10 Tips To Recover From Vaginal Delivery Quickly - Delivering a baby is really no joke. After all, you push out a baby that weighs 6-8 pounds out of you. You are in labour for hours, sleep deprived, and have been waiting for this moment for months! It's truly a joyful moment to see your baby for the first time in months, but it does put you in emotional and physical strain.
For vaginal deliveries, 6 weeks is deemed to be the recovery period by medical professionals. Everyone is different in how long it truly takes to recover. But there are definitely ways to help you recover faster.
It's definitely an overwhelming time for new moms - trying to adjust to the new life as a mom, learning how to take care of the baby that no one ever really taught you 'how' before. All while your body is still in pain and recovering - Yes, it's painful to poop, walk and sit for awhile!
For vaginal deliveries, try these tips to recover from your vaginal birth quickly, so you can resume your normal life faster.
Photo Cred @addieeshelmanphoto
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10 Tips To Recover From Vaginal Delivery Quickly
1. Do Sitz Bath
What is a sitz bath? It's a warm bath for the perineum and helps you heal your stitches and hemorrhoids faster. It provides relief from pain, itchiness and swelling. You can do this either in the bathtub or on a plastic kit over your toilet. (I would recommend that you buy a kit and do it over the toilet, since you would want your bathtub to be clean. Who wants to clean the bathtub every day, especially during the postpartum period?
You can put the postpartum epsom salt to maximize the benefit.
For both of my deliveries, I have done sitz bath and it definitely has helped with providing relief from the pain.
2. Take Stool Softener
You probably never could have guessed that pooping might be one of the scariest experience in your life.
Well, for me, this was one of the scariest thing I had to do after giving birth. And trust me, you will want the stool softener to make this experience less scary and painful. And if you have hemorrhoid after giving birth, you will definitely be needing this more to put zero pressure while you are sitting on the the toilet.
3. Drink Lots of Water
Drinking lots of water will help you with breastfeeding and also hemorrhoids. Think about how much you will need to produce the milk your baby needs! And, you also want to avoid having constipation.
Have a large bottle of water with you and constantly drink! Now 3 months after giving birth, I still drink about 6-8 bottles of 25 oz water bottle!
4. Do Kegel Exercises
You will want to start doing kegel exercise as soon as you can to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles.
If you are unsure how to do Kegel exercises, try to stop peeing while you are sitting on the toilet. The muscle you use to stop peeing is the pelvic floor muscles. You would want to tighten the pelvic floor muscles for about 5 seconds and let it go. Repeat about 10 times as often as you want throughout the day.
5. Use Donut Pillows
If you had tears during your delivery, sitting will be painful for you for some time. What really helps is sitting on a donut pillow. It puts the pressure off on your perineum, where the stitches are, and makes sitting a lot more comfortable while it heals.
Photo Cred @headygrimm
6. Use Peri Bottle
You probably have gotten one from the hospital. Use peri bottle after going to the bathroom every single time. Making sure your perineum is clean is a must to faster recovery.
Fill up your peri bottle with warm water and spray to clean the area. You can have one in each of the bathrooms in your house so that you don't have to carry it around to the room.
7. Use Numbing Spray
This is another item you may have received from the hospital. For both my deliveries, Dermoplast was always provided and recommended that I use it every time I use the bathroom.
You basically spray where your stitches were with this spray. It makes the pain so much more manageable and feels great.
8. Use Witch Hazel
Witch hazel contains chemicals that can help reduce swelling and fight bacteria, which in turn decreases pain and helps prevent infection.
You can make your own witch hazel pads and put it on top of the pads you wear during postpartum. Or you can buy over the counter product - Tucks - to use on your pads.
It will help you with reducing the swelling while preventing any inflammation.
9. Start Moderate Exercise
You will need to avoid any rigorous exercise for some time until your doctor gives you the 'okay' to exercise.
But, moderate exercises such as light walking or stretching will help you heal and be back to your normal body faster.
It will also help in preventing constipation and swelling in your body.
You can also look up safe postpartum workouts to help you strengthen your pelvic muscles. But make sure you check with your doctor before resuming any exercises.
10. Use Hemorrhoid Cream
Not all women who have vaginal deliveries have hemorrhoids. But, if you do have hemorrhoid, you can use over the counter hemorrhoid cream to help recover faster, along with doing Sitz bath every day.
For me. I didn't have one until my second pregnancy. It wasn't so much the the pushing during the delivery that caused it, but it was the hormones that caused constipation that gave me one. No one likes to talk about it. I never wanted to talk about it since it's embarrassing. But, the discomfort of having a hemorrhoid can outweighed the discomfort of having stitches. So you would definitely want to treat this soon before it becomes more painful and worse.
You may have to consult your doctor, but there are ones that help reduce swelling or pain, or both. So read carefully the labels and ensure you use it every day until you are hemorrhoid free!
11. Remember That It's Okay To Rest
Remember that you just delivered a baby, which is the most life changing experience both emotionally and physically.
There will be piles of laundry. There will be piles of dishes and bottles to wash. There will be toys that your older one spilled all over the living room.
Let others help you and get some rest yourself. This is the time to really put yourself first.
Squeeze in that nap when the baby is sleeping. Let your friends and family come over and clean for you and deliver food. You deserve this time to recover and fully recharge as you adjust to the new life with your baby.
In many Asian cultures, most women are treated like a real patient (or a queen) during this time. In Korea, there are places that women go to after delivery to recover. They provide education on how to take care of your baby, breastfeeding, and the postpartum body. All meals are provided with carefully planned nutritions. Babies are looked after in nurseries so moms can rest at night. Oftentimes, moms can get postpartum massages to help them get back to their body faster. Normally moms visit these facilities for about two weeks and return home to take care of the baby.
I dearly wish these facilities exist all over the world for moms. All moms should be given the help to recover, just like any patients would from a surgery. And new moms would benefit so much from having someone experienced educate them on all things breastfeeding and how to take care of a baby.
Until these facilities exist and become the new norm in North America, I hope these tips to recover from vaginal delivery quickly will help you with your postpartum recovery! Please do share other tips if you have any!
Photo Cred: @sanifellini