You did it, Mama! You made it through hours of labor, or maybe even through a c-section, to bring your sweet new little one into the world. Those nine long months of waiting are finally over, so now it’s time to relax and let things get back to normal, right?
You haven’t really slept since you left the hospital, you’re still sore from your episiotomy or your c-section incision, you sob inconsolably during diaper commercials, your hair has started falling out, and your nipples are raw from trying to figure this whole breastfeeding thing out.
When you’re holding your tiny newborn at 3 am and gazing into his sweet, trusting little eyes, it’s all so worth it.
But it would still be really nice to get some sleep, and maybe a shower.
Believe us, we understand. We here at Zeid have helped countless new mommies through pregnancy, delivery, and the postpartum period – and of course, many of us here have had our own experiences with childbirth, too! We’ve got time-tested advice to help you get through those first few weeks postpartum. Don’t worry – it may seem like the sleepless nights and emotional roller coaster will never end, but it gets better, we promise.
Help Yourself Heal
If you had an episiotomy or a c-section, you’re not only dealing with exhaustion and hormones, but trying to recover from surgery, too. It can seem impossible when you barely get a chance to rest, but there are some things you can do to help yourself heal.
For an episiotomy, be sure to keep the area clean by rinsing it with a squirt bottle of warm water each time you use the restroom, and changing your sanitary pad at least every four hours. Take ibuprofen for pain, and try to fit in as many warm sitz baths as possible to promote blood flow to the area. You can also use witch hazel pads or wipes to reduce swelling.
If, on the other hand, you had a c-section, you’ll need to focus on keeping your incision clean and dry. You can wash it gently in the shower, pat it dry, and even place a pad against the area to wick away any sweat and keep it dry all day. Take the pain medicine prescribed by your doctor, or ibuprofen, to help manage the pain, and be careful not to lift anything heavier than your baby. Avoid using stairs or doing anything that might strain your stomach muscles while you are healing. (Which is easier said than done when you’re up and down all night, we know! Try rolling over onto your side and using your arms to push yourself up, rather than using your abs to sit straight up.)
Make Sleep A Priority
We know you’ve already heard it a million times, but that’s only because it’s such important advice: Sleep when the baby sleeps. No, really. You need as much sleep as you can get in order to recuperate – not to mention just staying sane! When you finally get Baby down for one of her catnaps, you should lie down as well. Chores, a shower, phone calls – everything else can wait. Even a few minutes of sleep here and there is better than none at all– and daytime naps make those all-night marathon nursing sessions much more bearable.
Sort Out Sore Nipples
If you’re breastfeeding, your nipples are probably not very happy right now. It takes some time for even seasoned mamas to get back into the swing of nursing, and those first few days can be painful. Try putting lanolin on sore nipples for pain relief, and consider visiting a lactation consultant to make sure your baby is latching on correctly.
Trust Us On This One
Two words: Stool softeners.
You‘ll thank us later. Believe us.If you’ve recently had your baby, be sure that you’ve scheduled your postpartum check-up appointment with us for 4-6 weeks after the birth. We can’t wait to see you and your new little one and get an update on how you’re both doing! In the meantime, if you have any questions or concerns at all, don’t hesitate to give our OB/GYNs a call at one of our locations in Tyler, Henderson, or Longview. We’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have.