This is Aryeh's 11th day of life and we're doing well!
Postpartum healing is important.
Sweeping and Mopping.
I want to do it all!
But I'm realizing, I've had 5 kids. I'm getting older. I NEED to take care of my body and allow it to heal so that I can recover properly and adjust to having a new baby to care for 24/7. I also am burning an extra 500-800 calories a day just nursing, and boy do I feel it!
There are a few products I've used that I have LOVED for healing this time around. There are also a few tips that I'd like to jot down that will hopefully help me in later pregnancies to better prepare for this time of healing. You know, I've done this a number of times, but I forget each season of life and the blessings and challenges they bring. I also forget the tricks and strategies that have worked! This is my primary reason for blogging!
Postpartum Products Must-Haves:
(1) Motherlove Nipple Cream: I have been using this after ever nursing session and this is the quickest my breasts have adjusted to nursing EVER. I had a few days or soreness, but kept up with this healing salve and I am now pretty much pain-free on day 6 of nursing.
It's all organic ingredients, and can probably be made at home, but I really enjoyed purchasing this and using it.
(2) Mama Mend Bath Herbs by Santosha: So basically this is a tea for your postpartum healing needs. You get a mason jar with 5 large tea bags filled with organic, medicinal herbs including Yarrow Flower, Witch Hazel, St John's Wort, Calendula Flowers, Plantain Leaf, and Lavender. You simply place one bag into the mason jar with boiling water and let it sit all day or over night. You can use the tea in a bath, in your peri-bottle, or as a compress (on your pads, or for your sore nipples). Each bag can be reused a second time for a less potent dose or use the bags as compresses.
I have been brewing the first strong batch for a nice long bath accompanied with some epsom salt. Then I brew the bag a second time and use it in my peri-bottle every time I go to the bathroom. :) While in the bath I will place the tea bag directly on a sore nipple and hold it there for 5-10 minutes.
(3) Pad-scicles: I was told about these in my Early Home Care Class (which was a requirement for birthing at my birth center). These pads were suggested for us to make and use as part of our postpartum care when we got home.
I took 20 large maxi pads (although you may only need 10-12) and on each pad I put:
(1) 2 tbsp of witch hazel
(2) 1 tbsp aloe vera
(3) 2-3 drops of lavender essential oil
Then I placed a piece of plastic wrap along the inside of the pad (so it didn't stick to itself in the freezer) and folded the pad back up. I then put the pads into large freezer bags and placed them in the freezer.
After delivering Aryeh, I LOVED these pads! I used 2-3 a day for about the first week, usually for the overnight, or right after a bath. I didn't tear or anything, but they felt SOOOOO good! And they make you smell fresh (which is lovely when you feel gross) :).
(4) Hemorrhoid Cotton Swabs: I developed a hemorrhoid after Elias' birth and after Aryeh's birth. It was actually 4-5 days after I delivered that I had this issue. My little sister (who sells Young Living products as well as has her own line of roll on and blends using Young Living Essential Oils - you can check out her easy store here - https://www.etsy.com/shop/SerenityScents23?ref=hp_nfyfs) made me a jar of cotton balls that had a mix of witch hazel, lavender and frankincense oils. I kid you not, I used the swabs several times a day and my hemorrhoid was gone in 2 days! I am still using them to prevent any more problems!
|Picture found on Pinterest.com|
There are a few tips I want to relay also that will help encourage and promoted a quick, effective, and enjoyable time healing up and adjusting in those first few weeks after baby is born.
(1) Husband's Love: This is my #1 tip! If your husband can take minimum 1 week off or even 4 weeks off, this is your BEST way to heal and adjust to a new little one entering your family! Personally, in this country, I don't think we take enough time off from work to simply enjoy life or invest in our families. My husband has always taken an entire month off when a baby was born. This time was INDISPENSABLE and was NON-NEGOTIABLE. He would save up money and vacation time over the 9 months I was pregnant and then file for FMLA so he could be home to help cook, clean, hold crying baby through the night, train the older children around the house, help get reestablished with homeschooling and family routines and snuggle with me and hold me when I cry because I'm so sleep deprived and hormonal ;)
If your husband just can't find the time to take off, have the older kids at family or friends house for the first week. Have people bring you meals. Have your mom, sister, cousin, neighbor, local homeless person, anyone come and watch baby so you can take a shower, do a load of laundry for you, wash your dishes for you. (okay, maybe not a homeless person...) ASK FOR HELP!
(2) First Week = Feet Up!: This is SOO hard for me, but I know and purpose to do it.
Let the house be completely chaotic.
Let the laundry be washed by the family even if it's not done the way you would do it.
Eat the meals people bring you or the 8th stir fry your husband makes you since that's really the only thing he can cook. :)
Just sit back, smell your baby, laugh at the kids comments and reactions to the new little one, and enjoy having your husband around the house - try not to nag him! You want him to enjoy being home also.
Try not to go anywhere.
Second Week = Move A Little: My round ligament muscles were so tight and my pelvis was very messed up after I delivered Aryeh. The first week was brutal! Getting up and down, sitting too long, anything and everything I did hurt! After a week of resting, I started walking more and doing things around the house more. My muscles started loosening and my pelvis started to find relief. Not a LOT of walking and house work, but as much as I felt like I could handle without increasing bleeding.
After I delivered my twins, the nurses and my OBGYN stressed that my second week I needed to get some moving in to help heal. I've done this every pregnancy since and felt like it was the perfect time to start moving more.
*This is, of course, if your caregiver agrees, and assuming you had a natural child birth, not a c-section.*
(3) Water, Protein & Calcium: A full glass every time you nurse. A full glass in between feedings. Just water, water, water. Then with every feeding some sort of protein and/or calcium.
I've never eaten so many nuts in my life then while nursing this boy! A handful of cashews or almonds, some cheese, hard boiled eggs, larabars, grilled meats, lunch meats, milk with peanut butter and crackers ect. All this will help your tissues repair, keep your milk supply up, and replace the nutrients your giving to your baby. Trust me, you want to keep the nutrients going into your body otherwise your body will take it from you and give it to baby. This is how I received a mouth FULL of cavities.
(4) Perspective: I really believe that our perspective on this time of sleeplessness and chaos (as well as on child raising/training period) is vital to healing and setting the stage for life with a new family member as well as vital to keeping your emotions in check.
- Are your sleepless nights because your sweet little baby needs YOU more then any other person in the world, and it's an honor to spend those nights serving him? Or are they exhausting and frustrating because you aren't getting your 9 hours?
- Do the blowouts and endless laundry mean that you have one of the best blessings a woman can receive within your care? Or are they adding more labor to your already full load (no pun intended)?
- If you have kids already, is the loud volume and choas in the house because it's filled with precious children that you adore and love and get to raise up into little mature adults? Or is it overwhelming and a reason to lose your temper and freak out?
(5) SLEEP: Not only does this help keep your attitude in check, but I believe it helps your tissues heal, it helps your body release retained water and regulate you hormones, it helps you lose that baby weight quicker, and you need it and often can't get it. So get it whenever you can!
(6) Shower/Bath: Breast milk, baby poop, spit up, night sweats, shoulder muscles and nursing, bleeding, general soreness... all these things demand showers and baths on a daily basis.
I'm not one to shower on a daily basis, but I make it a requirement during this postpartum period. You feel refreshed and heal faster. Add Epsom Salt, Mama Mend Tea (see above), and some essential oils. Relax, drink water, spend time talking with the Lord. Maybe even catch a few Z's!
(7) Hold Your Baby: It helps you and baby bond. Baby sleeps better. Your milk supply is benefited. The business of life will set in soon and you'll hold him/her less, so just hold him now :)
(8) Vitamins and Supplements: I usually take a multivitamin, fish oil, and iron after delivery. I lost quite a bit of blood with Aryeh and needed some iron since I've been a bit anemic. Another thing I like on hand is garlic tablets. I often get yeast overgrowth (Candida) after delivery and baby develops thrush and I will get yeast infections "down there" as well as in the nipples. Garlic, coconut oil, and probiotics help get rid of this. See this post if you are struggle with thrush or yeast infections.
Enjoy this time sleepy, sore mama!
It's only once you get this special time with your new born.
This little soul is in your care!
No one in the world can do what you can for this little one.
You mean the world to that baby!
What am honor!
There really is NO GREATER JOY :)