Saturday, September 22, 2018

What Should You Be Thinking About Post Labour & Birth?

In the build-up to birth, expectations are pretty heavy for how the birth will go. During the last month,
in particular, mothers focus so heavily on making sure the house is perfect and ready for the new
arrival. Moving on to then ensuring that the dressing unit is filled with nappies, wipes, vest, sleepsuits,
blankets, hats, booties… this list goes on. Often times, mothers forget that in the two weeks following
birth, their own body goes through a lot of adjustment. In fact, the first two weeks are just the start.

Photo by Julie Johnson on Unsplash

So what kind of things are worth thinking about?

Well, it is worth bearing in mind you are likely to bleed for anywhere between a few days a couple of
weeks. This will depend on if you are breastfeeding, how the birth went, if you have previous births
or a history of heavy bleeding. Where once it was all about the ultra thick sanitary pads, times have
moved on to a point where there are a lot of choices now, in fact, Innerparents have a brilliant article
on the best postpartum underwear choices.

Your stomach has been bearing the burden of your growing uterus and baby for the last few months.
In the final few weeks, it gets cumbersome. Your core is likely being pushed to its limits, meaning that
post birth you might feel some weakness in this area. In fact, it might cause you to feel slightly
unstable and ‘weak’ in the first week or so. A stomach support belt is an excellent idea for some
extra support.

High energy foods. Labour and birth are pretty hardcore in terms of the energy you use, and the
strength it takes. That on top of growing a tiny human for all these months is pretty tiring work.
So, something you should be mindful of is that you might not have much time to cook nutritious meals
with a new arrival. Ahead of birth, think about prepping some meals and freezing them. Lots of
vegetables, lean meats like chicken and plenty of iron-rich foods. Hearty soups, stews, pasta dishes
and plenty of water in easy reach. This part isn’t about dieting, it’s about replenishing energy and
getting you through the long nights.

Soft, stretchy clothing. While you are likely to be both simultaneously feeling svelte and a little wobbly
in some area, comfort should be a priority. It’s totally normal and is something that most moms go
through. It won’t matter if you’ve had a c-section or given birth vaginally, just having some soft,
stretchy clothing for the first few days is going to be nice and comfortable.

A supply of paracetamol. After a few days, your organs will begin to move back to where they once
were. During this time you might be in a little bit of pain with trapped gas, contracting uterus and
other aches and pains. Take it slow and take pain relief when you need to. Be sure to check with
your GP, or Midwife team to make sure you don’t take anything that is going to cross into your milk
or affect other medication you may be on.

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