5 Tips for Postpartum Recovery

The weeks after having a baby can be overwhelming. Between taking care of a newborn and trying to recover from birth, it can be easy to feel exhausted, frustrated and swamped by your new role. Here are some tips to help your postpartum experience be the best it can be.

Sleep - Get as much sleep as possible. The old adage “Sleep when the baby sleeps” of course, sounds like a good idea, but it is much easier said than done. The key is getting as much sleep as possible between feedings. This is made easier by support persons in your life such as partners and parents who can help watch the baby or do household chores while you get much-needed rest. It can be difficult to accept help at first, but it will pay off in the long run.

Movement - It can be helpful to go for short walks outside when possible. This releases endorphins, which help boost your mood and help you feel more awake and happy. Sitting outside for at least 15 minutes can help you connect with nature and feel more at peace. Listen to your body as it recovers and take things one step at a time (literally). Avoid vigorous exercise until your 6-week follow-up appointment with your provider.

Emotions - It is common to experience the “baby blues” two weeks after your delivery. During this time, your body is going through a lot of hormone changes and physically recovering from your delivery. Allow yourself to fully experience your emotions and communicate how you are feeling with your support persons. If these feelings continue to persist after the first couple of weeks, talk to your provider to see if there is anything else that can be done to help. There are also excellent therapists available to walk you through your experience. Talk to your provider to get recommendations on therapists. If you or someone you know is experiencing a psychiatric emergency, please call 911.

Diet - It can be tempting to try to drastically restrict calories after giving birth to try to quickly lose weight. But a healthy recovery takes time. Be patient with yourself and with your healing. It can be helpful to work with a Registered Dietician after having a baby. This way you can create a healthy sustainable plan for weight loss that will not impact milk supply if you are breastfeeding or breast pumping.

Family Planning - Vaginal intercourse is not recommended until after your 6-week postpartum appointment. At your postpartum visit your provider should discuss your contraceptive options.  Even though breastfeeding can make it difficult to conceive it is not a reliable form of contraception. Unless you want to have another baby right away some type of contraception should be used when you have the energy level and interest to resume sexual activity. Some patients want to return to their former method of contraception because it worked so well.   While other patients want to learn about all the available options. Your provider can walk you through the options based on your medical concerns and health history.

Your OB/GYN provider supported you through your pregnancy and they are here to help after you have had the baby too.
If you have any questions, please reach out to our doctor, nurse practitioner and registered dieticians at Creekside OB/GYN of Folsom.