Recovering from a Natural Birth

3 min read
Recovering from a Natural Birth

Ahhh childbirth. Is there anything more natural and more beautiful? Childbirth, however beautiful and natural it is, is messy. Labour and delivery can get quite intense and dramatic with plenty of cringe worthy moments along the way. Then, once you have had your angel and the exhaustion has set in, the real fun begins the aches, pains and stains of recovery! Hooray!

You can expect the first few days to be the hardest, especially as your exhaustion will hit a peak.  You are probably also trying to master the art of breastfeeding which comes with plenty of problems as well (cracked nipples and engorged breasts).

There is no ‘right’ way to recover from a natural birth but there are some tips that can help relieve the pain and make the process a little smoother during this already difficult time.

Controlling the Bleeding

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Your bleeding will be quite heavy, especially in the first 24 hours after birth. A great idea is to pick up a pack of adult nappies. Weird, I know, but there are much easier to get on and off and will handle the extra blood loss without ruining your undies. You can put a maternity pad into the underwear and simply change your pad every couple of hours without having to replace your underwear or worry about blood stains leaking through to your clothing.

Preventing After Pains

There is no way to prevent after pains, those horrendous contraction-like pains that shoot into your stomach, back and down your legs as your uterus contracts. These pains are often worse when breastfeeding so be prepared with plenty of pain killers on hand as well as heat packs for your stomach, back and legs when you are sitting down and feeding bub.

Managing Vaginal Pain

The pain you feel down below will be different depending on the number of kids you have had and whether you have experienced a tear or not. Having a warm bath can certainly help with any pain down below as can sitting on a heat pack or even investing in a doughnut to sit on. Ice packs can also bring down the swelling. When you need to urinate, it can help to have a wet cloth handy to help dab at the blood rather than wiping.

Getting Your Bowels Back on Track

Another serious source of concern for new mums is doing a bowel movement after childbirth. This is not a pleasant experience and the best way to prevent any backup is to stay regular from the start. Ask for pear juice in the hospital; bring Metamucil or even more heavy duty laxatives with you and up your intake of water. When you have the urge to go, try to let it come naturally. Furthermore, invest in some haemorrhoid cream which can help with piles.

Recovering Emotionally

The pain in your stomach, breast, vagina and anus can really get you down, especially paired with a screaming newborn and a lack of sleep. Perhaps the best tip when it comes to recovery is to take care of yourself emotionally. This means asking for help, putting housework second to sleep and, most importantly, taking some time to yourself each and every day.

Recovering from a natural birth will be different with everyone. Furthermore, with every child you have you will have a different recovery process. It may take you only a couple of weeks to feel like yourself again or you it may take months to get back to the way you were. This is all completely normal.

Jody Allen
About Author

Jody Allen

Jody Allen is the founder of Stay at Home Mum. Jody is a five-time published author with Penguin Random House and is the current Suzuki Queensland Amb...Read Moreassador. Read Less

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