Everyone gets caught up in preparing for the baby- the clothes, the nursery, and the diapers, that you can easily neglect the mama! Whether you had a baby vaginally or by C-section you still have a recovery. This recovery isn’t a, “Halleluiah, the birth is complete, let us celebrate and run everywhere to show off this cute baby!” It is a process. My own mother told me frequently through my labor; “labor is like a marathon not a race.” This applies to postpartum as well. The days and weeks after the birth leave many feeling vulnerable, emotional, and tired. I believe women relate more to the elderly, sick, and mentally ill because we go through such an intense time with our bodies during birth and postpartum. You just did one of the most amazing things on earth, you had a baby, and unfortunately it feels like it too.
Here are my tips and products I used to ease myself through recovery
- Place a sign on the door of your home. My sweet midwife did this for me with my second birth and I am so grateful she did. It said the weight, gender, and measurements of the baby. It then went on to say, “Hello friends and family, the midwife has asked for short, helpful visits. Please find some laundry or dishes to clean so we can focus on family time, which is very sacred in these first few days.” I left it up for 2 weeks.
- Accept as much help as possible and don’t be afraid to ask for it. My mother came over quite a bit after both my children’s births. She would do laundry, bring groceries, and do dishes. (I was pretty spoiled.) I believe every woman, after having a baby, should be spoiled. Getting this help will let your body heal faster. If you have had a C-section this is very important. Even when you feel like you can do things yourselves don’t turn down help when it is offered.
- If you have another young child, try to have someone take them during the day or even for just a couple hours of the day. My sister-in-law was amazing at taking my daughter Eowyn for the first week throughout the day and occasionally at night. It allowed me to focus on the baby and take care of myself instead of trying to balance a toddler and a baby. (If you can’t get family help some doulas offer help specifically for postpartum.)
Here were the best tools and products in caring for my battle worn mom parts.
- Padsicles- huge menstrual pads that are soaked in water, (you can even squirt witch hazel on them for some extra relief.) Then placed in the freezer. These will be like glorious ice packs for your perineum.
- A Peri Bottle- this is like a must. It is a squirt bottle. Most hospitals will send you home with one. If you have a home birth buy a water bottle with a squirt top in advance. Toilet paper should not go near you if you’ve had a vaginal delivery! Instead, after you use the bathroom, or just want to feel clean, squirt down there with your new bathroom buddy, Peri.
- Witch Hazel Pads- if you had the un-fortune of acquiring hemorrhoids through pregnancy, birth, or both, these are very nice. You can make your own or just buy them at any pharmacy. They sell bottles of witch hazel there as well and it is very inexpensive.
- Nature’s Way Chlorophyll- I bought this at Whole Foods and would highly recommend every mother buy this. You can mix it in a fruit smoothie or just drink it straight, if you do buy the mint flavored one. There is no better blood cleaner or blood builder (For more information on Chlorophyll look for the link at the bottom)
- Earth Mama products- I hate Dermoplast, the spray hospitals give for numbing your lady parts. The taste of the chemicals got in my mouth, and it tasted gross. This wouldn’t be so bad, but you have to use it a lot. With my second I decided that was enough of that. I bought Earth Mama, Angel Baby organics for postpartum. (The link is at the bottom.) They also have organic products for breastfeeding, babies, pregnancy, C-sections, baby loss and soaps for anyone. I highly recommend them.
- Mama Bottom Balm- was worth its weight in gold. I could put it on my perineum, and my hemorrhoids. It is specifically for those pesky hemorrhoids though, so whether you are a mom or not, I would recommend this for those. It was so soothing and didn’t smell weird! I used it almost every time I used the bathroom. Out of everything I had this was the very best.
- New Mama Bottom Spray- it smells like cucumbers and works wonders. It is a fresh cooling spray that can even be used as a facial toner, once you don’t need it for your mama parts. If your torn, had an episiotomy, hemorrhoids or just swelling- it feels very nice.
- New Mama Post Partum Bath Herbs- these little packs of herbs are heavenly once you boil it, allow to cool, and then place it on a pad against your perineum. It reduces swelling and seriously feels fantastic. You can even use the water that you boiled it in for a nice sitz bath later.
The link for Earth Mama and Angel Baby Products:
Information for Chlorophyll: