At My Expert Midwife we often hear about how hard things can be physically and emotionally after childbirth, so we want to help you prepare for the realities of your postnatal recovery. Looking after yourself well post- birth will promote the recovery process. Regardless of the type of birth you have had, your body has done something amazing, but strenuous and now needs you to take extra care to help with the healing process. Your emotional wellbeing should also be nurtured by taking things more gently. Here are some top tips by the team of in-house midwives at to help you prepare and recover.
Planning ahead for your recovery:
Make sure that your close family and friends know that you would really appreciate their help when they visit when you have a newborn, bringing you meals, making you drinks, washing up, and so on, and not expecting you to do it for them as your ‘guest’.
It can be hard to accept help but it may help to see it this way: any support you receive will, in turn, benefit your baby. As you’ll feel less tired and overwhelmed, you’ll become more present and able to engage with your family. By reducing your stress, your levels of oxytocin (the hormone that makes you fall in love with your baby) will increase, benefiting your mental health, supporting breastfeeding and your relationship with your baby. Less stress also translates into increased awareness, making you a safer and happier parent.
Plan 30 mins a day to focus on your recovery
Recovery after childbirth is a priority during the postnatal period. The better you feel, both physically and emotionally, the easier the transition into family life will be, and the quicker you will regain your strength. So, never forget to make sure you are looking after yourself the best that you can, and remember self-care and taking time for yourself is an essential for your wellbeing, not a luxury.
Planning 30 minutes a day just for you will help:
- Build this time into your daily routine from the start.
- Ask your partner or a family member to spend a regular 30-minute time slot with baby.
- Take yourself for a lie down/ warm bath/shower or short walk - whatever helps you to relax best.
- Stick to this routine so you, your baby and your family expect it each day.
Sleep is also essential for your body and brain’s healing and repair. Chores can wait until tomorrow or, even better, be delegated. And you don’t have to be the ‘perfect partner’ and stay up with your partner when your baby has gone to sleep. Suggest an early night for both of you.
Soothing soreness and swelling:
Whatever type of birth you have had you will be sore, whether you have swelling, bruising or tearing of your perineum, or if you have had a c-section. Remember to pack Spritz for Bits and Soak for Bits into your hospital bag for those first few hours and days after birth.
The midwife developed, multi-award winning My Expert Midwife Spritz for Bits will offer instant relief after childbirth. It contains natural essential oils including lavender to soothe, tea tree oil for it’s anti-bacterial properties, witch hazel to promote healing, and they all work together to help soothe discomfort of the perineum after childbirth.
My Expert Midwife Soak for Bits is also a post birth recovery essential, to clean, soothe and help maintain the condition of the perineum, as well as calm aching muscles and aid recovery. Can also be used following a caesarean section. This 100% naturally derived, Midwife-developed soak is made with premium Epsom salts, which instantly disperse in warm bath water, blended with essential oils of tea tree and calendula, for their anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties, and of bergamot, which aids relaxation. It also contains added arnica to help bruising and swelling.
So remember, learning to listen to our bodies and respond to our needs with compassion is paramount for our self-care and recovery. Being able to vocalise our needs will also help others to support us. It can be useful to remember that, in order to care for others, we first need to care for ourselves.