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Balancing postpartum life can seem completely impossible in the first few months. Between the bleeding, diaper blowouts, leakages, lack of sleep and completely interrupted activities, it can feel LIKE you’re suffocating. When you’re in the moment, it feels like slow motion as the hours tick by, but then, before you know it, your little one is talking and turning two. Let’s go over some of the things that happen postpartum, and how to balance and manage them all!
Healing from either c-section or vaginal birth is shocking in itself. I was terrified to even consider looking at the aftermath of my first birth. Managing your healing process involves consistent care and attention. This is one of the major things that will consume your mind and attention (besides baby) postpartum. If you manage your health properly, you will heal in no time and be left feeling happy and healthy again. A little secret to healing faster from vaginal birth is to use probiotics! I’ve mentioned AZO Complete Feminine BalanceTM Daily Probiotic before, and it is my top choice for probiotics postpartum because it is specifically formulated for women and keeps that natural balance in check. Powered by INTELLIFLORA,TM a multi-strain probiotic blend that is proven to maintain and protect vaginal health, it helps maintain a healthy pH, is clinically shown to work in 7 days, and is safe and beneficial for all women including pregnant women. These little bacterial fighters will help protect your vaginal health and restore good bacteria and yeast.
Second, The Lack Of Sleep:
My way of managing the lack of sleep was to forget about it. Seriously, it is just a season in your life that feels terrible now, but will pass quickly. I noticed I felt WAY LESS tired if I didn’t even think about how much I slept. I just woke up, got going and enjoyed my day. If no matter what I tried, I couldn’t make it, I took a nap with my boys. Knowing that it is normal to be tired, and you can still drink a cup (or three) of coffee and survive helped me let go of not sleeping. The more I thought about how little I slept, the more tired I felt. I highly recommend just getting up and going, or letting yourself take a nap when super necessary. I also made myself take walks or get out of the house as much as possible. I always felt more tired when my bed or the couch were nearby. Getting outside and walking around with my toddlers, or pushing baby in the stroller helped tremendously!
Third, The Pain:
Yes, there can be a lot of pain postpartum. Your bones can ache, you can get headaches, your breasts can feel super sore when nursing, the postpartum cramps can be awful (especially if it is your second or third baby!) and more. Dealing with the pain can add to exhaustion, but there are some ways to manage this! You can try sitz baths for some relief from vaginal delivery, ask for massages, do some postpartum yoga and Pilates to stretch and help release tension and add hot or cold packs to painful areas. You can also just sit and rest longer. Never feel guilty about resting postpartum. Your body needs it, and it worked so hard for nine months growing baby, then delivering baby…it deserves a long rest. Pain can be an indicator that your body needs more rest too.
Fourth, The Visitors:
I will never forget the night my sister and brother-in-law came to visit me with my first baby, and I had to tell them to leave. I was so, so tired. Because it was my first baby, I was not used the fatigue. As you get used to it, it gets easier to handle. I could barely stay awake while they were there. To balance visitors coming by, schedule them in the morning or at a time you know you aren’t too exhausted!! The best time for me was in the morning when I just had some coffee. I knew I could function and have a conversation for at least a little bit. Be smart with how you schedule your visitors to make it enjoyable for you and baby, and don’t be afraid to tell them you are too tired!
Fifth, The Weight:
Many, many mamas are super concerned about losing the baby weight quickly. I have numerous helpful posts on this, but balance is so important. I don’t recommend jumping into a fitness plan as soon as possible. Take time to focus on your nutrition first. This will keep your milk supply up and help your body heal. By keeping your diet clean and nutrient-focused, weight can naturally drop off, and you won’t even notice!
Sixth, The Lack of Time For Mom:
Balancing time for yourself postpartum is probably one of the hardest aspects to manage. There is guilt for leaving the baby, pure exhaustion and other factors that make it difficult to get away. I found that figuring out how to take time for myself actually ended up being really stressful. However, I started to do so a few times a week, and I felt better. Figure out what you need and don’t be afraid to ask for it. By taking some time to yourself, whether it’s a nap, watching a movie, shopping, exercising or just driving around, you can rejuvenate yourself and come back better! This is a balancing act in the beginning, but as you adjust and realize what you need, you will find that some time for yourself can dramatically affect how you feel as a mother for weeks after!
Handling and balancing all the things in postpartum life takes some practice. I’ve done it three times now, and I can say it has gotten easier with each baby because I’ve learned how to balance the messy, unpredictable postpartum life that follows having a baby. I hope these are super helpful, and help you manage your life to fully enjoy and embrace being a new mommy!