Giving birth is not easy, and you have to recover physically and emotionally. But your recovery may not be easy as well, because your baby will demand most of your time and energy. It is normal to feel overwhelmed and exhausted. Still, you will be able to take good care of your baby if you take care of yourself, too.
You may ask, “How long does it take to recover after giving birth?”. Women’s experiences are different, but some health experts say that the recovery period is the first six weeks after childbirth, also known as the postpartum period. But it may also take longer than six weeks. If you’ve had a C-section (Cesarean section), you’ll need a longer time to recover than you would after a normal vaginal delivery.
Your body experienced a lot of changes before giving birth, and more physical changes after pregnancy will occur. Moreover, you might also experience an emotional roller coaster ride after your baby is born. You need to recover from all these. So here are some tips on how to recover from childbirth physically and emotionally:
1. Get plenty of rest.
One of the most important postpartum recovery tips is to get plenty of rest. Whether you’ve had a routine vaginal delivery or a C-section, your body needs to heal so take time to rest and avoid strenuous activities.
It might be hard to do, as you’ll probably have sleepless nights because of your baby’s needs. But take the opportunity to rest when your baby is sleeping. Don’t hesitate to ask your partner to help you take care of your baby as well. There might be other people who might be willing to help you, too.
2. Take care of your body.
You might experience some pain and discomfort caused by contractions (which occur as your uterus starts to shrink), vaginal soreness, and breast swelling after normal delivery. If you’ve had a C-section, you might also experience incision pain or muscle pain. Ask your doctor if it is safe to take pain medication. Your doctor may prescribe a pain reliever. Also, clean any stitches to avoid infection.
Allow your body to fully heal before doing a lot of activities. Eat nutritious food and drink plenty of water. You have to stay healthy especially if you are breastfeeding.
3. Know how to deal with postpartum “baby blues” or depression.
Along with the physical effects of having a baby, you may also experience different emotions after giving birth. Taking care of your emotional and mental health is just as important as taking care of your body.
Postpartum “baby blues” is quite common and might occur for a few days after childbirth. There may be days when you’ll feel sad or irritable. You may even experience feeling lonely as a new mom. But this period is usually short. Still, you have to take a rest and get some sleep so that you’ll feel better.
But if these feelings don’t go away, you might be experiencing a more severe form of baby blues known as postpartum depression. Some symptoms include postpartum anxiety, nervousness, restlessness, sadness, fatigue, eating problems, being overly concerned about the baby, lack of interest in the baby, sleep problems, memory loss, among others. Seek help from your healthcare provider if you experience these symptoms for more than 2 weeks. Some treatments for this condition include medication and therapy.
To recover emotionally from childbirth, you have to get plenty of rest and breathe some fresh air. Talk to your partner, friends, and family about how you feel. You may also join support groups and talk to fellow moms to learn more about dealing with postpartum recovery. Remember that you are not alone in this journey. Don’t feel pressured to do everything on your own.
Consider these tips on how to recover physically and emotionally from childbirth so that you feel less stressed and less overwhelmed about the significant changes having a baby brings into your life. Remember that you can go back to your normal activities and of course, adjust to life with a new baby more easily when you have fully recovered from childbirth.