I haven’t written a postpartum blog in a while, yet postpartum is the 4th trimester and is the most important. Working in the baby world I have had several discussions with moms about how postpartum care is so essential yet so overlooked. It is very troublesome to meet so many moms who share the same experiences that they received during postpartum care. These stories are very similar to mine, postpartum care was non-existent. As a first time mom I didn’t know what to expect. I read books and googled a lot. Most of the information lead me to learn more and more about pregnancy and build up fear around birth, but nothing was ever brought up about the 4th trimester. So I had to find out the hard way, live through it.
Did you know that you bleed non-stop for days after, and continue to have contractions? It’s like having a period on steroids! It’s pretty bad. I mean I thought I had horrible periods before, but I was wrong. My mom used to always say when I was scrunched up in a ball yelling from my pain during a period, “don’t worry when you give birth your periods will get so much lighter and better.” So I waited and waited. I got my period again 4 months postpartum while still breastfeeding and thought I was dying. I left frantic messages to my doc asking if it was normal. I thought I was bleeding to death. I apologize for such descriptions but you need to know it will get worse before it gets better. You need to be prepared. I also didn’t have the right knowledge and support at the time and for that I’m paying for with my belly. You need to wear a postpartum band, specific for postpartum. This will tighten up your abdominal muscles (the ones that were stretched out). There are so many things you need postpartum that you don’t think about because you are so focused on other things. After the baby comes there is no time for shopping for those items. Here is my recommended postpartum list of things below! Remember Mamas, self-care is an essential part of trimester 4.
Happy Mama=Happy Baby!
1. Witch Hazel. You can buy it at your local CVS or walgreens
2. Granny panties
3. Big pads-I mean big!
4. Americaine Spray
5. You need ice cubes that you can put into the pads or put the pads into the freezer
6. Breastfeeding tops and bras if you are planning on breastfeeding
7. Belly band—-one that I heard works really well is Bandit
8. Mamastrut-check it out on http://www.mamastrut.com/ It wasn’t available when I gave birth 2 years ago but I had an opportunity to sit down with one of the representatives and try it out. I loved it! I will definitely be getting one in the future.
9. Squirt bottle-an alternative to showering, you may have to use it for a little bit just until that region heals.
10. Disposable pads-I would recommend putting these underneath yourself when going to sleep at least for the first few nights.
Things to remember:
1. If you breastfeed, that helps the uterus shrink
2. There will be bleeding and pain but it will all go away
3. If you breastfeed you may still get a period in a couple months. This does NOT mean you cannot continue to breastfeed. Sometimes supply during your period may be diminished but helping it by drinking breastfeeding teas and other things that can improve your supply can help. Supply usually re-establishes back after when the period is over.
4. Postpartum is the 4th trimester. People always forget about it. Find the right support before you have your baby. Most obgyns do not provide enough information about it so reach out to support groups, doulas, and other moms to find out more information on what to expect. Self care is important. Seeing a Chiropractor after your birth is crucial. Postpartum is the right time to get your body back into shape and a Chiropractor can help do that through massage and adjustments, especially if you are breastfeeding. Trust me I have been there and it is the worst to sit in a rocking chair, leaned over trying to feed your baby while experiencing intensive upper back pain.
4TH TRIMESTER is the hardest. Who said it would be easy is really not preparing you for reality! With the right tools and support it is definitely manageable, so be prepared.