Eating well from day dot
It's important to replenish your body from the inside out. Growing a human and then giving birth is no small feat, no matter how you delivered your child. Drinking a lot of water, eating well-balanced colourful foods and getting rest are crucial to your recovery. I highly recommend this book if you are interested in getting back to your old self quick smart. It offers a complete guide as to how you can rebuild your health and reclaim your energy. It's appropriate for mums of newborns, toddlers or young children which I really appreciated.
I stayed in private hospital, so I was given a menu each day for the following day. I choose the vegetarian option most days, selected the seasonal vegetables and would add a side salad. I ate when I was hungry and I listened to my body.
Make FIBRE your friend:
I'd have 3-4 prunes each day to help keep things moving. It's very normal for things to be sluggish after giving birth because being idle slows the gut down. And after having a baby we are typically more idle because we are exhausted, sore from labour, etc. Eating well and moving (slow walks) will help your gut/bowels to work more efficiently.
All hospitals also have things like metamucil to help you out, so don't be shy and ask for some if you are concerned (especially if you had to get stitches, ouch).
Get bub OUT of your room
This one will no doubt divide the crowd! I had the basinet in our room for two nights only with both newborns. Listening to the coos, baby meconium sharts and fidgeting drove me absolutely insane. Get bub into their own room ASAP, and you'll sleep better.
We also didn't have a monitor for either child because I knew I'd be glued to it non-stop. Taking a step away and allowing some space was the best thing for me in my own personal experience.
Get yourself a Haakaa breast pump:
My sweet friend Lisa gave me her Haakaa, and man this thing has been a lifesaver. It's silicone pump that suctions on the breast you're not feeding from, and it catches all your let down milk! SO ingenious, really. I was getting 30-50ml by just sitting there and feeding off the opposite boob. You can keep the milk fresh in the fridge for three days, you can freeze it for 3 months or deep freeze will last 6 months. I typically gave the extra milk to Riley which she throughly enjoyed.
Accept help graciously:
If you have it, utilise it! We don't typically have help because our families live in Melbourne and California. This time around we had both sets of parents up visiting, and a brief but wonderful visit from aunties, uncles and cousins. It's has been amazing to sleep in and know that my toddler has been fed breakfast, read to and so well looked after.
Remember there is no award for having your shit together and you don't have anything to prove to anyone. When people come over, ask them to make YOU a tea, ask them to tidy up, let them hold the baby while you have a shower. If you have a toddler, ask family or friends to take the toddler out for a few hours while you sleep. It takes a village to raise a mother.
Focus on the positives
It's easy to feel overwhelmed, whether you are home with one, two or more. Women get especially emotional around the time of their milk coming in and it's common to experience what's called the baby blues. Try to focus on the tasks in front of you rather then the big picture. For example: right now I'm feeding my baby and then putting them down for a sleep -VS- this feed is taking so long... I'm never going to be able to get dinner started at a reasonable hour... and then bath time will be stuffed and the whole evening routine is going to be horrible.
Focus on the things that make you happy and spark joy. It's a slippery slope when we are new parents; navigating a new family dynamic and a new postpartum body too. A gratitude journal is a great place to start if this concept feels forced or foreign to you. Simply keep a journal by your bed, and when you wake up, write down three things you are grateful for.
If you or someone you know are in need of help or assistance, get in contact with PANDA.
Perinatal Anxiety & Depression Australia supports women, men and families across Australia affected by anxiety and depression during pregnancy and in the first year of parenthood.
PANDA National Helpline (Mon to Fri, 9am - 7.30pm AEST/AEDT) Call 1300 726 306
This little corner of the internet is for non-yoga topics like motherhood, low-tox living and green beauty products I love.