Postpartum period – what to prepare for?

The period after the birth of a child can be a special moment for all family members. It should be noted that a newborn will never stay this tiny, so we need to devote ourselves to it as much as possible, observe it, admire it and be as grateful as possible for this little creature. At the same time, it is extremely important that the mother takes proper care of herself.

A few weeks after giving birth is a special challenge for every mom. The body recovers after childbirth, hormones can still cause problems, she develops new habits and duties, she must adjust her home and, last but not least, her thoughts. If she prepares for this stage of life with a healthy dose of goodwill, everything will be easier.

We have prepared some useful tips for all new moms on how to spend time effectively a few weeks after giving birth.

Postpartum rest should usually last from two to six weeks

In the past, a woman who has just given birth had to rest for two to six weeks. During this time, they did not have to do work on the field. They laid in a dark and quiet room. They had to stick to a special diet consisting of low-fat chicken broth, toasted white bread soaked in egg, chicken meat, and buttermilk. They drank wine and chamomile tea. This supposedly restored her strength. They had to avoid lettuce, onions and beans.

Much of this is still relevant today. The first six weeks after giving birth are extremely challenging for a new mom. Body is slowly returning to its original state, mother is still struggling with bleeding, breastfeeding, some even with low milk production.

Except for taking care of the newborn, the most important thing for a mother is to keep the level of stress as low as possible and to get plenty of rest. We all know that this is not always possible, especially if you already have older children or other commitments that simply cannot wait for 6 weeks. However, it is wise to accept any help you can and prepare well in advance.

Smart checklist for new moms

Your recovery time after childbirth will pass faster and more pleasantly if you make a good plan before actually giving birth. This should include food preparation, making arrangements with friends, relatives, acquaintances, hiring help outside the family circle, preparation of a cosy space.

During pregnancy, you can cook stews and similar dishes that you can put in the freezer and use after childbirth when you don’t have time to cook. Ask your family members or close friend to help you take care of older children for the first few weeks after giving birth, or to tidy up the apartment, house or outside spaces. Of course, you can also hire a good cleaning service. Such services have become very affordable nowadays.

The help of a doula, who offers physical, emotional, and informational support to new mothers, can also be extremely welcome. We know quite a few people who deal with this professionally.

Start your daily activities when you feel capable of doing so

When a new mother can start with daily activities is one of the most common questions even the experts and gynaecologists can’t answer. The best advice is to let the young mother start her daily tasks when she is capable and strong enough for everything. However, it is important to start slow and gradually increase effort, and to follow the instructions of doctors and physiotherapists, especially when lifting heavy loads or older children. During this period, it is especially advisable to pay attention to the abdominal muscles and spine!

The puerperium period should last until your body returns to the pre-birth state

The postpartum period or puerperium begins after the delivery of the placenta. It does not end until the body, including hormone levels and uterus size, returns to a non-pregnant state. This usually takes six weeks. So the recommendation that a mother must rest for six weeks has a reasonable explanation. Some mothers can recover very quickly and are completely restored just a few days after giving birth. For others, recovery may take longer. It depends on the difficulty of the birth, how it took place, whether the mother needed stitches or gave birth by caesarean section, and also on health and mental condition of each individual.

It is very important to learn how to get out of bed properly, and when you feel ready and your gynaecologist or nurse recommend it, start doing abdominal muscle exercises that were suggested by a physiotherapist.

First walk in the fresh air

If you gave birth in warm, sunny months, you can go for your first walk as soon as you feel strong enough. But the first walk should not be long. Because the mother may feel dizzy or have weak legs, she should take someone with her. But if you gave birth in the winter, it is very important to look after the baby, as it is very sensitive to cold weather. Choose warm clothes, a coverall and a blanket and adjust the length of the walk to the recommendations of the nurse and your feeling. If your baby has cold hands or the cold air changes the color of his lips, you should return home immediately.

When can family and friends see the newborn?

Your loved ones probably can’t wait to meet your new family member.

There is no special rule for when a newborn can be visited for the first time. It all depends on the circumstances: the first important factor is the health of the newborn and the well-being of the mother. If the mother does not feel ready and the visit would cause her more stress and discomfort than joy, it is better to wait a little with the first visit or accept only closest family members.

However, if you decide that this is the right time to receive visits, pay close attention to their health and hand hygiene. The baby does not yet have a good immune system, so it is very important that he does not come into contact with viruses and bacteria, especially in the first few weeks after birth, because it was not accustomed to them in the safe environment of the mother’s womb. So be very careful about hand hygiene of your visitors and do not allow visits if they are not healthy, cough or do not feel well.

What helped you the first couple of weeks after giving birth? If you have any useful advice for other moms, you are welcome to share it with us in the comments🙂 !