By Amanda of Kicky Boots
Here’s what they don’t tell you: the post-partum recovery period is really hard. Sure, it’s amazing to finally cradle your baby in your arms and experience the joy of motherhood. But mixed in with that joy is exhaustion, uncertainty, sleep deprivation and a really sore hoo-ha. Here are some tips to make your post-partum experience a tad more enjoyable:
1. Toss Your Expectations.
We all have dreams of what life with a baby will be like, what kind of parents we will be, what blissful children we will have. If things don’t go according to our plans, it can be devastating, especially for a new mom battling sleep deprivation and intense hormonal surges. We all hit glitches along the way: maybe breastfeeding is a gong-show and you have to switch to formula, perhaps your baby is screaming ‘round the clock, maybe your partner isn’t as hands-on as you had hoped. It’s OK. You will find your way amidst the challenges, and don’t let yourself feel like a failure if things don’t go as you had planned.
Labour is exhausting. Caring for a newborn can suck the life out of you. Breastfeeding is, quite literally, draining. Make sure you’re eating enough so that your body can function at its best during this difficult time. Listen to your body (mine often tells me it needs cookies) and don’t even think about stepping on a scale for at least two weeks.
3. Accept Help.
You know those people who say, “If there’s anything I can do, just let me know”? Take them up on it! You can respond to their offer with, “Actually, we could really use a casserole” or “Great! Want to scrub my toilet? It’s been a while”.
4. Step Away From the Sweat Pants.
As tempting as it may be to spend a few months in stretchy and forgiving sweat pants, I guarantee you will feel much better if you actually take the time to have a shower, dab on some lip gloss and button up your jeans. If your pre-pregnancy clothes are still a tad snug, go shopping at a discount store and buy some cheap tops and jeans that fit your body now. You’ll be pleased to watch them get looser and looser as the months go by.
5. Get Out!
Even if it’s just to buy a stamp or a jug of milk, make the effort to get out of the house at least once a day. The fresh air will restore you, the outing will help break up the vast expanse of the day, and you will feel as though you’ve accomplished something.
What did you do to make it through your post-partum recovery? Any pearls of wisdom for the expecting moms out there?
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