Postpartum Recovery: Healing through Rest
*My sweet friend and doula sister, Lauren Tate, shared this post on facebook. Because of the importance and seriousness of postpartum recovery, she has graciously given us permission to share it with you. We invite you to gather a warm cup of coffee or your favorite tea and be still.
“A mother and doula on Postpartum healing not so much from an educational side but from an experienced side –
With my first and second child, I was so eager to get life after being pregnant going, that I forgot to take care of myself. 4 days after having Ellie, I went to the mall and walked around baby wearing her so that I could buy Zach a gift for his birthday.. Insanity. I cooked, I cleaned..I probably didn’t smell much like onion rings ( it’s a song, go with it) because I was keeping myself well kept and blissfully beautiful in the new stage of mothering.. Even the week after.
I didn’t understand my body or in which ways it needed to heal. I remember my doula with my second pregnancy, getting on to me for being up and out so soon.. I didn’t understand. I was young and unaware and legit this feeling after birth made me feel much like it always does.. Super human.
With my 3rd child & being under a midwife, the instructions were much more strict. Heck, after Ellie, the day after birth, my OB suggested that with a little wine and a pain pill, I could resume back to sexual activity if I desired.. Within 3 weeks ? ouch.
But with my 3rd, my midwife was very instructive with what I could and could not do within a 2 week period & she trusted me as an adult to follow these guidelines for my own well being:
1st week after birth- do not leave your room. It is important to heal. Take a shower and get back in bed.
2nd week- you may move to couch to sit and hold your baby.
What should you be doing within the first weeks postpartum? You should lay naked or topless in your bed with your newborn. You should rest, lay, cuddle and nurse. Skin to skin contact to produce milk. You should eat protein, healthy fats, drink bone broth and plenty of water as well as red raspberry leaf tea for your recovering uterus.
What you shouldn’t do (in my opinion and many other birth workers opinions)
Worry about your weight or body postpartum. Counting down the days until you can rush out the door with the jogging stroller and hit the gym. Your body is AMAZING! Look what it did, it brought you this human thing… And it needs time to heal. You shouldn’t Worry about the way you smell ??or if the house is clean. When I do a postpartum visit and I see a messy house and a stinky mom, I really just see a mother that’s rolling in the new bliss and exhaustion that is her newborn.
After my last delivery and my urge to ignore directions and get back on my feet, take care of my children and home, I experienced a prolapse at 25 years old. Talk about trauma mentally and physically with my lady parts. Wowza… It’s been a journey. Although I’m thankful for the experience and the extreme connection and awareness I have now with the uterus and areas surrounding.. I do wish I would have just listened. I should have sat more, I should have waited but now I am just a lot more aware and it’s an awareness I needed for my line of work.
You don’t have to just get up and run the world directly after you give birth. Rest is SO important to every aspect of your postpartum life. Every aspect. Rest may not come in the form of a well rested evening sleep.. But your body deserves rest. You deserve to just be still for a moment ( a month ). Take that time to sit with your baby, do skin to skin with your baby and just breathe as much as you can during those first few weeks.. You have the whole year to focus on walking, running or cleaning.. Do it later, for real. Just be still.”?
Lauren is a doula serving North MS. I invite you to visit her facebook page, Loom & Moon Birth Services
For more information on our postpartum doula support, please visit here