Look through the glossy pages of any pregnancy magazine, and you’ll see pictures of new moms in perfect holding onto their child like the whole ordeal was no biggie. The reality is that childbirth, either natural or through C-section, is a brutal experience for women.
Giving birth is lifechanging and has some unexpected outcomes. Some women have an unrealistic expectation about their recovery during the first six to twelve weeks after giving birth. It’s important to note that while there may be a timeline for what you can expect during your recovery, every person is different.
Due to the frustration with the slow pace of recovery, many women do things that cause them to slow healing. Watch out for these six ways you might be sabotaging your postpartum recovery.
- Trying to do Everything Yourself
One of the biggest mistakes that new moms make is to try and do everything themselves when returning home from the hospital. From newborn photos to cleaning and caring for your child, you can run yourself ragged. If you find yourself trudging around the house in your PJs and your hair is a mess, then it’s time to pass some of the responsibility.
New moms need to learn how to delegate and relieve pressure. Sure, you have to be up for the feedings, but there’s plenty of ways your partner can help, like with sterilizing bottles and other tasks. The key is not to overdo things in the first two weeks.
During this early stage of the postpartum period, get as much rest as you can. Limit visitors to the house outside of the immediate family.
For the first 24 to 72-hours after giving birth, stay in bed as much as possible. Make sure you get as much skin-to-skin contact as you can with your baby. Stay horizontal, and try not to walk around, unless it’s to go to the bathroom.
Keep the pressure off the pelvis to reduce the bleeding and try not to sit up without assistance. The goal is to limit activity wherever you can.
- Ignoring Signs of Distress
It’s normal for women to discharge the Lochia through the vagina in the first ten days after giving birth. However, when the post-birth medication ends, you might require OTC painkillers to help you deal with the discomfort.
If you experience heavy bleeding, then you need to speak to your doctor, it could be a sign of complications like preeclampsia. It’s vital to monitor your mood in the first few weeks after giving birth.
It’s common for women to experience the baby blues, a form of depression. This state of negative emotions occurs due to changes in your hormone production. In most cases, these feelings of depression are mild, and they dissipate within three weeks as the body’s average hormone production comes online.
However, there is a chance that the feelings of depression don’t subside, and you start to develop a condition known as “postpartum depression.” PPD requires medical intervention to help you bring your hormones back into balance and stop the negative emotions.
- You Forget to Prioritize Your Self-Care
Many women find themselves so preoccupied with taking care of the bay, that they neglect their self-care. However, it’s essential to get some downtime during the day. Take 20 to 30-minutes to meditate or listen to some uplifting music, do an activity that you enjoy to help you relax from the stress.
Taking a bath in hot water with two cups of Epsom salts is a great way to melt away the stress. The magnesium in the salts penetrates the pores of your skin, increasing the concentration of the mineral in your bloodstream.
- You Don’t Eat Well
Many mothers cave into the cravings after having their baby. The hormone imbalance between progesterone and estrogen also affects other hormone production. Leptin and ghrelin are the two hormones controlling your appetite. It’s possible to experience overwhelming urges to give in to cravings when ghrelin gets high in the weeks after giving birth.
However, maintain your cravings and stick to eating healthy food. Consuming processed foods and sugary products like sweets and chocolates will delay your healing.
While this comfort food tastes delicious, it causes significant amounts of inflammation in the digestive tract. This inflammation spreads throughout the body in a systemic effect, slowing your healing.
- You Get Back to Exercise too Soon
Take the time to relax and recover from the effects of the pregnancy before you get back to exercise and sex. It can take around six to twelve weeks to get back to a place where you can start exercising. If you want to fast-track your recovery, try using a red light device as part of your therapy. We have the MyElleVibe devices available for postpartum red light therapy.
A vaginal tightening device like the MyElleVibe emits low-level lightwaves between 610nm to 700nm. This red light penetrates deep into the tissues in the pelvic floor and the vaginal canal, strengthening the structures. Red light helps to stimulate collagen production in these tissues.
Collagen is an essential protein responsible for knitting back the ligaments and muscles together after the stress of childbirth. The more collagen production you have, the faster you recover.
All it takes is 10 to 12-minutes with the device every other day. You fit the ergonomically-shaped housing inside your vagina and choose from one of the 10-vibrating modes to start the therapy.
The red light focuses on the vaginal walls and cervix, supercharging the healing process.
- You Skip Your Pelvic Physio Sessions
At the six-week mark, it’s time to start exercising, and the best way is to follow the advice of your postpartum physiotherapist. Don’t miss sessions, and make sure you practice the stretches and exercises you learn.
Red light therapy, in combination with recovery exercises and stretching, can dramatically improve your healing time. Remember to start slowly and ease into your workout. There’s no need to rush things. Doing too much too soon could result in straining or pulling a ligament or muscle that delays your recovery.