My Postpartum Recovery {And 6 Tips!}

Hey, hey! Yay for Friday! I know this might be weird, but I feel like I should share my postpartum recovery experience with you today. A lot of talk goes into pregnancy updates and birth stories, but information about postpartum recovery isn’t as readily shared. My two recovery experiences are polar opposites. Polar.

my sweet little man

I am thrilled with my postpartum recovery this time. Positively thrilled.

Tip #1 : Listen to your nurse or midwife or whoever is telling you how to push your baby out…especially if you have asked that they help you not tear.

With Ridley, I had a third degree tear. Ouch! It took two years to feel physically normal from that tear. Recovering from the mental and emotional junk from the tear took much, much longer. It was just that bad.

Because of a lot of preparation {coconut oil and evening primrose oil} and support during birth, I didn’t tear much at all with Cameron. I didn’t need stitches, which was a direct answer to prayer.

Tip #2 : If you can, take Arnica Montana homeopathic tablets for pain instead of over-the-counter pain meds.

The first few days, I had dreadful afterpains. No one told me they get worse with consecutive pregnancies. I’m stubborn and haven’t had Tylenol or Ibuprofen since I was pregnant with Ridley, so I toughed out the afterpains with Arnica.

Tip #3 : Get the spray. It is a-MAY-zing.

My first recovery was filled with sitz baths, ice packs and chemical-filled cooling spray, but for the minor ouchies “down there” of this recovery I kept this spray handy. I plan to get it as a gift for every pregnant momma I know.

Tip #4 : Rest. Rest. Rest. And rest some more.

I am indebted to my church family for providing meals for three weeks. And to my Mom and many others who came and helped me out with dishes, laundry and general sanity-keeping-tasks. :) It was such a blessing to be able to take it easy and rest.

Tip #5 : Be content with giving your body time to recover and grace to lose the baby weight in a slow, healthy way. This is especially important if you are breastfeeding.

For the first three weeks, I felt great about my body. My belly was shrinking and I could tell I was losing weight. Then the fourth week hit and I began to dislike my soft, jiggly body more and more. AND, I was sick of wearing maternity clothes. Beyond that, not even my “fat clothes” fit from before I lost 35 pounds last summer.

Unfortunately, not everyone can birth a baby and wear skinny jeans within a month. I don’t even wear skinny jeans, but you know what I mean. I’m learning to give myself grace…even though I don’t like what I see in the mirror.

I am choosing to be grateful for the twenty pounds that I’ve lost and the boatload of inches that are gone too.

It’s a hard choice some days, but it’s the right one.

Tip #6 : Take Red Raspberry capsules or drink the tea to help balance your incredibly wacko hormones.  

You can potentially avoid the worst of any PPD {baby blues} by taking red raspberry. It’s perfectly safe for pregnant and nursing mothers. Also, be sure to spend some time just for yourself. It might sound a little bit selfish, but recharging by doing something you love is a great way to keep your sanity!

This week, Cameron and I spent a few hours just enjoying thrifting and driving through our town’s historic district. It was just the breath of fresh air that I needed!

I’m now on another weight loss journey. Wouldn’t it be lovely to just have a fat sucking machine? Ha!

My baby-weight-loss-plan is this: Food journal, drink lots of water, eat no refined sugars, exercise consistently. I’m walking at the mall and I can begin working out at the gym in another week or so. I’m excited about that! Yay!

Back to my postpartum recovery . . . I don’t feel at all like I had a baby almost five weeks ago.

I have zero pain. Zero mental, physical, emotional pain.

That, my friends, is huge.

Here are a few other posts on pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding that might interest you…

Do you have a Postpartum Recovery Tip to add to the mix? I would love to hear your experience!

XO

*****

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Comments

  1. Paula Chaffin says:

    So glad that you are doing so well! You just look beautiful and happy!!

  2. Thanks so much for this update, Myra! My first little one is due in 9 weeks, and Lord willing, I will birth at home naturally. I am definitely going to look into tablets and spray you mentioned!
    Sara´s last blog post ..Thirty Weeks…

  3. Sounds like you’re doing remarkably well! What an inspiration! I hope I do so well someday . . . . thank you for sharing.

  4. I’ve totally forgotten how I got hooked up with your blog, but have loved hearing about your journey with #2, as I’ve done the same thing. #1 was in the hospital and #2 was at home with a midwife. I agree about the healing going SO much more quickly. Honestly, I took absolutely nothing for pain after #2 was born (I got some homeopathic stuff during birth). I’d add to try to pay for help if you don’t have volunteers, especially if you have another child. It may have been a special situation, but my mother had been for a visit, but she and my husband left the same day when new one was 2.5 weeks old. (Husband left for a week of military duty.) I was so grateful that we had found a college student who didn’t have a job for the summer and was able to come for that week to help with the 2 YO. Totally worth the few hundred dollars we paid her. I only wish we had thought of it before baby was born, so she could’ve witnessed a normal day before baby.

  5. I’m glad you are doing so well! Great tips. My second baby was so much easier than my first. I like how you said that you are learning to give yourself grace. Well put. We should all learn to do that.

    ~FringeGirl
    the domestic fringe´s last blog post ..DIY = Hire Someone

  6. So glad this time around has been much easier for you!

    You are an inspiration to so many!

    Love, Linda @ Truthful Tidbits
    Linda´s last blog post ..Stayin’ Alive Video

  7. I’m absolutly terrified of giving birth in January. My greatest fear is tearing. I wish I could afford a midwife, etc to help with that, but I cant. I’m happy to hear that this worked for you to lessen the tear so much. It gives me hope. Except I know doctors want to forcefully pull the baby out to get home sooner and that worries me that I might not be able to stop them.

    • Kat~ Have you made a birthing plan and shared it with your doctor? It can help to put down into words what you do and do not want, for yourself, your doctor, and who ever is with you at the birth. That way everyone is on the same page. Also, the doctors can’t make you do anything you don’t want to. You do have a say and you can stop them by speaking up. Your body, your choice. Also, if I may suggest, pray. Lift up to God your fears, your worries. One of my favorite quotes is, “Breath in your blessings, breath out your fears.” I hope this helps you!
      Erika Roberts´s last blog post ..Delight in the house of God

      • Thanks Erika,
        I didn’t really know they have to listen to your wishes. I always thought it was their call as the doctor. Good to know!

    • Kat, you can do this! I agree completely with Erika about making a birth plan and sticking to your guns. My advice is to avoid an epi if possible so you can feel when to push. Yes, it hurts like crazy, but I think you have more control on your pushing that way. Emphasize to your nurses and doc that you want support to not tear. They can tell you to push gently or a lot and they can support your perineum with their hands. Midwives use lots of olive oil to help everything stretch. I tore so badly with my first because I was done and just wanted him out…and he came flying out…ouch! Cameron’s birth was much more gentle. Try not to be afraid, but believe that you can do this!!

      • I’m going to write one, even if it doesnt go to plan at least it will be written in case I can’t speak for myself. I will try no Epi. I get migraines and bad cramps on my periods so I’m no stranger to pain. My mom only had iv meds and no Epi and she said it was bareable.

        Thanks for the advice!

  8. Myra~ You are so right about the spray! It is lovely. And, I am a little happy to hear that someone else tried to be stubborn about the pain medication too. It didn’t work out for me and I didn’t know about the homeopathic tablets.
    I wanted to tell you about my friends website that has tummy safe workouts that you can do at home from your computer in your jammies if you want. It is http://fit2b.us. Please, check her out. She is a hard working stay-at-home mommy like the rest of us that has a great passion for mommies to recover their bodies safely after birthing. The gym isn’t horrible but they usually don’t offer the support for you like she can and they aren’t teaching mommies about diastasis. Check out this page to learn about your ‘baby belly’ and how to recover from it, safely.
    http://fit2b.us/how-to-check-for-diastasis-hd/ I promise this is no scam, I just wanted to share because I feel it is important information and want all mommies to feel good in their bodies after babies! I hope you (and your friends) check her out. : )
    Erika Roberts´s last blog post ..Delight in the house of God

  9. You’re an inspiration! Thank you for sharing your story!
    Emily´s last blog post ..How to Stop Fighting with Your Picky Eater

  10. Jennifer T says:

    I so appreciate you sharing your experiences and postpartum helps. I have used some but others are new to me. Will look forward to talking to my midwife about them soon. God bless you and your family!

  11. You’re amazing! I am so glad you shared this – I shared this with many of my own young Mommy friends. I had two c-sections and so my birth experience was totally different – totally. I was unable to nurse either baby {I was so disappointed and I never even got engorged or any milk}, but God used it as a positive anyway. He is good all the time. What a blessing your little one is to you!

    Becky B.
    http://www.organizingmadefun.com
    Organizing Made Fun
    Becky@OrganizingMadeFun´s last blog post ..My boxwood wreath to cheer up the front door

  12. I can totally relate! Recovering from Claire’s birth (a stage 3 episiotomy) and a long, painful recovery was the polar opposite from recovering with Emma. Many things were the same, but I did a few things differently during labor and it made a world of difference. So glad this time has been easier for you!!!

  13. Glad your recovery is going so great! Each birth and recovery can be so very different, but the less medical intervention the easier (IMHO).

    Did you do placenta encapsulation?

  14. You are in inspiration- have loved reading your birth story and postpartum experience. I am expecting my third and plan to go natural which is a totally scary foreign experience to me. With my last labor, I had a terrible scary reaction to the epidural (a seizure from my blood pressure dropping so quickly) and am determined to never go that route again. I’m finding hope that I can do this from natural birth stories- so THANK YOU and congrats on your baby!
    Jamie´s last blog post ..Rejoicing In Today

  15. Oh Myra… I hate to admit this ugly, but I am so envious of your recovery. Right now I’m 8mos postpartum, and it sounds like it’s very similar to your first. Despite my medicine free delivery, I had 3rd-4th degree internal and external tearing w/tons of stitches (my Sam came flying out like you said Ridley did). I had granulation tissue, treated with silver nitrate and finally surgery to remove it. Now due to all the trauma I’m doing pelvic floor physical therapy.

    This is going to sound dumb, but I didn’t know there was anything I could do to physically prepare for a natural birth experience! All I every heard was mental prep. So though I labored and delivered naturally (which was my hope), I’m now dealing with repercussions.

    Thanks for this post. I’m going to get that spray (LOVE Earth Mama!) I’ll be referring to this post again if we are blessed with another baby (and that’s only if my hooha ever heals up!!) {grin} =)

  16. Thanks for sharing! I’m going to try the red raspberry! Ever since my little one has been born, my hormones have been all out of whack, but I didn’t know what to take especially since I have been nursing. I wrote it down for this weeks shopping trip.

  17. I am interested in the olive oil & massage. This is my 4th baby but I have had pit and epi with the first 3 and hope and pray to go naturally this time. I asked my midwife about the massage (and oil) and she said I didn’t need to worry about it because they will help me go slow. I am meeting with my doula Thursday and will ask for her opinion.

  18. So happy to hear that you’re recovering so well. This was a very helpful post that I’ll be sharing with my pregnant mama friends! Thank you : )
    Mary Lauren´s last blog post ..What it Means to be Home

  19. As a gal who’s still a few years off from having kids, it’s nice to read posts like this that give me a little better idea of the reality of child birth. Like you said, it’s something that’s not readily discussed. Thanks for sharing, and most of all, educating the uneducated!

  20. What spray did you use? My computer will not bring it up :/

  21. Congratulations! What a cutie!! And thanks for the tips!!
    Miranda´s last blog post ..What to Expect: Recovering from Labor and Delivery

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