Most women will say that giving birth and recovering from birth is “No Joke.” What they are really saying is something to the affect of “I had no idea what a huge transition this was going to be, and I wasn’t prepared to take care of myself or be cared for in a way that would make my recovery smoother and easier.”
I’m here to share with you, after 15 years of working with women pre- and postnatally, my take on how to restore yourself after giving birth, and how to recover more fully and completely in a reasonable amount of time.
Here are the 10 Ways to Restore Yourself
- Take 2 weeks of committed bed-rest after your baby is born. Your body just did something so major. Stay in bed. Week 3 is partial bed-rest.
- Sleep as much as possible. “Sleep when your baby sleeps” is truly the best advice. (Listen to “Sleep Hypnosis for Parents with Babies” on my audio relaxation program).
- Surrender any notion that you will “get things done”. Create a mantra that helps you be patient with recovering.
- Allow people to help you. Having a dependable, skilled, low-maintenance family member or friend stay with you, or hiring a post-partum doula if you can for 3-4 hours a day, can take a huge burden off. Talk about your feelings and see a therapist to process your experience. (Depth Hypnosis is a great option for this too).
- Love your vagina. Talk to her, put her in warm-sitz baths, allow her to be exposed to air…and stay off your feet if you had stitches. See a pelvic floor physical therapist 4-5 weeks postpartum. She will help you determine if your vagina is healing properly.
- Set up a 15 minute “business meeting” with your partner or support person every day. This meeting is about sharing how you’re doing, what your needs are, and giving appreciation for all the ways you’re being supported.
- Eat the most nutrient dense diet you can imagine. Lots of warm, cooked foods that are full of healthy fats and protein. Trust me, you’ll want to stay away from sugar and processed foods.
- Consume your placenta (encapsulated or in a smoothie after freezing). The most recent research does not prove this, but after years of seeing women who do and don’t consume their placenta, it seems to me that consuming your placenta helps with hormonal balance, energy, and a general sense of calm.
- Connect with other parents. After your initial period of bedrest, truly, you must have social contact. We are not meant to do this alone.
- Be your own best friend and support system. Talk to yourself and let yourself know what an amazing parent you’re becoming. (Listen to “Relaxation and Affirmations for Parenting“).