Every pregnancy is different. The time that it takes you and your body to recover from giving birth will differ from mother to mother – even from one birth to another.
If you have a straightforward labour and birth, the likelihood is you will start feeling more like yourself again soon. If you have a tear, complications or certain interventions, you will most likely need a little more time and care to recover well.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when you first come home from the hospital with a newborn. If it’s your first child, you’ll no doubt be on a steep learning curve. While if you have older children, you will also be juggling their needs as well as a newborn who is totally dependent on you.
Don’t be afraid to ask for and accept help.
While you may not feel like it, getting out of the house, even for a short walk, can help clear your head. Exercise can actually help boost your energy levels too. Exercise will also affect how quickly you recover following the birth of your baby.
Try to get some rest when your baby sleeps, or, if you can’t do that during the day, try and get into bed early.
Eating well will also help you feel more energised. Try and have healthy snacks on hand to make it easier.
Breastfeeding burns about 500 calories each day, which need to be replenished on top of your normal calorie intake.
Drink plenty of water, avoiding caffeine, alcohol, and soft drinks.
Remaining hydrated keeps your energy levels up, aids your milk production and helps prevent constipation.
Eat foods high in fibre to reduce constipation or painful bowel motions, especially if you have haemorrhoids.
Eat a variety of proteins like meat, dairy, beans and nuts.
Foods such as dairy, fortified cereals, spinach, broccoli and almonds are rich in calcium which helps with nerve function, blood clotting and bone density.
Eat foods high in iron like red meat, eggs, beans, leafy greens, dried fruit and cereals.
Eat foods that are high in vitamin C, including: citrus, strawberries, leafy greens and sweet potatoes. This helps your energy levels, and with boosting your immune system.
Foods like beef, peanuts, wheat germ pumpkin and sesame seeds are high in zinc, which supports a healthy immune system, increases cell production for healing wounds and repairing damaged tissue.
It really does take a village to raise a child. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from family and friends, especially in these early days.
If your friends and family offer some assistance, don’t be afraid to ask them to walk the dog for you, to pick up the bread and milk on the way over, or even hang a load of washing.
You can find more support via our Mobile Midwife.