The Best Ways to Care For Your Postpartum Body

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This post is brought to you by Tucks

You’ve learned a lot about pregnancy and motherhood from books, online searches and conversations with other seasoned moms.  You’ve prepared yourself for what you might experience in the labor and delivery room, and you feel reasonably confident that your motherly instincts will kick in to help you tackle the ups and downs of caring for your newborn.  But there are some experiences that may come as a complete shock to you, and while most moms prepare for the baby’s needs, sometimes they are a little in the dark about what their bodies will go through when they deliver their adorable bundle of joy.

You’ve planned ahead so when you arrive home from the hospital you are equipped to take care of your newborn, but what about you?  Let’s face it, after delivery you’ll be sleep deprived and (News Flash!) sore everywhere from all the hard work you put in during childbirth.  If you’re not ready to take care of yourself, taking care of your newborn can be much more difficult.

Moms, lets be real for a second. Down there can get, well, painful. Pain in the perineal area from a vaginal delivery, a c-section scar, hemorrhoids in your tush, the list goes on. A post-partum body can be rough.

We aren’t going to paint this all flower and roses (but the good news is you’ll forget some of it) but there ARE things you can do to makes sure you are taking care of yourself for an easier recovery. A happy and comfortable mom is a better mom. Here are some tips.

  • We know the first poop can be PAINFUL. During recovery, most moms will try to avoid bowel movements because it can be painful and the last thing you want to do is further aggravate the area. To avoid constipation, eat a well-balanced diet with plenty of fiber and drink lots of water.  A stool softener may also help.  But don’t strain and try not to wait until you have a strong urge to go to the bathroom.
  • Try a medicated product like Tucks Cooling Pads. The gentle, safe formula contains witch hazel to soothe and protect, while the soft pads are ideal for cleaning sensitive areas.  For additional comfort, try chilling them and lining a sanitary napkin.  They are perfect for calming down the irritated perineal area as well.
  • Speaking of irritation, a squirt water bottle will become your best friend. Most hospitals will give you one to keep the perineal area clean and feel free to use it often. The water can also feel soothing and substitute for wiping with harsh toilet paper.
  • Ice packs and mesh underwear will be your best friend in the beginning post-vaginal delivery. No need to ruin your favorite panties.
  • For c-section mamas, don’t be surprised if you feel swollen and sore for weeks in your abdomen.  In fact, it’s common to feel even bumps on the road while driving home from the hospital.  You can ask your nurses at the hospital for a binder or wrap to add additional support around your midsection to avoid the extra movement and jostle while standing up, walking and moving around.  Remember to keep it slow and steady those first few weeks!
  • Once you are ready, there are plenty of post-partum shapewear options that will help you keep everything in tight, and ones that will go over your c-section scar.
  • Don’t put pressure on yourself to get right back into smaller clothes. Everything will be a bit swollen and it’s ok to hang out in baggy sweatpants or bigger underwear.
  • Get some sleep! Your body will heal quicker if you do. We know it’s hard to sneak away and trust anyone else with your baby, but do it. You’ll be better for it in the end.

Child birth is a beautiful and messy experience. Making sure to take care of yourself post-partum will be so important to those first few newborn weeks. Rely on the help around you to make sure both baby AND mama are being taken care of.