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Postpartum Recovery – Plan for it!

You have just done this amazing thing! Now to balance taking care of this new tiny human being, and yourself. Transitions can be hard and this transition is big! Having a plan set in place for self-care is so important. Too often in our culture, we are so used to being on the go and working nonstop, it is hard to slow down and get the rest your body needs.

Many other cultures have times of rest that are observed, for good reason. It does not matter if your birth went smooth, or if you faced challenges, if you have stitches or not, or experienced a surgical birth, your body has just faced a transformative change. Every type of birth requires postpartum rest and recovery! It took around 10 months to create and grow this new life, know it will take time to recover from birth, on average 6-8 weeks to feel back to yourself. Most importantly, if you have any questions or concerns about your body do not hesitate to ask, you know your body best.

WHY IS POSTPARTUM REST SO IMPORTANT?

  • 1

    Give People Jobs

    People want to help, often we have a hard time accepting that help, but now is the time to say yes and give them a job. If possible before baby arrives make a list of things that would be helpful. Ideas include meal prep, grocery shopping, running errands, light housework, holding the babe so you can sleep, etc. If you have a community through work, church, family and/or friends, they will likely offer to do something, this is your chance to build in self-care. They want to be a part of your story, they want to support them, give them the chance! Having a list ready makes it one step easier after birth, you don’t have to think up things they can do you have a list ready to go!
  • 2

    Sleep

    Find a way to have a chunk of sleep 2-3 solid hours at night and during the day. Remind yourself and your support that when the baby is sleeping you should be sleeping or being restful. This is not the time to do the dishes, the laundry or fold clothes. This is the time for more self-care. Those things can be on the list of jobs for others.
  • 3

    Shower

    Sounds simple, right? We tend to neglect the little things when we are tired. Getting into a nice show and/or postpartum herbal bath will help you feel refreshed and renewed. It's a chance for you and your support to have a moment to yourself. Three hours of sleep and a shower and you will feel like a new person.
  • 4

    Stay in your PJs

    If you struggle with doing too much or feeling like you need to entertain everyone that comes over, stay in your PJs. It's a constant reminder to be restful. You won’t likely be tempted to run out to Publix in your PJs.
  • 5

    Eat Well

    Getting in good proteins, vegetables and fruit will help your body recover. It will increase your energy levels and help your digestive system work well.
  • 6

    Get in Some Sun

    We live in the sunshine state, get out and enjoy it! Even sitting on the porch for a bit and soaking in some Vitamin D can help your body to restore energy, and decreases the chances of depression. The sun also plays a key role in setting up your babies Circadian rhythm so just enjoy some time being restful outdoors together.
  • 7

    Nurture Your Relationship

    Stop and remember to nurture your relationship with your partner. Rest together when you can snuggle, talk, cling to each other. Know that you are in this together, approaching these steps as a plan together will help ensure you have healthy communication. Give yourself permission to not know everything, to not be perfect, embrace those imperfections as a part of your journey together.
  • 8

    Check-In

    Be sure to check in with each other about how you are feeling. Communication is an important part of this transition. Talk about how you are feeling. If you are feeling lost in the time, schedule time to check in with each other and/or friends. You are not the first person to feel this way, or to have that question, be open about what you are feeling.
  • 9

    Get Support

    If you have any concerns about postpartum depression or anxiety seek out help. We have a wonderfully supportive community here in Gainesville. As the partner, if you have questions or are worried, call and seek help. Make sure you are heard, trust your gut and get the support you need. If you need extra support consider hiring a postpartum doula. Postpartum doulas are trained and specialize in supporting your new family!
  • 10

    Stop & Watch

    When you feel like you can take on the world again. That moment you want to go back to your normal routine. Stop and wait another couple days. Give yourself just a bit more time to relax. Watch for increased bleeding as a sign you are doing too much too soon and put your PJs back on. Listen to your body and respect what it needs.
- Angela

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