Writing about postpartum tips probably doesn’t do much for my Google ranking. It might make you click away before you even get –here–. Nevertheless, it’s important to me to give it to you straight about what’s coming after baby arrives. When I was pregnant, this was the kind of down-low this first-time mama was eager to receive.
Besides these two quintessential postpartum items I mentioned here, there are a handful of helpful remedies and practices that made my life after both babies more comfortable and a whole lot easier.
Enjoy life with your snuggly little newborn with these helpful postpartum tips.
Prepare your comfy bed at home with clean bedsheets and a mattress cover before your due date. There’s nothing more calming than climbing into a fresh, clean bed.
Pack a cup with a straw in your hospital bag. A straw is useful when the last thing you want to do after pushing out your little wonder is to roll over and sit up, working those abs that haven’t done crunches in months. Juice boxes are great too!
If you’re opting for a natural birth, having rosemary water and healing postpartum pads on hand before the birth sets you up for a faster and much more comfortable recovery.
Buy a nursing top or two. The investment is well worth it!
—>>Still waiting for baby? Learn more in my birth prep series.
Back at Home with Baby
Don’t be shy about turning off your cell or drawing your curtains. Make yourself unreachable. This is your time, your special once-in-a-lifetime time to breathe in your baby’s fresh newborn scent, to learn the ropes of nursing, and to relax alongside your family.
Once you’re keen to accept visitors, be upfront about how guests can help you out. If you’re on your last roll of toilet paper, send Uncle George to the supermarket and don’t think twice. If you’re suffering the pain of breast engorgement, ask your sister to pick up green cabbage and don’t feel guilty if you don’t explain.
Make a cozy space in your home for peaceful nursing sessions. Designate your comfiest chair the “nursing station” and keep a stash of burp rags, good reads, mama snacks, calming candles, or maybe even the remote control in a pretty basket beside it. Chances are, you’ll be spending a good deal of time in your nursing station, so go ahead, make yourself comfortable.
We’ve all heard it time and time again, but finding time for yourself is exceptionally important as a mom with a newborn. Young babies are draining and without time set aside to focus on your own hobbies, interests, or even just to nap, you’ll be worn out in no time. Enlist your husband for baby duty or find a trusted sitter, even if you’re staying home, and take an hour for yourself.
Jump in the shower. Okay, so we may not be jumping those first days postpartum, but a steamy hot shower is a luxury after baby arrives. The feeling of clean hair is invigorating, even if we might not even recognize the rest of our bodies in the mirror those first few months.
Relax. Enjoy your new baby, your healthy body, and your growing family. Every baby is a blessing, a miracle that we can appreciate best when we know what to expect and can plan accordingly.
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Tell me: What made your postpartum experience enjoyable? Please share in the comments.
Becca @ The Earthlings Handbook says
This is great advice! I’m expecting again, and my first child is almost 9 years old, so it’s good to have a refresher. These are the best postpartum tips I remember:
Make sure to have a “peri bottle” for squirting warm water on your privates, which you can then dab off with a washcloth. (The hospital gave me one, but it accidentally didn’t come home, and then we found they weren’t sold in drugstores!) This is much easier than taking a sitz bath, so you’re more likely to do it regularly, and it’s important to keep clean, especially if you had stitches.
When you are home alone with baby, it is better to set him down a moment, even if he’s crying, than to delay going to the bathroom when you need to go. Your muscles are all stretched out, so you might suddenly wet your pants, and then you have much more work to do and are more upset than if you just endured two minutes of baby being upset at not being held.
When someone else is holding the baby, prioritize taking care of yourself (hygiene, eating, resting) over doing chores. Let other people do the dishes and laundry!!
Yep, peri bottles are lifesavers. I used a dollar store ketchup bottle filled with my favorite rosemary healing water for the first weeks. The cool water feels good and helps heal, you’re right. Good tip about setting baby down to use the loo. No one ever told me I’d lose so much bladder control with my first child. Thankfully, second time around it wasn’t as bad 😉
Showers were the best after my babies were born! Also, don’t feel bad telling people you don’t want visitors at the hospital. I didn’t at all. I know some people like it and it makes them feel loved, but not all of us. 🙂
I agree with you, some people are all for having visits early on at the hospital, and some not. For me, with my daughter’s homebirth my husband purposefully let people know we’d be unreachable for a time. With my 2nd child at the hospital I actually received the most visits of all the 6 ladies in my room 😉 My husband’s grandparents and our pastor both had no restrictions for visiting hours because they have some kind of ministry pass that gets them in. They came to see me and later my husband during visiting hours. It was great! Thank you for sharing with me tonight, Deanna.
These are great! I definitely second all of the above. I especially liked having my cozy little nursing station. We had a big comfy recliner just for me (we originally planned to move it to the living room one day, but that still has not happened) and I had a nightstand next to it with everything would need while nursing. It helped so much!
Nicole @ Working Kansas Homemaker says
There are so many things I would do differently if I re-did my postpartum time with my son! Things to tuck away for the next baby. Thank you for this post – might not get you google-ranking but it’s a great post with great tips. I think creating a special nursing space would have really helped me. Where were you in February with this post?? LOL 🙂
Nicole, I’m delighted to hear that you, as a new mama agree with my tips. Thank you so much for stopping by to say hello. Here’s to a wonderful holiday season with your little one!