I cannot believe my baby girl, Irene has turned 3 months this week. That means I’ve officially completed the 4th trimester… “The days are long, but weeks are short”, as it says on my mug that I got in my Lovevery box for the baby. It really sums up this period quite perfectly. Postpartum has been the most challenging and beautiful time in my life and pregnancy/new mom journey for sure. I’ve learned a lot, picked up some really handy products, resources, and tips along the way… and am here to share my experience with you!
The biggest lessons I’ve learned in Postpartum…
- YOU CANNOT DO IT ALL, YOU’RE HEALING. Seriously… and even if you start feeling better fast (which is great), give your body time to rest.
- IT’S OKAY TO ASK FOR HELP. I’m not good at this, but getting someone to help cook and clean is a lifesaver. Hiring a lactation consultant or just telling a partner or family member how you’re feeling and what you might need is better than waiting for it to hit the fan. It’s a whole new world, and you’re not expected to have it all figured out.
- GRATITUDE AND JOURNALING ARE VERY POWERFUL. Baby blues, postpartum depression, and general loneliness are REAL. At first, excitement and that new-new feeling might be all you feel and it’s great, but there are low times just like anything else. I found gratitude journaling and journaling in general to be a huge support… especially since I could exercise or even do yoga until I healed and felt like I had no outlet or escape.
- THE SUN IS AMAZING. Getting some sun if even through a window for you and baby is really a miracle-worker for so much, especially your mood. If you can take a walk past the 6 weeks of healing or if you feel you need to sooner, it will be great for you! Take it slow and enjoy it.
- YOUR PARTNER AND YOU ARE SLEEP DEPRIVED AND LIVING IN A NEW WORLD NOW. Try to show some patience for yourself and new family, deep breaths, mama. Say what you need, but try to be understanding.
- ONE NAP A DAY. Even if it’s just 20mins in front of your favorite show… it will help.
- YOU CAN STILL DO SELF-CARE. Sure, it’s not the same… but you can fit in a hot shower, yoga at home, and some gratitude throughout the day. Schedule a hair appt. or pedicure close-by and get your partner to take care of baby.
- SUPPORT/COMMUNITY IS SO HELPFUL. Text a mama friend, join a Facebook group, find people who are in it with you.
- EAT NOURISHING FOODS AND STAY HYDRATED. It can be exhausting taking care of a newborn while healing, cooking isn’t exactly on the agenda. My husband was so helpful with getting dinner on the table and we prepped freezer meals (these and these were helpful) so I always had something I could heat up quickly. Other frozen staples like frozen spinach, shrimp, cauliflower rice, chicken breast… all can cook up quickly too. Use any at-home delivery grocery shopping you can like Amazon Fresh, Instacart, PeaPod or similar. Warming foods are best for healing, so load up on bone broth and soup if you can. If you’re breastfeeding, keep in mind that if you don’t eat… baby can’t eat and even if you’re not… you not having energy and getting sick doesn’t do baby any favors. It’s important on all levels.
- KEEP UP WITH YOUR PRENATAL. I also did placenta encapsulation and really liked the additional energy it gave me. Other supplements, Vitamin D3 (getting at least 6,400 IUs daily will pass through breastmilk – source), and DHA.
- SNIFFING YOUR BABY IS ACTUAL MAGIC. That oxytocin life is so real HAHA – I’ve sniffed my baby girl more times than my lavender essential oil, girl. It instantly improves my mood and makes me smile.
- DON’T TAKE SH*T FROM ANYONE. You’re doing some of the hardest work a person can do, everyone has an opinion about EVERYTHING. As for the haters or people who genuinely make your life hard… either ignore them or get your space from them. This is YOUR time with your new baby and family and nothing should make it harder on you.
- THERE’S NO RIGHT OR WRONG WAY TO FEEL. You might see messages making you feel some sort of way about how you’re “supposed” to feel at this stage. Truth is, there’s no right or wrong way. Your feelings are yours and warranted. If you’re worried about depression, of course speak to a professional who can help lend an ear and coach you through it.
- DON’T FEEL PRESSURED TO BOUNCE-BACK. My thoughts on that here.
- GET SOME TIME TO YOURSELF AND YOUR PARTNER. You two are in the trenches all day, make a Netflix date a few times a week and eat a meal together seated at the table. Hugs, kisses, and words of encouragement do wonders.
Most importantly… BE PRESENT AND SOAK IN EVERY MINUTE. This may be the hardest thing you ever do… it sure as heck has been for me. It’s pushed me to my limits physically, mentally, and emotionally. But I know it’s temporary and before I know it, I’ll be waving to little Reenie as she goes off on her first day of school and I’ll wonder where time went. I only get to be a new mom once, and I try to close my eyes and breathe during the tough times to bring me back to the present.
*Friendly reminder to get your thyroid checked. Especially if you already have a thyroid condition but even if you don’t. Pregnancy can trigger thyroid issues and if you’re worried about symptoms… it could be that.*
Favorite Products – Postpartum Healing & Recovery
Maxim Maternity Pads >> (I highly recommend making Padsicles – a MUST for Postpartum Relief via Mama Natural >>)
Magnesium Citrate for constipation (taken at night) >>
Favorite Products – Breastfeeding
LactaMed Simplicity Hands Free Bra Kit >> (turn any bra into a pumping bra!)
LIVELY Maternity Bras & Bodysuits >> (most comfortable I’ve found for nursing – use code AMB-FOODBYMARS2 for $10 off)
Nursing PJs >> (not organic, but you’ll quickly learn everything gets pooped on and spending a lot of $$ gets exhausting!)
Kiinde Breast Milk Warmer >> (won’t overheat precious breastmilk!)
The Vaccine-Friendly Plan by Dr. Paul (great read no matter what you feel on the topic, it’s a great way to become more educated on it and ultimately your baby, your decision!)
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