posted on: July 1, 2014
Disclaimer: I write this post staring at baby Oak who has just finished nursing and is gazing at our ceiling fan. He's probably about to fall asleep and I've taken this brief moment of quiet to answer my cravings, and scarf down a ridiculous amount of chocolate chip cookies. The first few weeks of nursing feels like the second trimester for me; cravings and the hunger...oh, the hunger. With that said, I am in no way a health professional, nor do I consider myself the healthiest person. We eat mostly organic food, whole grains, and rarely eat out. But sometimes our meals are unbalanced and sugar is consumed in bulk. With that, these are just a few things that I have found that has helped me so far.
Hydrate: I feel like most people know this one. We know during pregnancy that our body needs more water than the average person, but I think sometimes the emphasis on this during postpartum is lost. We need to consume more water than the average person to help with milk production, healing, postpartum swelling etc. I found this out late with River, and I do believe that lack of knowledge on this subject was the cause of my low milk supply with River. Once I gave birth to Oak, I started drinking the large jugs that the hospital gives you immediately. I could feel the difference in my recovery with a larger amount of water intake.
Eat It's crazy easy to forget that you also need nourishing throughout this time. I put little alarms on my phone to remind me to eat a full meal or a snack. I also have Peter often reminding me to eat. Sometimes when the baby is resting all you want to do is rest or take photos of him (in my case ;) ) but nourishing is key. Since I am nursing Oak, I am burning a lot of calories, so I remind myself often that the quality and quantity of my meals are important in his health as well (more milk production).
A helping hand..or two After my baby shower my mom came and stayed for a while to help me prepare for Oak's arrival. I was still working a lot on Welkin, and I forgot about all the little things. The week of Oak's due date Peter's mom came for a week. At first I was nervous that having help in our small place would be too much for me, but it was THE best decision ever. There's nothing better than a mother's help.
Light Walking Your body is healing from a major event, and you should rest. Not you should rest...you have to rest. But since I sometimes find it hard to be still for too long, light walking has been an amazing way to jump start my body's recovery. Truth is, it has taken me two weeks to lose the baby belly with light walking this time around, and with River it took the typical two months because I stayed in for quite a bit postpartum. With this, I would say listen to your body. With River I was in a lot of pain afterward, with Oak I'm not. I am more aware when I'm pushing my body too much or not at all this time around.
Nursing? Pump/ Sneak Away I can't emphasize the importance of a date night, alone time, or a mommy/daughter date with River enough when bringing home baby Oak. We followed the same pump/sneak away routine with River and it made everything so much more enjoyable. Sometimes all we need is a step away to feel refreshed.
Placenta Encapsulation Against my better judgement I have to reveal this postpartum tip. I am hesitant because I know there may be a divide on this subject. Also, some may see it as gross, and well when you think of it without thinking of the endless benefits it definitely can seem gross. Fortunately, I can only think of the benefits. Truthfully, since taking my placenta pills, I feel great. The postpartum aches, pains, and emotions have been limited to non existent, and I'd like to contribute a lot of that to my placenta pills. Baby blues is really common during postpartum, some have it for a day, some for a week, others for a month. Our bodies went through something extraordinary during labor. We spend almost a year creating this human and in an instant our bodies lose that human, of course postpartum will be difficult! Since consuming my pills I have had zero feelings of baby blues, which was very real with River. I'm still a little foggy because of lack of sleep, but my hormones are much more settled. I feel energized and just a much more pleasant person when I take them. Also, my milk production has doubled.
Ask for Advice Some may see asking for advice as a sign of weakness, but I totally feel like it's the only way to actually do motherhood, especially new motherhood. I've texted all my "mom of two" friends more times than I can count and I feel like I've gained a wealth of knowledge.
Delay Visits We had our immediate family come within a few days here and there and we haven't seen most of our friends. Delaying visits has allowed us to get into a groove as a family of four.
No Meals/ No Pressure Once I got home from the hospital Peter went to Trader Joe's and purchased a few easy pastas, pizzas, salads, and overall quick meals. No pressure meals aka quick meals are best for this time.
These are just a few things that have worked for me personally so far. I hope you find them helpful!