The first few weeks after giving birth could be described as nothing less compared to a whirlwind. Round-the-clock, you have to take turns with your spouse in watching and feeding the baby. You also have to change his clothes and calm him down after crying for who knows what reason.
All these you have to bear while you aren’t fully well either. As such, here are helpful tips so you can usher yourself back to a healthy lifestyle:
Soothe Postpartum Stitches
The feeling of sutures digging through your skin down there is not only uncomfortable but is also painful. On top of that, you might feel like the tear went all the way to your anus or like your butt is inflamed from that extreme labor experience.
Despite how hectic things could get at home, make sure to take time to tend to your postpartum wounds. A hot sitz bath using either a bedpan or a shallow basin and taking anti-inflammatory medications as prescribed by your obstetrician, if done daily, can help accelerate healing. Then, you can focus better on caring for your baby.
It could be tempting to loathe your postpartum body and compensate by crash dieting. Still, you will be unable to sustain it as your routine as a new mother will certainly be more demanding than the nutrition a limited diet could provide you. There are several other reasons to deter you from commencing such a risky diet.
For one, your body needs to recover from the nine-month-long conception and the scars you sustained from delivering your baby. Just as compelling a reason to subscribe to a well-balanced diet, instead, is you will breastfeed your child for half a year at least. So you want your breast milk to be the most nourishing to him.
You want to keep stock of food items in your pantry, at least during your postpartum recovery. Whole grains such as quinoa, rice, and oats are rich in fiber, protein, and minerals essential in healing. Incorporating beans and legumes into your postpartum diet aids your digestion and your body’s nutrient absorption.
To get over your junk food cravings, you can eat seeds and nuts instead to obtain your daily dose of healthy fats. There are food groups that are notable for helping replenish water and other minerals you lost during childbirth. One of these is seaweed, which you can eat fermented as a soup or as a fresh topping to your meal. It does so much as to boost your body’s supply of calcium and iodine, both important for your and your baby’s bone and brain health.
You do not have to push yourself to exercise immediately after giving birth, especially because your body is swollen everywhere. For the first month after giving birth, you can engage in light cardio exercises like walking. And, because you have to be very hands-on with the baby, you can take this time to be intentional with performing every chore as if to multitask exercise and tending to your baby’s needs. A gym subscription might just accelerate your ability to get back on top of your fitness game. Your coach can recommend the best and safest methods like CrossFit, weightlifting, yoga, or a mix of these.
Overcome Health Anxiety
Raging hormones are another thing you will have to live with from pregnancy, more so postpartum. This, postpartum depression, and anxiety are relatively common but, even if you knew about this long ago, going through it could be much more difficult.
However, you should not demean yourself for it. It is natural to grieve the loss of your old self and life and be anxious about the things that are yet to unfold in this new reality. Each day, remind yourself that, although this cannot compare to all your previous struggles, this will just end up as a phase you had to go through. Thus, while you are in this mind space, allow yourself to feel and, only when you acknowledge these feelings can you work on persevering in life anyway.
These mental struggles could manifest themselves as you being anxious about your health in a hypochondriac fashion. You may exhibit symptoms and automatically go on anxious-ruminating mode and research what could be your problem. If you think this disrupts your daily life, visiting a psychiatrist or your OB will be best.
That pregnancy turns your life around isn’t an understatement. Postpartum life is, more than ever, the opportune time to take charge of your health, and you should do this holistically.