After birth, no matter how you birthed, is no joke. As for me, I have had two natural, vaginal births. For a good two weeks you are in a serious recovery stage. For me, after birth was one of those out of body experiences where I was so fascinated and twitterpated over my new babies that the pain my body was going through to heal was quickly forgotten about. But there are definitely things that helped and things that didn’t help.
For me, from the moment I gave birth I put myself on a consistent routine to help my body heal.
Here are some things that helped me with after birth:
- Mamas remember that peri bottle the nurse would give you? That thing was glorious! Filled with warm water… and I was instantly a more relaxed mama.
- Then I would use ClaraDerm, a spray to help skin heal.
- Tucks pads are also one of the best inventions on the planet, what relief!
- Any mamas recall those giant ice pack pads? I was in love!
- And don’t get me started on those fabulous thin, stretchy hospital boy short undies.
- I loved my robe from Target, which was easy to nurse in.
- Mira(cle)Lax… (need I say more?)
- Being on a multivitamin and probiotic was really important, I chose MultiGreens and Life9 both by YoungLiving. I would rub coconut oil with Lavender, Gentle Baby, and Frankincense essential oils on my belly to help my stretch marks and give me a boost of whole body wellness.
- I drank a ton of water.
- The Boppy helped me post up on the couch and easily nurse my new baby.
- Mother’s Milk tea was wonderful to help my milk production, along with Basil essential oil and Fennel essential oil.
- A legit breast pump made building up a stash of that liquid gold easier, Lavender essential oil and lecithin were my warriors to help work through a clogged duct and helped to avoid mastitis.
- Sleep nursing bras and nursing tops were (are) my lifesaver.
- COFFEE… I realized this was also a time when I started to invest in quality, local coffee, Texas Coffee Traders Pecan Roast is my new addiction.
- And signing up for a Meal Train, whether through church, work or close friends, this was a lifesaver for my family, especially with the second baby. With all the chaos, the last thing you really want to worry about is meal planning and cooking. Take this time to say yes to help and sit on the couch and enjoy that new baby.
Thankfully, since I was on cloud9, not a whole lot felt wrong during that time.
However, there are a few things that stick out to me as being unhelpful:
- Greasy foods… when you sign up for a MealTrain make sure you request healthy meals, healing mamas need whole, clean nutrients.
- The clock… I remember loving mornings and daytime when we would get visitors, the sun was shining, I had my hot coffee in hand, I was a first time mom and days spent with my baby were Heaven, but as the night would creep up anxiety would rush over me. I knew I would be up, alone, in the dark with a little person I was still trying to understand and get to know. The clock did not help.
- I also hated that pressure to develop a “schedule” with your newborn so fast, “Is your baby sleeping through the night?” My brain response…”You’ve got to be kidding me.” My mama intuition quickly told me that I was not a “scheduled” type parent, I just wanted to soak up all of those baby moments and go with the flow. To each their own of course, but that is what worked for this mama. Once I took that pressure off, I instantly became a better mom.
- I also did not feel the coercion to feel like you have to get out of the house two days after you had a baby was helpful. Especially because you do not want to overdo it and end up back in the doctor’s office or hospital, so I learned to cool it on the go-go-go mentality. The summer I was home with my first baby has such a sublime memory for me, I was truly smitten. When I decided to take the pressure off myself to do anything, I truly started to enjoy my maternity leave. I quickly learned that my only job was to love and feed my baby. Once I did that, my mama heart grew and I took my first step as a confident mama.
Every mama heals, grows, learns, and adapts differently when entering motherhood, these are just some of the ways that have either helped me transition into motherhood or taught me what I didn’t want to do when entering motherhood. Transitioning into motherhood after giving birth is a huge feat. Take a moment to congratulate yourself, sip that glass of wine, rock that baby a little longer, go to that Camp Gladiator class or sink into a hot bath — whatever brings you joy. You have done an amazing job so far mama and you are still doing an amazing job.