Mum to mum, we must take care of ourselves to feel good post-birth and I want to share my favourite postpartum care tips in the hope to help you in this journey of motherhood and living a healthy happy life. Creating, carrying, birthing and nurturing a baby is truly one of life’s greatest gifts, and as a woman, I feel blessed to get to experience this magical gift.
As someone who is passionate about taking care of myself, I am an avid supporter of doing everything possible to nourish and nurture ourselves to live our best life possible in mind, body and soul, and this is still important throughout pregnancy, birth and beyond. The period after giving birth is sacred for both mum and baby and is meant to be a time of rest, recovery, bonding, snuggling and feeling all the love hormones.
As you prepare for the arrival of the baby, remember to prepare for you. Yes, you, mama!! Of course, the baby is the priority, and so are you and your needs. During pregnancy, prepare for what you will need in order to feel your best after the birth of the baby. Getting the baby essentials in is important, just as much as organising support for you and prepping meals to help you in those first days post-birth.
In this post, I am sharing some of my top postpartum care tips to help you feel good for yourself, your new baby and the rest of the family.
This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase using this link. Please see my disclosure for more details.
What does it feel like for a mother right after childbirth?
After birth can feel different from mum to mum, it all depends on factors such as the pregnancy, the birth, mindset, support for mum, general wellbeing for mum and the health of the baby. I can only speak for my experiences and found I felt incredible post-birth. To feel this way many factors were taken into consideration to prepare for a healthy birth.
I love to take care of myself and prioritise my health and wellness always, so this plays a natural part in creating a healthy pregnancy, birth and postpartum experience. As a vegan, wellness loving, holistic health advocate, these play a big part in my daily life with everything such as nutrition, exercise, sleep, rest and self-care. With all this in mind, it is a natural normal process for me to prepare for a healthy pregnancy and birth.
During pregnancy, I prepare for birth and the postpartum period with a positive mindset towards birth and my body. I read books on birth, watch homebirth videos, surround myself with women who have had the type of birth I want (social media) and talk about pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding and the remarkable magic of being a woman to other women. I keep my mind, vocabulary and environment around natural birth a very positive aspect in my life. This helps tremendously in preparing for a wonderful birth!!
Taking care of my mind with positive thoughts and my body with healthy food and nourishing gentle exercise helps prepare my mind and body right after childbirth. The process of birth feels normal, the contractions, intensity, blood, amniotic fluid, umbilical cord, baby birthing through the vagina, all of the wild magic that comes with birth, it all feels normal when doing the prep work during pregnancy.
Straight after giving birth, mentally I feel relief, euphoria, love, pride, ecstatic, excited, calm, and pure connection to myself and baby. Physically I feel amazing. I feel powerful, strong yet vulnerable, tired yet energised, in awe, and capable of so much in life. I feel amazing in every way and I know my general attitude and lifestyle with wellness and the prep work during pregnancy help me to feel so good straight after giving birth.
How long should you rest after birth for recovery?
This depends from person to person due to the birth experience and mum’s wellbeing. Personally, I find listening to my body to be the best indicator of how much rest I need. I plan for at least two weeks of rest, mainly in bed, off from most responsibilities/duties to heal, rest, bond and establish breastfeeding with the baby.
After those two weeks, I am still in rest mode, doing little outside of bed, and adding responsibilities back into the new routine at baby steps. Even when adding back in all the responsibilities after many weeks off, I still prioritise rest every day. I rest with the baby at least during the afternoon when napping, where I will get in bed and snuggle. This priority of rest continues well into toddlerhood, so plan to take care of yourself with rest months and years later after birth. Us mums need it!!!
How can I make my postpartum recovery better?
Take care of yourself. It really is simple, a little TLC goes a long way to helping you feel good postpartum. Do what you can to replenish yourself physically, emotionally and mentally. Rest, rest and rest. You will find this repeated throughout this blog post as it is so important to your postpartum recovery.
Here are a few of my favourite self-care postpartum musts:
- Eat wholesome plant-based food
- Drink lots of water
- Chocolate!! I add cacao to breakfast porridge and make healthy vegan hot chocolate. I enjoy a couple of pieces of my favourite Lindt 70% chocolate and 90% chocolate. There’s just something nourishing about the extra chocolate boost!
- Go to bed early with your baby
- Stay in bed until you’re ready to get up in the morning
- Get comfy in pjs or your favourite loungewear
- Shower everyday
- Have a bath once a week with baby
- Use skincare everyday that nourishes your skin and feels a little special for you daily. I love Tropic skincare which has done wonders for my skin during pregnancy and breastfeeding with the change of hormones.
- Diffuse delicious essential oils in your bedroom to relax you and help rid any postbirth and baby poo smells. I love Revive Stress Easy as it smells divine with the lime and vanilla
- Be gentle on yourself
- Have a good book by your side for those long breastfeeding and napping moments
- If you have other children have lots of their books by your side to snuggle and read together
- Breathe, smile and love!!!
Want to boost wellness? Get Revive Essential Oils. These are my favourite essential oils for diffusing, skincare, haircare, dog care and housework. Code: REBECCA10
What do postpartum mums need?
The above list gives a few pointers to help feel good during these precious moments with your baby. Here are five tips that I feel us mums need to recover and feel our best after giving birth.
Postpartum Care Tips: Recovery to Feel Good Post-Birth
Rest, rest and rest some more. It goes without saying, however, I am going to repeat myself…rest. Your body has just created, carried and birthed a human, and now it is nourishing your baby with breastmilk. Your body is miraculous and needs rest to heal. Your body needs to rest physically, mentally and emotionally so you can feel good and show up for your baby and the rest of the family.
I am talking more than a few days to a week, I mean weeks upon weeks of rest and relaxation. If you are typically a go-go-go kinda gal, then I give you permission to rest. Allow yourself time to slow down, nourish yourself and rest. There is nothing “lazy” about this, this is a precious time for you and your new baby, prioritise this time to heal and bond together.
Prepare to rest for as long as you need. The first couple of weeks you might be in bed most of the time, and as you start to move around a bit more and add a few of your normal daily tasks back into life, still prioritise rest every day during the day and not just at nighttime. Even when I start to add daily tasks back into the new routine I rest every day in the afternoon whilst baby naps and we snuggle together. I love to diffuse some of my favourite essential oils around the house to smell divine!
I eat wholesome plant-based food aka vegan food and only recommend these foods to others. I have been vegan since 2014 and have felt my best physically whilst enjoying my food even more and thriving through two healthy vegan pregnancies and breastfeeding my children. I have had a passion for holistic health for many years especially since becoming a personal trainer in 2009 and pursuing wellness professionally and personally.
Nourishing yourself with wholesome food and hydration is essential to postpartum recovery (and all the time!!) – learn to prioritise your health, wellness and basic needs to feel your best mamas.
Our mama body needs healthy food to thrive, to heal, to nourish our babies whilst breastfeeding and to truly be our best selves. Focus on fresh, wholesome plant-based foods. Check out 7 Tips for a Healthy Vegan Pregnancy and 10 Healthy Habits for Women in Your 30s for inspiration!
One of the best things you can do is to ask for help and surround yourself with a supportive network. Whatever your circumstances there is always someone available to help with something you need, all it takes is the courage to ask. Whether it is a friend, family member, your partner, a neighbour, church member, a fellow parent, cleaner, doula, independent midwife, there is help out there – just ask and invest if needed!
Yes you like to do it all, I get it, been there done that, but I will let you in on a little secret, it is good for our wellbeing to seek help. For the first two weeks, I hired a dog walker so I didn’t have to walk the dogs, I had help with my oldest child, I hired a doula to help a few hours around the house, I had church friends who were willing to help if needed even though I didn’t but it was nice knowing they were ready if required. Get a plan in place with people you trust to help you in any way you need post-birth so you can fully relax with the baby.
Breastfeeding is wonderful for so many reasons for both mummy and baby, and one reason is it is perfect for postpartum care. In the initial first few days, it helps stimulate the uterus to contract and return to normal size and can help with reducing postpartum bleeding. There is less risk of postpartum depression and an overall better sense of mental wellbeing. Check out all these benefits of breastfeeding for mum and baby here!
Personally, I love breastfeeding. I breastfed my first child for 3+ years and now breastfeeding my second child. In that initial postpartum phase, I find it helps me connect and bond with the baby, I feel in tune with my body and baby, and it helps me relax when breastfeeding the baby. Whilst adjusting to life with a new baby, I believe these factors massively help me to feel good.
Yes that’s right, do less. This might be an alien concept for you, but trust me taking pressure off your mama shoulders and allowing yourself to simplify your life is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself for life in general, especially when raising a family.
Check out this article from Precision Nutrition on self-care strategies.
For a long time I have been a go-getter, achieving, pro-active, to-do list kinda gal. For some time now I have been learning to change that approach to life and simplify my life, and let me tell you, wow I feel better!! Doing less is a game-changer and I highly recommend it for all aspects of life, even more so when having a baby.
Final Thoughts on Postpartum Care Tips
Taking care of yourself is meant to be a normal aspect of life, we are meant to thrive no matter what stage of life we are living. Mama do yourself a huge favour and start allowing yourself to feel good in every element of motherhood, from pregnancy to birth to postpartum to breastfeeding to baby life to toddlerhood to child life to teenhood to all of it.
If you really like this blog post and it was helpful for you please share it with your friends and family or leave a comment below. I really appreciate it and would love to hear from you! Let me know what helped your recovery postpartum.
100% Free Mum Self Care Guide
Get the exact steps I have used to help me be a healthy happy mummy whilst being a stay-at-home homeschooling blogging mum!