Some women think that postpartum recovery is more difficult than the actual labour. Spending several weeks healing your body on your own while also adjusting to life with a new baby is tough, both physically and mentally. But don’t worry - it’s a short phase that will pass by before you know it. Here are some tips to help it go as smoothly as possible.
Embrace survival mode
Your usual routine will be out of sync for a while, but that’s ok. Focus on the basics of survival; eating enough, sleeping enough, keeping yourself clean, and nourishing your mind in whatever ways suit you. Whether it’s reading, writing, working on a puzzle, phone calls with loved ones, something that stimulates you mentally can work wonders when you’re forced to take it easy and let yourself heal.
Ask for help
Postpartum recovery can be incredibly difficult and draining for many women, which is why it’s so important to ask for help during this time. Asking a friend or family member to wash up, or accepting their offer to hoover may not seem like a lot but it will help you feel so much better. A small task to others can make the world of difference to you. Don’t be afraid to lean on your support system, it exists for a reason and everyone is better off when helping each other.
Be mindful about social media exposure
We all know that social media can be a trigger for comparison and insecurity, so be especially mindful about your social media use during this time. Don’t be pressured into keeping up with anyone, and if scrolling through Instagram is making you feel inadequate while you’re simply trying to heal your body and adjust to having a new baby, consider deactivating it for a while. Your mental health will thank you.
Celebrate the small wins
Sometimes we need to reverse the golden rule: treat yourself the way you would treat others. Would you place the same expectations on a friend going through postpartum recovery? Would you make her feel guilty for not bouncing back to fitness, work, housework and social life? You just accomplished something amazing, and your body needs time to heal. Let it. Be proud of yourself for getting out of bed in the morning after a sleepless night with a baby, for brushing your teeth, and adopting a new normal. Don’t forget to love yourself!