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As I approach my second labor experience, I’m seriously hoping for a quick postpartum recovery since this time I’ll be balancing a newborn, toddler, AND healing after birth.
And, postpartum healing is NO JOKE.
I know lots of women do it and survive but I gotta say, I wasn’t prepared the first time I was postpartum and I really can’t have that experience again, you know what I mean?
(If you’ve never been through the postpartum recovery process, well then, I am GLAD you’re here).
Thing is, I know it’s hard to prepare for something when you’ve never been through it.
But trust me, momma – you need all the postpartum recovery tips you can get before you actually give birth.
Postpartum care starts while you’re still pregnant – it’s something I like to call putting together your postpartum recovery plan.
Planning is good, yes?
So, let’s get ready to heal after birth…as quickly and perfectly as we possibly can, okay?
Let’s get the question I know you NEED the answer to out of the way.
Your postpartum recovery will likely take up 6 weeks of your life which is okay because, well, you just had a baby.
What we can plan for is postpartum recovery not being as painful and uncomfortable as it…could be.
If you’ve ever wondered how you can speed up your postpartum recovery, lets get started!
Postpartum Recovery Tips Because You Want to Feel Like Yourself Again Quickly
Since our goal is to have a quick postpartum recovery (and that should be your goal), the first part of the plan is knowing how to manage the pain, how NOT to get an infection, and what to use for the postpartum period.
It takes 6 weeks to heal but the first couple of weeks need a plan of their own, you know?
(Btw, 6 weeks is when you start to not grimace when sitting down – full body healing takes much longer than that to heal properly – more on that to come!).
Getting Ready for the Postpartum Period
The postpartum period is, well, shall we say a period of its own definition.
Count on the first two weeks being the heaviest and then you’ll likely find it lightening during the following weeks.
Remember! Every woman is different and what I said above is a guideline to help you get an idea of what you’ll be dealing with.
Here are my essential postpartum period items that I will be stocked on before I give birth:
✿ Thick postpartum pads – I used these pads the first time and I’ll be stocking up on them again. I didn’t feel like I was going to leak everywhere and there was no mess on my bedsheets either (I did, however, place an old towel underneath me to sleep just in case).
✿ Granny panties – the hospital will send you home with disposable mesh panties like these ones and they’re great for the first couple of days postpartum. After that? I used granny panties (these ones are awesome and good in case you end of having a c-section) because I found my pad didn’t move around on me as it did with the mesh undies.
✿ Peri bottles – you may be able to score one from the hospital but you’re going to need a bottle in every bathroom and even one in your diaper bag. Peri bottles are little lifesavers that gently cleanse (because you ain’t going near down there, you know?) and encourage your lady parts to urinate.
Fill the bottle with lukewarm water, spray gently and pat dry.
Using peri bottles will help you feel cleaner down there which is essential for feeling like yourself as much as you can, you know?
✿ Rock your loose fitting maternity clothes – the main idea during postpartum recovery is to be as comfy as possible and that really doesn’t mean you should try to squeeze into your old clothes just yet. I lived in my nursing nightie and robe and will do the same again!
How to Manage Postpartum Pain
USING PADSICLES FOR PAIN AND POSTPARTUM HEALING
Padsicles are your friends’ momma – especially if you use them correctly.
What is a padsicle?
A padsicle is one of your postpartum pads filled with healing and soothing (perfect to help your speedy postpartum recovery!) ingredients that help your lady parts.
You stick them in the freezer to keep everything fresh and pull them out as needed ahead of time (the last thing we need to do is freeze our lady parts…not so good if you’re trying to heal fast).
Since the ingredients used in these little lifesavers promote healing, reduce inflammation, and manage pain, I recommend making a few before you’re actually recovering postpartum.
I’ll be stocking my freezer with healthy postpartum meals and making some padsicles so they’re ready to go.
(It’s also okay if you don’t get to it before you’re postpartum – they’re pretty easy to make in a pinch).
How do you make a padsicle?
Here is a list of ingredients you’ll need to make your padsicle:
A note on the ingredient suggestions – I only use organic and high quality when it comes to fast postpartum healing. These things will be helping me heal and I don’t want anything that might irritate and/or make things worse and I don’t want that for you either.
If you happen to grow your own aloe vera plant you can use that to make your padsicle.
Making the padsicle:
✿ Open your pad.
✿ Spread the aloe vera gel (a thin layer will do).
✿ Spray a small amount of witch hazel.
✿ Close and wrap the pad as it was before.
✿ Place them in a container (your choice) and place in the freezer.
✿ Let them cool.
If you’re going to be using them in the not so distant future after making them, don’t leave them in the freezer for too long.
The idea behind padsicles is to place the healing ingredients near your lady parts so they can benefit and capitalize on the cool pad for pain management.
YOUR CHOICE OF PAIN MEDS
Have some pain meds on hand just in case things are really bad.
Some will tell you not to use pain meds at all while you’re postpartum but I think you need to do what’s best for you, okay momma?
You’ll need to figure out which pain meds are safe to take while breastfeeding.
Before I share another story that will be total TMI, I’ll just tell you to take the stool softeners.
The nurses will give you some right after birth and, yes, that’s when you should start taking them.
You’ll need them for several days after birth too.
Let’s just say your first bowel movement depends on you taking those stool softeners.
How to be Comfy for Fast Healing and Postpartum Recovery
*Get the green light to take a postpartum sitz bath from your healthcare provider*
(Yes, we all want that quick postpartum recovery but we also want to things right, you know?)
While padsicles will start the fast healing process, sitz baths will speed up postpartum recovery even more.
Not only are you cleansing your lady bits (something that can feel HARD to do when you’re sore), you’re also stealing some much needed “you” time and that will be harder to get when you’re juggling life with a newborn baby.
Sitz baths do WONDERS for your perineal which may tear during birth.
What is a sitz bath?
It’s bathing your lady bits in lukewarm water containing healing ingredients.
(You can read all about the benefits here).
Yes, postpartum sitz baths are another way to get those important healing aids on the place that needs it the most – your lady parts.
You can use your bathtub for sitz baths but I think getting an over the toilet sitz bath is more ideal.
You’ll use less energy sitting down on the toilet and you don’t have to worry about slipping and falling in the tub.
What should you put in your sitz bath?
There are many premade sitz baths out there but I love controlling what my lady bits will be sitting in, you know what I mean?
Here’s what I used in the bath the first time:
✿ Lukewarm water
✿ Organic Epsom Salt (my choice here)
✿ Alcohol-free Witch Hazel
✿ Organic Lavender (my choice here)
I mixed a small amount of the ingredients and stirred well before sitting down.
Other Postpartum Essentials for Fast Healing
These are the things that will make your new mom life easier which will hopefully mean it helps speed up your postpartum recovery.
Things like taking care of your nutrition and drinking lots of water so you can get as much energy, well, as possible – you are dealing with a newborn so one never really knows how postpartum will go until you’re there.
Let’s look at how to make your postpartum recovery as painless as possible.
How to Make Postpartum Life Easier
KEEP TAKING YOUR MATERNITY VITAMIN
Momma, you’re currently taking a maternity vitamin and you should continue doing so once the baby has arrived.
It’s important to fuel your body with vitamins and nutrients so that you can heal fast.
DRINK LOTS OF WATER
A lot of postpartum advice forgets to mention how important it is to drink water.
Drinking a lot of water is healthy for so many reasons but will help boost your energy and increase your breastmilk supply.
I keep a water bottle like this one beside me at all times.
(Hint: it’s spill proof which is SUPER important!)
QUICK CLEANSING TOILETRIES FOR MOM
An important part of healing after childbirth is feeling like yourself.
You’ll just feel better overall.
The problem is, you don’t have the time to get ready and pamper yourself as you used to and that can really get you down.
Soon you can’t remember if you’ve brushed your teeth yet or the last time you washed your hair.
No, it’s not because you don’t want to – it’s because time escapes you, momma.
So, I’ll be putting together a postpartum care kit for me and here’s what I’ll throw in it:
✿ Face wipes because company is coming over and you’re not sure when you washed your face last.
✿ Breath mints and a small bottle of mouthwash because those friends are popping by and you don’t want to gross them out with your dragon breath.
✿ Dry shampoo because 4 days is way too long to go without washing your hair.
✿ Headbands for the days you couldn’t care less but want to look cute. (these ones have actually become a staple for me).
Yes, you read that right.
You need a Moses basket to make your postpartum healing easier, momma.
You can’t hold your baby all of the time – even if you have a cute wrap carrier.
There will come a time when the baby is asleep and you realize you can do stuff.
Like take a shower or clean up the dishes in the sink.
That’s where you Moses basket comes into play – place the baby in the basket and safely and easily transport them around the house.
Yes, I know – that’s when everyone tells you to sleep too but that won’t happen every single time the baby sleeps, you know?
SURROUND YOURSELF WITH YOUR POSTPARTUM COMFORT ITEMS
Staying on the how to make your postpartum easier and, therefore heal faster theme – it’s nice to have items that you love easily accessible.
What I mean is you need to incorporate your fav things to help you speed up your postpartum recovery.
Healing isn’t just physical, it’s mental too, momma.
Like if you LOVE to drink tea or coffee, you probably also like to drink them while they’re warm, am I right?
But as a new momma, you may be scared to spill hot coffee on your newborn baby (I was).
So, guess what? You’re going to drink a lot of cold coffee.
Unless you follow my new mom hack and invest in one of those spill proof travel mugs (like this one) and boom, you’re drinking hot coffee without worrying about spilling any on your baby.
Momma, it’s the little things like this that make a world of difference during your postpartum recovery, you know?
What things do you love in your daily life right now?
Get a plan together to make sure you can still enjoy those things during your postpartum healing and recovery.
PORTABLE BABY CHANGING STATION
Momma, you may find moving around once you’ve delivered your newborn baby hard to do.
To the point where I didn’t want to leave the comfort of my couch.
But my baby still needed her diaper and clothes changed OFTEN.
So, I made my postpartum life a whole lot easier by having a baby change station on the go.
I bought this portable diaper caddy with handles and filled it with all the important baby essentials.
Changing the baby was a breeze and I didn’t have to move much during the first couple of weeks postpartum.
Less energy = a happier postpartum momma.
Part of a quick postpartum recovery is doing things that make your new mom life easier, right momma?
Momma, even if you love to cook you should still prepare freezer meals before you go into labor.
If you’re reading this and you’re already postpartum, have your hubby or mom make some meals for you.
Freezer meals = pop in the oven = easy = happy postpartum momma.
Final Thoughts on Quick Postpartum Healing
Continuing Your Postpartum Recovery
When you feel comfortable doing kegels, start doing them!
Because they’ll help strengthen your pelvic floor, promote healing of your perineal, and help you control your bladder (which, I might add, is a big complaint of women who have had a baby – sneezing and holding your bladder are never quite the same).
Not sure when you’ll have time to do kegels?
Try doing 5 of them once you’re finished using the toilet and before you stand up.
Getting into the habit of doing that will certainly help your body heal faster from birth.
A BELLY WRAP
A good belly wrap is essential if you plan to try to get your tummy back.
This silly momma didn’t bother picking one up the first time I was postpartum and I regretted it big time.
Not having a wrap set me back in healing my abs – and so I had a mommy tummy for much longer than I needed to.
So, I’ve already ordered this one because I will not be making that mistake again.
THE POSTPARTUM CURE
We’ve gone over how to have a speedy and quick postpartum recovery but your body still needs more time to heal fully.
I just invested in The Postpartum Cure because postpartum recovery doesn’t end at 6 weeks and I figured that out the first time I gave birth.
It’s a much longer process which I think shocks a lot of new moms so I gotta tell you having guidance to finish healing may actually help you have a quicker postpartum recovery than the average woman.
I’ve only just begun going through the course (so that I’ll be prepared with the info when I’m actually postpartum) and here’s what I love so far:
✿ She recommends using a belly wrap to help heal Diastasis Recti (something most postpartum women need help with).
✿ There are details about how to start losing weight but not lose your milk supply (super important).
✿ She gives you a list of healing foods to eat to help you recover from pregnancy – not just labor and childbirth.
✿ More details about how to lose that mommy tummy.
✿ Tips for helping your pelvic floor recover – this is great advice since that’s what holds the rest of your organs in place.
What do you get to accomplish all of this?
✿ A Facebook group for support.
✿ 60 meal plans WITH shopping list.
✿ Postpartum workouts that won’t do more damage than good.
✿ An app to track your progress and stay organized.
From what I’ve gone through, I’m really enjoying the program.
I’ve never seen a program quite like this one so that should tell you how important it is to heal from birth properly.
Stay tuned – once I’m through the program I’ll write a full review.
SEE A PELVIC FLOOR SPECIALIST
When I was postpartum the first time, my OB referred me to a pelvic floor specialist and told me it was up to me if I wanted to go.
It was a new thing they were recommending and they wanted to know what I thought if I decided to check it out.
Why am I telling you all of this?
Because I decided to go and it was the best decision I made to help myself heal from birth quickly.
Well, quicker than I would have had I NOT gone.
A pelvic floor specialist is trained to help heal your pelvic floor properly so that you don’t have long term side effects from being pregnant and delivering a baby.
I worked with the specialist for 3 months and all I can say is WOW.
Research to see if this service is in your area and, if it is, sign up for it, momma!
Quick postpartum recovery tip: Try perineal massages if you tore during delivery – it helps smooth out your scar tissue which, if left alone, can cause you more issues when you get back to doing the deed if you know what I mean.
Well, momma – that is my best advice if you’re looking to have a quick postpartum recovery and healing after vaginal childbirth.
Take it from someone who has been there and done that – it’s a good idea to get your postpartum essentials and healing plan in order before you deliver your newborn baby.
The idea is to make yourself comfortable while managing all that comes with healing postpartum.
You’ll be focused on your baby and that’s good but you need to take care of you too, momma.
If momma is healing fast and taking care of herself then she’ll be able to take better care of her baby, right?
If you need to know the most important advice for quick healing after birth make sure you’re prepared for the postpartum period, make those padsicles for the week after delivery, and let someone else make dinner for you, okay?
How are you preparing for quick postpartum healing?
What postpartum tips will you use?
I would love to hear about your postpartum journey too!
Comment and share with me in the comments!