As a birthmother, you may have no idea what to expect after labor and delivery. Many books about giving birth don’t always apply to birthmothers, as the recovery process can differ dramatically for women who are not bringing a baby home.
These tips will help you get through the moments and days immediately following delivery as well as help you through the recovery process.
Listen to Your Body’s Needs
You should not feel any shame for taking time off to rest, no matter how difficult or easy you felt your delivery was. Not only will rest help you physically, but it may also do some emotional healing as well.
Part of recovering means also having people available to help you with physical and emotional support. You may want to ask somebody to stay with you in the first few days of your recovery.
Physical recovery can be more intense for those who have episiotomies and tearing, but everyone heals differently. You can ease the pain by sitting on a pillow, using an ice pack, or sitting in a shallow bath of warm water.
Women who go through labor may also experience incontinence, a symptom of the stretching or injury of the pelvic floor muscles. Having some pads and other supplies ready may be helpful. Bleeding can also last up to six weeks.
Attend Postpartum Appointments
Your postpartum appointments are meant for your doctor to ensure you are healing correctly. If you have had a complex procedure in the midst of your birth, these appointments are especially important. Some birthmothers believe they don’t need to attend these appointments, but they are crucial for you to make sure you are healing properly.
Many feelings, including those of guilt and loss, are normal for birthmothers. You might plan to attend therapy sessions in the weeks following labor and delivery so that you can establish strong coping techniques for a strong, healthy future.
It is also a good idea to get screened for postpartum depression. Postpartum depression is common in women who have given birth, and the symptoms can appear quickly and without warning.
Consider How to Deal with Your Milk Supply
After birth, you will have some lactation, which may be uncomfortable. You can use ice or something cold to ease your swelling. If you still have pain, you can discuss how to relieve the pain with your doctor. Expressing milk may be a good solution, but it can also encourage more milk to flow.
Some women opt to donate their milk supply. Pumping breast milk to donate can be a loving way to continue passing on a gift to new parents who are unable to lactate. You can discuss the option of donating with your doctor when you are at the hospital, as certain requirements apply.
Build a Kit
Many people recommend building a postpartum kit ahead of time to ensure you have everything you need. Your kit should include pain relief remedies like acetaminophen, ice packs, witch hazel pads, and a Sitz bath tub. You might also invest in some cotton underwear, nursing pads for your bra, and stool softener.
Cope With Being a Birthmother
Technically, the first six weeks after giving birth are considered the recovery period. But for birthmothers, this period may feel much longer. Resources and support are available to help you through this process, no matter how difficult it may seem.
Arizona Adoption Help is here to assist you through the adoption process. We understand the difficulties birthmothers face, and we strive to offer compassionate and knowledgeable assistance. Call our office today to discuss your options as a birthmother.