A few recovery ideas for the new mother from Moms and doulas that have been there:
1. Plan to rest for at least a month or more.
You just had a baby. THIS is the biggest physical task you will probably ever achieve. REST! Get in bed and stay there for as long as you can.
2. Accept Help.
People want to help after you have a baby. Let them. Don’t be shy in telling them what you need. “Hey friend, would you mind picking up some milk and a loaf of bread on your way over to visit? Thanks!” Of course they will because they want to help.
3. Hire help.
Maybe you need somebody to clean your house every other week for a while. Or maybe you want a postpartum doula to help you with newborn skills, sleep balancing and managing the day to day household tasks. It’s okay to pay for the peace of mind that comes with professional help.
4. Lower your expectations.
You just can’t hold, swaddle, feed, change and comfort a newborn day and night and still get everything else done you used to do. Let things slide. It’s okay. This is a season. Seasons change.
5. Babywearing to get chores done.
When the dust bunnies and the laundry cannot be put off any longer put your beautiful babe in a sling or a carrier. Babies love to be held and now you are hands-free and able to get some work done.
6. Take it slow.
The world can wait. Your baby is here. She needs you and you need her. The days are long but the years truly ARE short. Slow it down and just be present.
7. Have a plan for nutrition and hydration.
You do need to eat and drink. Keep simple, healthy snacks like fruit or protein bars around the house. Keep a big water bottle near you at all times and assign your partner the job of regularly refilling it. Prepare some freezer meals ahead of time, or ask friends or family to start a meal-train to deliver cooked meals while you are recovering.
Keep some menus of places that deliver food you like to eat. It’s okay to have pizza now and again, especially with healthy toppings like spinach and garlic, right?! Did I mention I love pizza.
9. Take walks and get fresh air.
If you are feeling down or stuck in a day to day rut taking a walk and getting some fresh care can make a big difference in your mood. Take your new stroller out for a spin and notice your surroundings. You might meet a new friend or just feel uplifted by the change of scenery.
10. Set rules for visitors.
We all love visitors but you and baby need your rest too. Visitors should wash their hands, do something helpful around the house, bring some food and keep their visits short! Set the rules that are important to you and post them in the house so visitors notice and follow them.
11. Be patient and easy on yourself regarding your new body image.
It takes time to lose baby weight in a healthy way. Now is not the time to start the latest and greatest diet. Especially if you’re breastfeeding. Eat and be comfortable. When you are physically recovered from pregnancy, labor and birth you can create new eating and exercise habits if you want to.
12. NETFLIX. Binge time guilt free.
With all of the time that you will be sitting, holding, nursing, rocking and comforting your baby you’ll want some entertainment. This is your opportunity to catch up on all the shows you missed or always wanted to see. Go for it! You deserve it.