When we’re pregnant, we read everything we can about pregnancy. We cram up on giving birth, and on what is happening inside our bodies up until that point. We attend classes to help us learn how to care for our new families, and we’re consumed with thoughts about becoming a parent and meeting our new baby. We’re exciting, scared and a little nervous.
One thing that very few of us consider is how our bodies will recover after giving birth.
We might vaguely assume that our bumps will quickly vanish and that that weight will start to drop off straight away. You might have an idea that your boobs will be sore if you breastfeed, and that sex will be off the cards for a while. But, it can be a shock when you come out of hospital still looking pregnant, and that your body doesn’t just snap back to normal. Here are some ways that you can help your body to recover from childbirth.
Give Yourself Time
The most important thing that you need to remember is that it’s going to take time. Your body took 40 weeks to grow a baby before childbirth, which is in itself is an ordeal. You can’t expect it to just snap back to normal. In those first few months, you’ll be tired, emotional and busy. Don’t rush your body into anything that it isn’t ready for. Give it time, get some rest and enjoy being a mum.
Dress for Comfort
You can’t expect to squeeze yourself into your skinny jeans as soon as you get home, and nor should you, even if they do fit. They’ll be uncomfortable, and they’ll put pressure on your body. Instead, stick to lose clothing and underwear from innerparents which will support your postpartum body, and help you to relax in comfort without putting a strain on any cuts and scars.
When it comes to exercise, it’s crucial that you listen to and trust your body and take your time. You shouldn’t head out for a run two days after birth. But, some gentle postpartum exercises will increase blood flow where it’s needed. Aiding recovery and helping things bounce back.
Then, when it comes to other exercises, build up slowly. Start going for walks with the pram, then when you are ready, try swimming and a gentle return to the gym. Check out postpartum Pilates and yoga videos for a gentle start. Exercise will aid your recovery, help you to lose weight and give you a much-needed confidence boost. But, only if you take it slowly, and take a break if your body needs it.
Unfortunately, the thing that your body needs the most is almost certainly the thing that it’s not going to get enough of. Newborn babies are often up all night and need feeding every few hours. But, even if you’re not getting much sleep, you should try to rest. Let your housework standards slide, eat some ready meals and spend the odd day in your pajamas watching films if you need to.