We all know in our heads that we need to take care of ourselves, but we often allow other details of our busy lives and schedules stand in the way of what we know is best for our own well being. I am not an exception to this and have found it challenging to find time for myself throughout the work week.
Fortunately, the second I became pregnant, it wasn’t about me anymore. My healthy state of being directly effects the little human growing inside my belly.
So what happened? I got my ass in gear and started making my health a priority.
So here’s my question…. If many of us take such good care of ourselves when we are pregnant (because everything we do effects the one developing in inside)…
Why do we not continue to take care of ourselves once our babies are born?
Even though our bellies become babies, they are still directly effected by our state of being. They are our mirrors and we are their examples of how to live in this life.
So instead of throwing in the towel when things get harry (and they will), promise yourself and your family that you will make YOU a priority and take good care of yourself… as if you would anyone else in your family.
Below are 7 items for you to get you started on a good self-care routine before you have your baby.
I suggest before because it is smart to prepare ahead of time and have these things available for you when you come home with your baby. The last thing you are going to want to do or think about is having to go out to get this stuff or even having to tell someone else to go out and get it.
When you get home, all you want to do is focus on your recovery and bonding with your new little addition. These items will allow you to devote your time to the most important things in your life as well as be the most comfortable in your body after youve squeeze a baby out of your delicate lady parts.
The 7 best self care items for ay new mom are as follows…
1. Perineal Ice Packs: Hospitals and Birth Centers usually send you home with these but its always good to have a stash of extra since you never know how many the will give or how many you’ll end up needing. They are heavenly extremely effective. It’s essentially an iced maxi pad. After all that pushing and birthing a baby, your perineal floor is inflamed, swollen, and painful. Ice is your best friend at this point. Not only does it bring down the swelling and throbbing but the ice breaks that pain cycle to give you some relief.
2. Peri Bottle: This also should come home with you after giving birth. The peri bottle is another crucial item that will help your comfort level during the first few weeks. It never really occurred to me how important this simple little item was until I had to go pee. When you push something the size of a small watermelon out of a hole the size of a lime (or smaller even), there can be tears of all sorts of different degrees. Some are worse than others but the bottom line is, it stings wicked bad when you have to go! The peri bottle helps to dilute the pee so it doesnt sting so bad. A definite must have.
3. Belly Binder: After being pregnant for 9+ months, your abdominal muscles can stretch to 6 times their capacity, leaving them weak and flaccid. With your core not intact and center of gravity off kilter, your back can often begin to take on all of that tension and stress which leads to pain rather quickly after childbirth. So in order to feel more supported with your core closer to where it will need to be once your uterus returns to its pre preg state, throw on one of these babies. And I suggest you wear it the second you start moving around and before you leave the hospital or birth center.
Benefits of Belly Binders….
- Supports your low back
- Helps guide your core back to its center
- Helps remind abdominal muscles where they need to be
- Improves healing time for both vaginal, but especially, C-section deliveries
- Improves posture and self-esteem
4. Essential Oil Blends: More often I am noticing increasing interest in experiencing pregnancy and postpartum recovery with a more natural approach. Using essential oils can be an effective natural alternative in helping you feel better in your body and mind during pregnancy, birth, and the postpartum period.
It is important that you do your research and make sure you are using the correct essential oils throughout this time, as some are not safe for new and expecting moms.
Also, you want to be sure that these oils are diluted to the proper proportions or you run the risk of experiencing an adverse reaction. But if used correctly, essential oils and blends can be a powerful tool to help you ease your body and mind.
A few essential oils known to enhance postpartum healing are…
- Witch Hazel
5. Sitz/Epsom Salt Bath: Along with the EO blends, a warm sitz or epsom salt bath can be an amazing treatment for achey perineal floor and worn out muscles. If you have stitches or a tear in your perineum, I suggest you soak in a clean tub once a day filled with several inches of water. If this is something that may not be completely practical or you do not have a tub in your home, most local drug stores sell portable sitz baths that may be more convenient. Allow time (30 minutes) afterwards for your perineum to be exposed to the air to promote the healing process.
6. Cabbage Leaves: About 2 – 3 days after baby is born, your milk comes in and your breast become completely filled and possibly, engorged. My breast grew two sizes over night! I was in so much discomfort and the only things that really helped were those cold cabbage leaves. Be sure your nipples are covered and not moist through the duration of this treatment. Its important that they stay as dry as possible to promote their own healing when getting used to breast feeding.
7. Foam Roller: This 3 ft piece of cylindrical foam will be your best friend forever when your back, shoulders and neck begin to ache from holding, cradling, and bouncing your baby. There’s a lot of rounding forward that happens when handling a newborn which tends to do a number on the upper torso and eventually the low back.
If you are accustom to rolling your hips and legs (IT Band, etc), it is important to note that it is NOT recommended to use a foam roller on the lower part of your body for a few weeks.
You need to give your hips a chance to make their way back to where they were before childbirth. But your mid back, shoulders, neck and chest are a different story.
These are a few little things that can help ease a sore body when you get home with your bundle of joy. After all… You cant pour from an empty cup.
And when you feel like you want someone to take care of you, book a session. Let me take care of you so you can take care of your family.
Disclaimer: The information on this site is for general informational purposes only. I am not a medical professional, nor do I give medical advice. These articles are not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any conditions, but to educate and broaden the perspective as it pertains to holistic health and wellness. Please practice your own due diligence and research all techniques when applying these methods for personal use. Always speak with your Doctor, OB, Midwife, or Nurse Practitioner in regards to complimentary self-care.