for new moms to take home with them after birth.
5. Pain medicine.
Over-the-counter pain medicine or prescription pain medicine is one of the primary ways to take care of your body after delivery. Pelvic pain, pain from stitches, sore breasts, and c-section recovery all cause a good deal of discomfort. Women should consult with their healthcare provider prior to giving birth to come up with a pain management plan for after giving birth.
6. Stool softeners.
Some constipation is normal after delivery. Fluctuating hormones, iron supplements, sore muscles, pain from an episiotomy, and hemorrhoids can all make it difficult to go to the bathroom after giving birth. Taking a stool softener can help make bowel movements easier during the early days of postpartum.
Stool softeners come in pill, syrup, and liquid form and can be taken at night to provide maximum relief.
7. Healthy foods.
Healthy, nutritious foods can make a big difference in the postpartum recovery process. During the first few days and weeks after delivery, focus on high protein, high fiber foods that will help with digestion and overall well-being.
If you’re breastfeeding, you might find yourself hungrier than usual, especially during the first few days postpartum. Keep protein bars, nuts and seeds, protein shakes, and fruits and vegetables prepped and nearby when you need a quick snack. During the fall months, foods like apples, squash, carrots, Brussels sprouts, cranberries, and sweet potatoes are in season. You can even incorporate these foods into protein bars or smoothies.
Health-boosting foods include hummus and cucumber, cheese and crackers, apples and peanut butter, or yogurt with berries. These foods can boost energy, lift mood, and aid in digestion.
8. Numbing spray.
Lidocaine spray can work as a numbing agent to help deal with vaginal pain and soreness, with pain from stitches, or with hemorrhoid pain. You can find numbing spray at most stores in the first aid section.
9. Lanolin cream.
Lanolin cream can help alleviate dry, cracked nipples during the early days of breastfeeding. Some pain and soreness is normal during the beginning of a woman’s breastfeeding journey, and lanolin cream or ointment can help ease some of that pain. Simply apply the cream to the nipples and breasts after each feeding.
10. Heating pad.
A heating pad can relieve a good deal of postpartum aches and pains. Heating pads can help alleviate back pain and pelvic pain and is a simple item to have on hand for postpartum care. It is useful for dealing with the different ailments that come after pregnancy and delivery.
Not only does it help the body, but it can also be very helpful to use during the cooler fall and winter months. If your recovery will be during the colder season, a heating pad can be extremely useful.
What to expect postpartum: a quick timeline
One week after delivery:
Pain from vaginal or perineum tearing might occur. Postpartum bleeding will happen. The pelvis will be swollen and sore. Breast tenderness is common. C-section recovery is like recovering from a major surgery. Organs shift back into place, hormones are all over the map, and the baby blues are common.
Two weeks postpartum:
Vaginal bleeding should begin to slow and change color. Soreness and itching is common as the skin heals. Night sweats are very common during this stage. It can be a struggle to care for your baby and take care of yourself at the same time.
Three to six weeks postpartum:
The baby blues might begin to fade. Postpartum bleeding should be light. Mood swings are common, and it is important to see a doctor if feelings of depression or anxiety make daily life difficult. Rest is still important during these weeks.
After six weeks:
Vaginal bleeding should end or be very light, and any pain from a vaginal birth or c-section surgery should be minimal. Hair loss, urinary incontinence, and pelvic floor weakness are common. You might even experience your first postpartum period around 3-4 months after delivery, although for some women it doesn’t return until much later.
Recovery made easy with the KeaBabies 3-in-1 Support Belt
The KeaBabies Revive 3-in-1 Support Belt features an ergonomic design that prevents stomach sagging, supports the lower back, and helps return the hips to the pre-pregnancy position. It is comfortable and breathable, and can be worn under or over clothing. It won’t cause discomfort even during the cooler fall months. This body shaper corrects posture and provides back support without being too bulky. It comes in a variety of colors and sizes, making it an essential for any woman’s postpartum care.
Postpartum recovery can be made easier with some simple preparation.
From stocking up on healthy foods, to buying pads and numbing spray, to utilizing the help of the KeaBabies 3-in-1 Support Belt, the postpartum period can be much easier with some easy preparation. The early days and months of taking care of a baby are far from easy, but with the right tools, new mothers can make it through the long days and weeks of postpartum recovery.