5 Unknowns about post-partum recovery & hacks to keep you comfortable.

After my first baby, I was clueless. Not so much about the baby, oh wait, yes I was. But also about what I would be going though, physically. We’d been to antenatal classes but other than expecting a heavy period, I was oblivious to the below stages of recovery, so after learning the hard way, I’m sharing with you some hacks and tips so you know what’s coming and how to manage them too! (Breastfeeding and post-caesarean birth recovery both need posts of their own!) 


1. Strong labour like surges/contractions of the uterus. Especially while breastfeeding. These can get stronger for each subsequent baby you have.


My top hacks:

  • Taking the painkillers your midwife/doctor/pharmacist recommend that are safe for breastfeeding.

  • Using hypnobirthing breathing to relax during these intense moments.

  • Remembering that this is a positive, healthy sensation that is helping to shrink your womb back to its pre-pregnancy size. You can even visualise this happening, to enhance the positives and also as a distraction from the intensity.

  • Go easy on yourself, just take time to sit and enjoy your baby, let your birth helpers do everything else but cuddling and your feeding baby (that’s your delicious job).


2. Extra blood loss happens when you breastfeed, because breastfeeding releases hormones that make your uterus contract. 


So you might feel larger amounts of blood passing through your vagina as you breastfeed and afterwards when you stand up, you might feel a sudden release of extra blood. 

Note: If you’re losing blood in large clots, tell your midwife. (source: nhs.uk)


My top hacks:

  • For those first few days, I had an old towel to sit on in bed, to absorb any leaks after breastfeeding. You can also use those “puppy pads” aka large incontinence pads to sit on too.

  • Double up on those super thick maternity pads, sounds a bit over kill but my midwife showed me how you can overlap two in the middle to make one really wide pad, and that helped to make sure nothing escaped! Plus the extra padding is welcome after any soreness, inflammation or stitches.

  • At nighttime when you’re changing your pad less frequently, do all the above and have some spare knickers and pads out ready to change over quickly in the night so you and baby can get back to sleep sooner.


3. Night sweats! (The fun and glamour!)


Sweating lots after having a baby is a normal stage of postpartum recovery. It’s your body’s way of getting rid of all the extra fluid your body was previously using to nourish your baby.    You might sweat more during the day but usually it’s a lot more noticeable when you’re sleeping. It will pass after a few weeks. If you think you’re unwell or feverish, seek medical advice straight away. (Source: whattoexpect.com)


My top hacks:


  • If you’re waking up in pools of cool sweat, it’s a good idea to sleep on a towel that you can change over when it gets damp. 

  • Sleeping in pjs made from cotton rather than synthetic materials can help too.

  • Have a spare pj top and a spare towel handy in the night so you can quickly get comfortable again. Plus lots of water to drink particularly if you’re breastfeeding will help keep you hydrated.

4. The first poo (yours not your baby’s).


Often it’s a few days after baby arrives that you’ll need a poo, and some women worry about tearing stitches (it won’t), and if it will hurt, so understandably, constipation is common.


My top hacks:

  • Don’t ignore the urge to do a poo, as this is more likely to give you constipation!Eating lots of fibre and fruit and veg plus some natural laxatives such as flax seeds, drinking lots of fluids and remembering hypnobirthing down breathing, can help you have a more gentle post baby poo.


5. Healing from episiotomy or stitches. 


My top hacks:

  • Some women swear by a spray or a jug of warm water to pour over their bits, to help ease their discomfort while weeing. Keeping up with regular pain killers recommended by your midwife/doctor/pharmacist can also help.

  • I hope some of those are helpful and reach you in time for you to get comfy and enjoy those baby snuggles! 

If you’d like to learn more of this sort of helpful birth stuff (aka antenatal education AND MORE), my hypnobirthing classes take place in St Neots, and private 1-2-1 hypnobirthing courses are offered to you in the comfort of your own home, in central Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire, Huntingdon and let me know if you’re somewhere else and I’ll do my best to get to you!

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