Like many moms, I was very nervous about postpartum recovery.
I wasn’t too worried about delivery. I knew that the doctors and nurses would be there to help. And although I was nervous about bringing my newborn home, I had experience with babies. So that didn’t top my list of fears. But I was very worried about recovering from childbirth and I had no idea what to expect.
Because I was so scared about my postpartum recovery, I frantically began researching tips as my due date grew closer.
In order to help expecting mamas that are facing these same fears, I have worked with 12 amazing mommy bloggers to find the best postpartum tips all moms need to know before giving birth! I also added in my own pro-tips to help you feel even more prepared for a healthy postpartum recovery.
Keep reading to learn what you can expect during your postpartum recovery.
Do you have any great tips that helped you recover after childbirth? Add your tips in the comments to help out new mamas getting ready for their big day!
Are you an expecting mom right now? What is your biggest concern about postpartum recovery?
The 12 Tips You Will Learn in this Post:
#1: Stock up on postpartum supplies before your baby arrives.
#2: Use a pelvic girdle to support your body while you recover from childbirth.
#3: It takes a while for your postpartum body to go back to the way it was before pregnancy.
#4: Going to the bathroom after childbirth can be scary!
#5: Padsicles are a lifesaver during your postpartum recovery time.
#6: Lying in with your baby is an amazing way to prioritize bonding with your baby and healing your body.
#7: The postpartum period is exhausting, but co-sleeping can help if done safely.
#8: When thinking about postpartum recovery supplies, don’t forget to prepare food before your baby arrives.
#9: Breastfeeding can be challenging and painful during the postpartum days.
#10: Make postpartum recovery with a toddler easier by creating a boobie box!
#11: Rely on your support system while recovering from childbirth.
#12: Postpartum sex doesn’t have to be intimidating.
Keep reading to learn how these 12 tips can help you during your postpartum recovery!
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Postpartum Tip #1: Stock up on postpartum supplies before baby arrives.
Postpartum advice from Christina at Raising Biracial Babies:
If you want to quickly heal after giving birth, you’ll want to stock up on supplies before you have your baby! The most helpful supplies I got were perineal cold packs and chuck pads.
If you have a vaginal delivery, the perineal cold packs are so soothing on your swollen, very tender nether region. They also double as pads so that’s very helpful too.
Chuck pads were fantastic to have because you bleed A LOT after you have a baby and sometimes you’ll leak through your pads. (Yes, even the heavy maternity pads.) You can put the chuck pads over your mattress and under your sheets so if/when you bleed, nothing leaks through to your mattress. These are especially helpful overnight!
Chuck pads are also great to use if you’re breastfeeding. When you first start making milk, many times women will leak breast milk. You can again put chuck pads on your mattress under your sheets so when you’re sleeping any leakage will get sucked up by the chuck pad.
Check out more tips from Christina on Pinterest!
Pro-Tip: Having a great postpartum essentials list can help you feel much more prepared while recovering after childbirth. You probably won’t want to walk around the store after delivery. I recommend getting your postpartum kit ready before your baby arrives. Click here to receive a free postpartum recovery kit checklist so you know exactly what you need!
Postpartum Tip #2: Use a pelvic girdle to support your body while you recover from childbirth.
Postpartum advice from Stormy at Pregnant Mama Baby Life:
For me, postpartum recovery was really rough. One of the biggest shockers for me was how weak my core muscles had become. Even sitting up in bed was difficult for me!
I started using a postpartum girdle 2 days after coming home from my birth and it made the biggest difference in my postpartum care! Instead of feeling weak and wobbly, it helped me get up with little effort, and the lower back pain I was having disappeared!
I also had the beginning signs of diastasis recti, which is when your abdominal muscles separate. It’s actually pretty common after pregnancy. Although wearing a postpartum girdle won’t make a diastasis better, it can help prevent it from getting worse.
It can also help shrink your uterus shrink down. While your uterus will shrink on its own, sometimes the pressure can help encourage it to shrink and go back to normal a little faster. This can mean fewer problems in the long run.
Here is a girdle I really like and recommend. I basically lived in that girdle for over a month! And it was amazing!
Check out more tips from Stormy on Pinterest!
Pro-Tip: After your baby is born, your nurses will come in and press on your abdomen. This helps them to make sure that your uterus is shrinking properly and check that you don’t have any large postpartum blood clots. This can be a little painful, especially the first few times that they do it. Try to relax your stomach muscles as much as possible when they do this.
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Postpartum Tip #3: It takes a while for your postpartum body to go back to the way it was before pregnancy.
Postpartum advice from Lisa at Cheerfully Simple:
As a new mom, it can be really hard to realize that your body doesn’t go right back to the way it was before getting pregnant. The reality is that it took 40 weeks for your body to grow a tiny human, and it likely isn’t going right back to normal within the first few weeks. Give yourself time and grace!
One thing I did for myself was to make sure I bought a couple of new pieces of clothes for nursing. It gave me something to look forward to when the first couple of weeks home with a new baby can be tough while your body is healing after pregnancy.
Check out more tips from Lisa on Facebook!
Pro-Tip: Your postpartum body is weird! I was totally surprised by how my stomach looked after giving birth. Don’t be disappointed if you think you still look several months pregnant after your baby is born. Your skin also looks super saggy and jiggly. It’s a bit of shock at first! But within a couple of weeks, everything starts shrinking back to normal.
Pro-Tip: Also, don’t forget to take it easy on your body while recovering from birth. You don’t have to worry about postpartum exercising as soon as you get home. Take a few days to rest and then slowly start adding in more activity. During the first few weeks after my baby was born, I was surprised at how sore I would feel even after short walks! If I had tried to jump into exercise right away, it would have taken much longer and been much more painful to recover from childbirth.
Postpartum Tip #4: Going to the bathroom after childbirth can be scary!
Postpartum advice from Mary Beth at A Reluctant Mom:
That first postpartum
poop bathroom visit is a scary thought, to say the least! But my advice is to get it over with ASAP, before the anxiety overwhelms you. And while you’re at it, don’t forget your trusty squirt bottle.
Yes, that plastic water bottle that often comes in your hospital freebies. Of all the things that helped with my postpartum recovery, probably my most coveted item was that cheap, unassuming piece of plastic.
Ladies, don’t dismiss this postpartum lifesaver! Use it during Every. Single. Bathroom. Visit. Nothing is more soothing on those post-delivery stitches and hemorrhoids (yep, hemorrhoids… I said it out loud) than a nice squirt of warm water over your traumatized nethers.
While we’re on the subject, here’s another postpartum bathroom tip for those of you who go the epidural route: take advantage of the numbness! It’ll linger for a while after you get to the recovery room, so definitely try to go if you can. You’ll have some feeling back, but not all feeling back. So take that opportunity to get a few more pain-free pushes out of the way (you know what I mean, ladies… blow it up!). If you’re successful, it’ll completely eliminate your anxiety for the next time.
Good luck, mamas! Learn about more of the products that I love here!
Check out more tips from Mary Beth on Facebook!
Pro-Tip: The hospital will likely offer stool softeners and a few painkillers every few hours while you are in the hospital. I highly encourage taking these when they are offered and continuing to take them for a few days after you get home. They make things MUCH easier (and less terrifying) when going to the bathroom during your postpartum recovery time.
Postpartum Tip #5: Padsicles are a lifesaver during your postpartum recovery time.
Postpartum advice from Allie at Vigor It Out:
Postpartum aftercare is so important. During childbirth, your lady bits go through quite a bit of trauma. You will be swollen and sore and may even have cuts and tears that need to heal. Bringing a beautiful tiny human into the world is tough work! It’s important to have everything prepared for your postpartum care before delivery.
There is one absolutely amazing thing that you will definitely want to have in your postpartum care kit: “padsicles.” A padsicle is a fancy term for large maxi pads soaked in soothing and healing aloe vera and essential oils.
The best part is that you can make healing DIY padsicles with essential oils yourself at home! All you need are a few simple ingredients that you can easily pick up from Amazon or at your local health food store. Padsicles are loaded with all kinds of powerful essential oils that do more than soothe your swollen lady bits. They actually aid in healing too!
Create lots of padsicles for your postpartum essentials kit. I made 40 and used every single one. You fold the padsicles up and store them in plastic baggies in the freezer. I can’t express how soothing it is to replace each postpartum pad with a cold padsicle. Just take one out of the freezer and replace your padsicle with a fresh soothing one as often as needed.
Having a baby and recovering from childbirth can be messy and painful, so treat yourself gently and be sure you have enough DIY padsicles to get you through this exhausting and special time of your life.
Check out more tips from Allie on Pinterest!
Pro-Tip: Create a bathroom habit and stick with it for several weeks after your baby is born. Continue to use your squirt bottle and padsicles every time you go to the bathroom for the first few weeks, even if you’re starting to feel better. This ensures that your body has enough time to fully heal before you quit using these supplies.
Postpartum Tip #6: Lying in with your baby is an amazing way to prioritize bonding with your baby and healing your body.
Postpartum advice from Rebecca at Innate Moves:
The hours, days, and weeks following birth is a once in a lifetime opportunity to bond with your new baby, and for them to bond to you!
Unfortunately, our society has gotten incredibly competitive on how soon a new mother should “bounce back” to her pre-pregnancy state. But it’s not natural, or normal, for mothers to return to the woman they were pre-baby!
I highly recommend lying in after birth. It is a regular routine in many societies and can really help both baby and mother.
Lying in is the general term for staying in bed (or at least home), with a newborn following birth. It takes on different forms, but always involves the mother giving her complete attention to herself and her infant’s care while recovering from childbirth.
Lying in should last at least a week after your baby is born. Both mother and baby will stay in bed, resting and bonding during that time.
Obviously, this requires helpers that can assist in the needs of the mother, bringing her food and plenty of hydration (especially for nursing mamas!). While you’re resting and bonding with your baby, you can also add in baby gymnastics activities to enjoy together!
Traditionally, the lying in period lasts beyond the first week, either in bed, or staying home, only going out when absolutely necessary. Many cultures extend it to the first month of life. What a great way to begin life with your new baby after the last nine months!
Check out more tips from Rebecca on Facebook!
Pro-Tip: I thought I wanted to get out and about after my baby was born, but I wish I had spent more time relaxing and recovering. Ignore pressure to “be a good host” for everyone that wants to visit your baby and take advantage of this suggestion of lying-in. Doing this has been shown to speed up postpartum recovery and help be more successful with breastfeeding.
Postpartum Tip #7: The postpartum period is exhausting, but co-sleeping can help if done safely.
Postpartum advice from Emma at Little House Lovely Home:
The biggest struggle for a lot of new moms is the complete lack of sleep in the early newborn days. Your body is already going through huge physical changes from pregnancy and birth so being unable to get adequate rest makes postpartum recovery a whole lot harder.
Co-sleeping can solve this problem. Co-sleeping can either entail room-sharing (baby in the same room as you) or bed sharing (your baby sleeping in the same bed as you).
Room-sharing is recommended for the first 6 months of a baby’s life by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Even if you live in a small space, it’s totally possible to make a space for baby in your room.
Bed sharing is a method that comes with higher risks but is worth investigating if you’re not getting any sleep. Bed sharing was the only way I managed to get any sleep at all.
Co-sleeping (whichever method you choose) has a range of benefits. Firstly, you’re closer to your baby so it’s easier to tend to their needs quickly. You hear them immediately and can quickly feed them and get them back to sleep. Studies have also shown infants who sleep close to their mother have more stable temperatures and regular heart rhythms.
Check out more tips from Emma on Facebook!
Pro-Tip: Newborn babies want to cuddle and most sleep much better with their parents than on their own. My baby was glued to my hip for the first three months and I wouldn’t have gotten any sleep if we didn’t decide to co-sleep. Bedsharing can be a lifesaver and make postpartum recovery easier. However, it’s very important to research the ways to do bed sharing safely before you try it with your new baby. Also, remember never to share your bed with your baby if you’re under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or medication, if you’re a heavy sleeper, or if you or your significant other are smokers. These all increase the risks of SIDS and suffocation.
Postpartum Tip #8: When thinking about postpartum recovery supplies, don’t forget to prepare food before your baby arrives.
Postpartum advice from Lisa at Birth Eat Love:
When thinking about postpartum recovery essentials, many first time moms don’t realize that they should stock up on food for the first few weeks with baby.
Everyone is so focused on labor and baby stuff that they forget they are going to have to eat too! Eating nourishing foods in the first weeks is essential for healthy postpartum healing after having a baby and for producing quality breast milk.
Many moms stock up on foods like lasagna and casseroles. However, these types of meals can sometimes make breastfeeding harder. Foods like tomato sauce and cheese can sometimes make your breastfed baby fussy. And a fussy baby makes postpartum recovery much more challenging. So it’s important to be aware of the foods to avoid while breastfeeding when stocking up on great postpartum recipes.
As part of your postpartum checklist, plan ahead and make freezer meals that focus on healing foods. Also, consider making some freezable snacks like lactation bites and smoothie packs for your postpartum recovery period.
Check out more tips from Lisa on Pinterest!
Pro-Tip: Postpartum recovery really is exhausting. Your body is sore. You are EXHAUSTED. And if you decide to nurse, your baby is likely cluster feeding several hours a day. Allocating time to prep several easy meals before your baby arrives is immensely helpful for making postpartum recovery easier for new moms.
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Postpartum Recovery Tip #9: Breastfeeding can be challenging and painful during the postpartum days.
Postpartum advice from Cindy at Living for the Sunshine:
I wish all postpartum moms knew more about what to expect in the first few weeks of breastfeeding.
You might be expecting breastfeeding to come easily to you because you know it’s the most natural way to feed your baby. But in reality, the first few weeks of breastfeeding come with a steep learning curve and can feel anything but natural. You might feel demoralized and want to quit.
New moms need to be prepared for the initial physical discomfort that often accompanies breastfeeding. You’ll hear breastfeeding shouldn’t be painful. But truthfully, it does hurt for the first few weeks.
Your breasts are engorged and your nipples are adjusting to having a little one chowing down around the clock. This pain shouldn’t last more than a few weeks, but it can be tough to deal with at the time.
You’ll be focused on caring for your baby in those first few weeks, but there are some things you can do to make you more comfortable as well.
Here are some tips to prevent and heal sore cracked nipples:
* Make sure that your nipples are completely dry after a feeding (use a blow dryer on low heat if you need to).
*Look for nursing pads that are not lined with plastic, because they can trap moisture.
* Use a cream on your nipples after breastfeeding (you can ask your care provider to prescribe you Dr. Jack’s Nipple Cream).
* Use heat or cold in between nursing sessions to provide relief.
If you are in major pain when breastfeeding, it’s time to do some troubleshooting. It could mean baby is not latching correctly or perhaps your baby has a tongue or lip tie. Don’t be afraid to seek help from your care provider or a lactation consultant.
Check out more tips from Cindy on Instagram!
Pro-Tip: Whether or not you’re struggling with breastfeeding during the postpartum period, I highly recommend visiting a lactation consultant. They provide excellent support for you! Building a relationship with them early on means you can always reach out to them with questions or challenges that come up, like biting, blocked ducts, low milk supply, and more!
Postpartum Tip #10: Make postpartum recovery with a toddler easier by creating a boobie box!
Postpartum advice from Mary at Organizing Choas 101:
When I got pregnant with my second child, I knew breastfeeding would be difficult. My first son was almost two and not quite able to play independently yet.
Sensory boxes seemed to be the talk of the town. As part of my postpartum checklist, I made several different sensory boxes in the months before my due date. We spent a lot of time practicing the activities so my son would know how to play with them when the time came. I thought for sure they would be the answer to occupying my toddler while I tried to breastfeed.
However, after a week at home with a toddler and a newborn, I discovered very quickly that I was wrong. My oldest son was understandably needy, and the sensory boxes caused more stress than comfort. I did some more research, and other mothers in my situation recommended something called a nursing basket—a box or basket containing special toys that only came out when the boobies did.
I collected some of the toys he liked the most and purchased a few more to try out my own nursing basket (which I like to call the boobie box). Anyone with a toddler knows they only want to play with the things they aren’t supposed to have anyway, so this ended up being a lifesaver.
It took a few days for him to catch on, but eventually, he would actually get excited when he saw me open the drawer with the “special toys.” If he also needed mommy time, our box included many things that could easily be done with him while breastfeeding.
Check out more tips from Mary on Twitter!
Postpartum Tip #11: Rely on your support system while recovering from childbirth.
Postpartum advice from Erin at Vaughn Day at a Time:
After having a baby, you NEED your village. It may sound cliché, but it’s also very true. You need your group of loved ones and family to make everything run smoothly.
When you are pregnant, nobody really prepares you for the isolation you will experience. It gets overwhelming, exhausting, and uncontrollable at times. You feel like you may never find your way out of the madness.
They don’t really include this stuff in the baby books you buy on Amazon, and most moms are afraid to terrify you, so they leave it off their “what to tell a pregnant mom” list.
This is when your tribe comes in. There are days where you feel as though your brain may explode. Your eyes are dry and sore from not sleeping for days. That’s when you call your village.
Rely on these people to come and help you to have a healthy postpartum recovery, both physically and mentally. They care for you and they care about you. These are the tried and true people who will get you through the darkest days.
So, create your own village. Call them. Don’t be afraid to reach out. If any of these people have kids, they have been there too and will be happy to help you out.
Check out more tips from Erin on Twitter!
Pro-Tip: Talk to your family and friends and be open about what you need their help with. Postpartum depression and postpartum anxiety are both common after childbirth. A great support system is in important part of your postpartum care plan. Be sure to ask for what you really need during your postpartum recovery to make a huge difference and feel like you have the postpartum support that you need.
Postpartum Tip #12: Postpartum sex doesn’t have to be intimidating.
Postpartum advice from Audrey at Mommy Enlightened:
I was terrified of having sex after my first daughter was born. Although my pregnancy and delivery were normal, I ended up with an episiotomy that made my vaginal area incredibly uncomfortable. I worried that sex would be painful and that it might not be enjoyable for my partner anymore since I had read that a baby can “wreck” your vagina.
Recognize that it’s totally normal to be nervous. But also know that eventually your vagina will bounce back to normal.
We almost waited the recommended six weeks before having sex, and the biggest thing that helped me be more comfortable was using a lot of lubricant. Dryness is definitely a thing post-baby. Sex will most likely be painful if you are too dry down there (because yes – it kind of feels like the first time!).
Postpartum sex was a little uncomfortable, but honestly it was much better than I psyched myself out to think it would be.
After my second child, I was not as nervous. I took better care of myself by utilizing postpartum necessities early on (which made a world of difference from my first to second child). We waited the full six weeks, and it did not feel any different from regular sex.
My partner and I have great communication, and he told me that although the sex felt a little different, I didn’t feel looser (which was my big worry!). That’s why the best advice I can give aside from using lubricant is to try and relax. Being tense and nervous can make any sexual encounter more uncomfortable. Waiting for the OK from the doctor will also help ensure that you won’t feel pain.
Check out more tips from Audrey on Pinterest!
The more you know, the more confident you will feel during your postpartum recovery period!
Don’t forget to download my FREE Postpartum Essentials Kit! It has everything you need to prepare for your postpartum recovery. Plus you can track all of your questions and the advice you receive AND organize your symptoms and recovery!
Which of these tips do you think is the most helpful? Share your favorite postpartum tip in the comments below!
Do you know any expecting mamas that need these tips?? Send them this post or share on your favorite social media page!