Postpartum is a special moment in the life of women who become mums! It’s intense, crazy and beautiful… all at the same time. If you follow the 10 principles of postpartum from Motherly Hug, you’re definitely more likely to have a positive experience in your postnatal period! Always remember though: if you’re struggling, reach out!
Don’t do any cleaning, laundry or cooking
Trying to “do stuff” goes against postpartum. This is the time for new mums to disconnect from mundane things and focus only on her baby’s well-being, in addition to her own. Ideally, every new mum would have people to support them with household chores and to bring her healthy food, therefore allowing her to get to know her baby and herself as a mum. This is an intense process which requires space and time.
Stay in bed as much as possible
As a consequence of the previous principle, being able to stay in bed with your baby, be it sleeping, resting, breastfeeding, should not only be desirable but also possible. The mother who can rest recovers faster physically and emotionally.
Receive at home only people with whom you’re so close that you will not have to take off your pajamas! People with whom you feel comfortable to “withdraw” whenever you want, to speak whatever you want. People who do you good, who don’t suck your energy and who won’t give you unwanted “tips”. This is the moment to learn how to say “no” to that visitor you know is not the time to have at home. Give yourself absolute priority.
Have everything at home and handy
The last thing you’ll want to worry about is the toilet paper that’s running out or the lack of your favourite snacks. Get organized while pregnant to have at home, and preferably near you, what meets your needs and your baby’s. Have diapers, wipes, pads, water, food, everything easily accessible by you. The less you have to think about these things, the better.
Allow yourself to feel all the feelings of the world. Don’t blame yourself for mood oscillations. If you want to cry, cry. If you want to express your deep joy and gratitude to the world, express it. If you feel too tired to talk, allow yourself introspection. Allow yourself to feel sad and lost, even though it doesn’t match the happiness of the moment. No guilt for any feeling, just allow yourself.
Take a deep breath
The whole body is oxygenated when we breathe deeply. We dissipate the nervousness, the stress, the anguish by filling the lungs completely. In addition to helping relax, deep breathing is also a form of energizing. So, breathe deeply whenever you remember, a few times in a row if possible. Only benefits come from this act that is within our reach, but of which we often forget.
Trust the nature of your body
You have just created life and given birth, so trust in the wisdom of your physical body. Believe without a doubt that your body knows what to do, it knows how to produce milk, it knows how to return to “normal”. The miracle of life has already happened to you, and in fact it keeps happening every day.
Take a shower every day
Water is powerful! Bathing/showering relieves tension, energizes, and can change the mood. Consider a priority taking a shower every day after childbirth, or you can stay so involved with visits, the need to sleep, and other tasks that sometimes you can get to the end of a day and then realize that you haven’t yet had the chance to take a shower! But the benefits of a shower for your well-being are so many that it is worth having this as a priority. Take advantage of having someone in your home (even if a visitor), leave the baby with that person you trust and take a shower, no matter if it is a quick one. You’re sure to get out of the shower feeling better than when you walked in.
Try to eat well and don’t forget hot foods and drinks
Don’t skip meals, eat whenever you are hungry, remember fruits (fresh and dried). Hydrate yourself. And following the Asian traditions, eating and drinking hot things will help in your recovery. Teas and soups always welcome!
Have someone to clear the doubts that arise: is xxxxx normal?
Think of a person you trust, whom you admire, someone who has children and whose parenting style you like. Someone you know is up to date with the latest scientific evidence and who will not judge you. It could be a friend, a cousin or even a professional. A postpartum doula can solve most of your doubts, and when she can’t she will know how to refer you to the right professionals. Keeping doubts during this sensitive period only causes stress. It’s comforting to have someone you can send a message at any time and ask: “Is this normal?”
If you can experience these principles in your postnatal period, you will have everything to recover and heal (in all senses) calmly and completely.
It is impossible to prepare for the postnatal period in all its aspects, but there is a part to which we can prepare ourselves, and in this way we will have the chance to deal with the “unpreparable” part in a more gentle way, emerging from this transition with strength and confidence to move forward, in the continually challenging and wonderful journey that is motherhood.