My best postpartum advice!
Ahhh, the joys of postpartum! It's such a glamorous stage of life, am I right? Haha. It may be so far from glamorous, but I will have to say that this was my third time in this stage. I felt ready to welcome and embrace it as best as I could this time. I made sure to have zero expectations with not only my body but with things that were happening all around me. I wanted to try to just rest and heal (the best I could with two toddlers), and enjoy my new baby girl. I know everyone says this from your Grandma to the lady in the grocery store, but wow it really goes fast! The newborn/postpartum stage goes SO fast! So enjoy those baby snuggles, sleepless nights, (Okay maybe not the sleepless nights), the smells, the sounds. In a blink of an eye, they will be older and annoying, I mean joyful. So truly soak up all the cuddles and tiny little fingers that wrap around yours.
With all of the focus on the newborn baby, no one ever really talks about or focuses on the mom. At least I feel that way in our culture. Everyone expects you to pop a baby out and be okay. Back to normal right? WRONG. Us moms need time to heal as well. Not only physically but mentally. I remember I had NO idea what to expect after having my first child. I remember asking the nurse in the delivery room, "Will I be back to normal by the weekend?". HAHA. I remember her telling me, "Oh honey, you won't feel like yourself for at least 6 months". Say WHAT?
I would say that's probably pretty accurate. You don't pop a baby out and feel like yourself by the weekend. haha. No matter what Princess Kate may make it seem like, or even seeing some of my pictures on my blog or other bloggers, you don't just feel like yourself! In many different ways. But with all of that being said, I felt super ready to begin the postpartum stage this time around. I knew what to expect and I was so ready to get back to a healthy lifestyle. (Nothing sounds good to me besides watermelon for 9 months, so I was so ready!).
I wish I could help every momma out there in this stage. It's hard. But also it's incredible because you have a brand new baby. Mixed with a hundred other emotions. I read the book, 'the first 40 days' while I was 9 months pregnant. And I am so glad I did. It was such a good reminder to me that I personally do need time to heal. Our bodies created a human being for 9 months. To think we can just get back to how we felt (mentally and physically) before the baby was here is just not true. Our bodies need so much nurturing from the inside out. We also need help. We need help from our partners, parents, a friend, a neighbor. Let people help you during this stage! Even if you have to ask, do it. You need the rest. You need the meals, you my friend need to heal.
I personally believe food is one of the best ways to recover quicker. Nurturing our bodies with the best and healthiest foods can heal our insides. I 100%believe this. Food is medicine, my friends. It's the best medicine there is! I loved the book because there were SO many amazing recipes to heal yourself with food. It's definitely an art and dates back hundreds of years. I made a lot of broths that I could throw a soup together quickly after the baby. Which we were all thankful for. I had smoothies always on hand, lots and lots of fresh fruits and veggies. Also a LOT of healthy fats. Whole coconut milk, avocados, nuts...etc. Plus I was just so happy food sounded good to me again! haha. I made sure I would always have these things on hand and ready to go. I can't tell you how much this helps me feel better. Mentally and physically. I didn't wait for week two or three or six to start eating healthy. I started day number one. Because I wanted to eat that way. This is not dieting in any way shape or form. It's eating whatever your body feels like or needs. It's eating real, whole foods to give you the energy you need. To help your insides heal! So you can take care of that beautiful new baby and maybe some toddlers :). I promise if you nourish your body, mentally you will start to feel like yourself quicker as well.
Another great thing I recommend to my postpartum mommas is to find yourself an amazing chiropractor! I can't believe I have so many girlfriends who have never gone to see a chiropractor after giving birth! I don't know how you do it! We got home on a Saturday, I was at my chiropractor with my entire family on Monday morning. haha! And was there at least three times that very week. Our bodies physically create and carry a child for 9 months. Then give birth! Our bodies need to be aligned after that. Plus my hips hurt to even sit after giving birth and my lower back, ouch! I don't know about you guys! There are so many reasons why you should go see a chiropractor after giving birth, no matter if you had a vaginal delivery or a c-section! (You still carried a human for 9 months) but here is the main reason!
Prior to delivery our bodies make a hormone called relaxin. This allows the ligaments to become more relaxed in order for us to have a successful delivery. After childbirth, relaxin leaves our systems. Our spine and pelvis will no longer be in good alignment. (I have personally felt this with all three of mine!). As the ligaments return to their normal elasticity, our pelvis will become less likely to return to it's normal alignment. Which can cause a lot of different issues.
I went to a chiropractor throughout my entire pregnancy as well. It helped TREMENDOUSLY with so many things! I can't recommend this enough. I know a lot of insurance companies cover chiropractic care. If you have not looked into this, make sure to do so!
That my friends is some of my absolute best advice on how to get back to feeling like yourself again. But then again, make sure you know it will take time for you to heal. Enjoy this phase. Even though it's so hard, like I said, it goes so fast! If your pregnant and reading this no matter if this is your first or even your third, make sure you remember to take time for yourself. Even if that means asking for some help!
What's your best postpartum advice? Share with us in the comments below!