I don't think I ever shared my postpartum recovery experience after Owen was born. Honestly, I don't think I did a very good job taking it easy the first time around and I was determined to do better after Sydney. I knew that it was going to be difficult to accomplish with a 2.5 year old running around. I'm happy to report, however, that recovery the second time around did prove to be easier. I think I had less mood swings and overall felt better rested. Now that it's behind me, I thought I'd share my tips.
Rest, rest, and rest-
This one was hard for me the first time around. I'm not saying be lazy
and sleep all day. I'm just saying rest. Take time (at least the first
month I'd say) to allow your body to recover from birth. The house
cleaning can wait for a bit. Try to let other people do things for you
and don't be afraid to ask. I am so thankful for the meals that arrived
at our house after Sydney was born. I also prepped some meals before she
was born and put them in the freezer. Not having to cook dinner was not
only a time saver (no shopping, cooking, or cleanup), it was a big
stress relief. I knew all I had to do was pop something in the oven
about an hour before dinner.
Shower every day- I
got up and took a shower every morning. It helped wake me up, made me
feel refreshed, and gave me some "me" time at the start of every day.
Sometimes Patrick had to juggle both babies so that I could accomplish
this quickly, but I'm so thankful for it.
I tried to put on something other than PJ's. This somehow tricks my
brain into feeling healthy. I have a tendency towards feeling the blues
when I sit at home in PJ's all day. Even though I knew I wouldn't be
leaving the house, I put on regular(ish) clothes.
Mainly, I just tried to get outside every day even if it was a brief
walk through our front yard. I can remember one day that I hadn't made
it outside of the house yet so we all loaded into the car in the
afternoon so that Patrick could drive to pick up food. Even though I sat
in the car with the babies while he ran in, it was nice to see the outside of the house.
I forced myself to stop what I was working on and get rest when both
babies were sleeping in the afternoon. It definitely made the middle of
the night feedings easier. When I skipped this nap, I could tell that my
overall mood suffered. I've heard people say "nap when the baby naps"
so many times. Instead, I just say choose one nap a day that you will
make yourself lay down during. Even if I didn't fall asleep, I found it
Drink water- Especially if
you are nursing, water is so important. Keep a water bottle handy and
fill it up. I would try to drink a whole glass of water at every nursing
session too. Breastfeeding takes a lot out of you. Hydration will help keep milk supply up.
Early bedtime- I did my very best to go to bed after the early evening feeding (the one that falls around 7:30-8:30). I would finish that feeding, hand Sydney off to Patrick, and go to bed. This helped me get a couple hours of sleep before the late evening feed (between 10 and 11). Those two hours could make all the difference some days.
So there are my favorite tips to pass along. Hopefully somebody out there can find them helpful!