I’ve done the whole post partum thing twice now. I think I might be an expert. I wish! For me and for most of the other moms I’ve talked to, it’s at least a little different every time. There’s always going to be the unexpected. But there are some things I found worked both times. So here’s my top 5 tips for post partum.
- Remember it gets worse before it gets better. – About a week in, I always feel great! so much better! So I over do it, and then end up having to just completely sit out for a couple days to recover. Breastfeeding is going great – but then your milk comes in. That makes you and the baby are overwhelmed. You feel great in your lady bits – but then the stitches start to come out. It’s itchy. It always gets worse before it gets better. So just take your time, and don’t get too excited in those first two weeks.
- Ask for help – Remember in #1 I said you’d start to feel great. I can cook our dinner! I can handle both kids by myself at the grocery! No you probably can’t. And that’s ok. Even if you can you shouldn’t! You just pushed about 7lbs through your lady bits or are recovering from a major surgery. Take a break! Order your groceries online. Better yet – do some freezer meals before the baby even arrives. If you can, have family or a close friend stay with you for a week so you can just sit and bond with that 7lbs.
- Have a morning routine – The day is always better when you start prepared, and even more so when you have kids. And even more so, when you’re recovering from birth while taking care of that kid. Take at least 10 minutes every morning to take a quick shower, brush your teeth and hair, put on some clean pajamas, and maybe even just sit in the quiet for a minute.
- self care station – There’s lots of things that happen in the bathroom, and they can last for a few weeks. They last about 2 weeks for me personally. Just keep everything set up and organized right there by the toilet. If you can have one toilet that’s just for you. I kept depends, extra pads, my squirt bottle, witch hazel pads, dermoplast, undies I didn’t mind destroying, ice packs, toilet paper, baby wipes, and a big ol’ trash bag. That way I was prepared for anything and any amount of anything. Believe me, it’s bad when you realize something you need is not there. It’s also bad when you just need undies and a small pad instead of the full on diaper, but it’s not there. It’s also not great when you have to have your husband help or see/smell what’s happening down there. Mystery is good sometimes.
- Give yourself a break – You will forget the plan, you will feel bad asking for help, you will push yourself too much, there will be a day you never brush your teeth, and your SO will see you in situations that aren’t sexy. It’s ok. You just did a miraculous thing with your body. Give yourself a break.