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> How to Accelerate Postpartum Recovery

Postpartum recovery constitutes the ‘Fourth Trimester’, which allows the mother to recover from all the rigor of pregnancy and childbirth. This period typically lasts 30 – 40 days, during which the new mom will consume specially prepared, nutritious food, have lots of rest, and engage in increasing activity to restore her body to its pre-pregnancy state.

Postpartum recovery consists of three distinct phases:

  1. Early postpartum, described as the first week after delivery, where mothers can begin to walk around more

  2. Intermediate postpartum, four to six weeks after delivery, and the time where the female parts recover from childbirth

  3. Remote postpartum, from six to twelve months are giving birth, during which your body returns to its original state

Proper care and rest during this period will provide a solid foundation for full recovery. Without this confinement period, your long-term health may be affected, with development of arthritis, chronic fatigue, depression, and insomnia, among other health conditions. In the early postpartum stages, you may experience a lot of physical ailments such as body aches, genital soreness, stomach cramps, vaginal bleeding, incontinence, constipation, and intestinal gas. To help mitigate these, you may do the following:

  • Get plenty of rest. Take the opportunity to get some shut-eye while your newborn is sleeping. This will allow you to recuperate faster to your body’s pre-natal state.

  • Let someone else do the household chores. You may engage a helper or family member to assist you in this area.

  • Eat balanced diets and avoid junk foods. Eat more of fresh fruits and vegetables. If you are breastfeeding, avoid certain foods that will affect your breast milk supply and eat those which can increase breast milk.

  • Drink plenty of fluids especially if you are breastfeeding, as breastfeeding uses up your body’s fluid content.

  • Clean up the episiotomy area with procaine spirit twice a day. Also change your maternity pads often as you’ll experience vaginal bleeding. The stitches will dissolve automatically within two weeks after the wound has healed.

  • Prepare for nursing. Apply sterile, medical grade lanolin on your nipples daily a few weeks before your pregnancy and apply it daily after each nursing session to avoid chapped, cracked nipples.

  • Bond with your newborn!

  • A lot of mothers will experience mood swings during this period, also known as baby blues. Accept the blues as part of your body’s natural reaction to pregnancy, and remind yourself that they’ll be sweeping away again soon. If the blues don’t go away after an extended period of time, then be sure to seek the help of your spouse, health practitioner, or counselor.

Once the period of 30 - 40 days is over, some mothers may decide to go back to work, while others start to take up more responsibilities. Keep maintaining a balanced diet, with weekly exercise routines to help you maintain a positive state of mind and body.


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