Postpartum self care was something I didn’t really take too seriously with my last pregnancy and definitely regretted it. I only realized how important it was after recognizing my body was not functioning at it’s best. I was stressed, tired, my hair was falling out and my mental health was struggling.
So I made myself a promise this time around to make self care a top priority, in order to heal faster and feel better. It has been almost two months since I had my baby and the routine I am following has worked really well for me so far. What’s the secret? Dedicate time for yourself and make sure to take it. Schedule an hour ever day (or 30mins or even 15mins, whatever works for you) to gather your thoughts, unwind, relax and rejuvenate. But you need to make sure you actually take the time. It’s easy to get caught up in other things and push this back or throw it in back burner. But self care is just as important as taking care of your baby.
Some of the things I have been doing include:
I am a HUGE fan of padsicles for postpartum care. If you don’t know what padsicles are, they are frozen menstrual pads that have aloe vera, witch hazel and essential oils to help with healing. I made a batch of these before baby came and kept them in the freezer. I used them every day since I came home from the hospital and I really do believe they helped with healing quickly.
Having a sitz bath is probably my most favourite self care activity. Mine is a little bit different though because I don’t actually use a sitz bath and sit on the toilet. I actually take a bath in the tub and fill it with warm water, lavender epsom salt, witch hazel and lavender essential oils. I light a few candles and turn on an episode of The Mindy Project. This is such a relaxing activity to do before bed and helps me feel calm and ready for a good night sleep.
Part of my self care routine also includes choosing healthy meals. As someone who really has to force herself to eat vegetables, I made it a goal to switch up 2/3 of my meals to salads as much as possible and also included proteins to boost iron and help with milk production. So I try to add as much protein as I can to each of my meals and also include a protein shake option for my snack. Some of my favourite go-to meals meals include: steak salad, wild salmon modern bowl, and a chocolate banana protein shake.
After about one week postpartum my doctor recommended I take a quick 30 minute walk around the neigbourhood every day to help with my blood pressure condition and get some exercise. Getting outside and breathing in fresh air after being stuck at home all day is so refreshing. Our little family took a walk every evening around the block and it was a great way to end the day.
After leaving the hospital, they usually send you home with some medication to help with pain management. With my last pregnancy I rarely took them because I felt like I had something to prove by bearing the pain without medication. But this time I followed their instructions and took them whenever pain was unbearable and it really was life changing. I was a lot easier to move around and I didn’t feel like dying every time I walked to the bathroom.