Saving Yourself a Pain in the...
Or: Post Partum tricks and tips that may make life easier for you and your, er, um, body. Over the last few weeks, I've noticed my recovery from the birth of my third child has been much less painful and much easier than the others, particularly the first. (That one, I can't even think about without cringing- ugh!) And this really makes no sense- believe me, a baby born in 16 minutes causes more trauma to mom than a baby born slowly who mercifully gives mom stretching time. Why has #3, who gave me 12 stitches as opposed to 2, been so much easier to heal from? I think it's because I better know what to do for my tender body, and what products not to run out of. So, as experienced moms, I'm thinking we could maybe let each other in on what works, things you wish you had known after that first or second (or more) baby. I'll go first...
- When the nurse gives you that little bottle of laxative a few hours after the baby comes, TAKE IT. Even if you think you won't need it, TAKE IT! There is little worse than a constipated new mom with stitches- enough said.
- The first time you get up after the baby is born, make sure someone is there with you. Make sure it is someone who can support you if you faint and fall. It happens. You may be fine, I was twice, but once- not so good. So be careful.
- Take the Ibuprofen when the clock says to, not when it wears off and you're hurting. It is safe to breastfeed with, and you only need it for a few days. World of difference.
- Ice packs are wonderful. Use them, let the nurses fix them for you, and enjoy. At home it won't be so convenient, but you can still make one by cutting open one of baby's diapers at the top and filling the insides with crushed ice. The diaper absorbs the ice as it melts. It's a good thing on a mommy with some stitches.
- As soon as you can, get up and move around. Go for a walk around the hospital or house or room. But get up and move. It will help.
- Use the little squirty-bottle thing they give you at the hospital. It's one of the best things ever. And use warm water...
- Tucks pads or Preparation H- I know, eww. But seriously, have some on hand, or have a willing husband who will run to the store and buy you some. You won't need it forever, or even probably for long. One container lasted three kids for me, but I'm glad I had it!
What else, Mommies, have you learned to make post-partum care and healing easier on yourself, not only physically, but perhaps mentally and spiritually, too?