How to help postpartum recovery. Sleeping when the baby sleeps is advice that just never makes sense and is not realistic. What is realistic is that you are thrown into an overwhelming time in your life. Overload of advice, an exhausted postpartum body you are unfamiliar with, and most importantly a little human being you are supposed to know how to take care of. It is A LOT! The majority of the time mama’s needs get pushed to the wayside to honor the demands of the baby and regular tasks that need to be done. Don’t get me wrong, your life is completely going to change but you cannot sacrifice your health. Your baby needs you to be healthy more than ever! Here are 3 realistic ways to speed up recovery postpartum and support your motherhood experience.
How to help postpartum recovery
1. Ask for help.
So many moms think they are weak or less than as a mother if they ask for help. This is actually the opposite. Knowing you cannot do everything on your own is a sign of strength. You will open up the door to a great partnership with your partner, family, and friends. Moms can do incredible things like no other but you can only go on so long like that before you are a shriveled up, burned out version of yourself.
Ask someone to watch the baby so you can sleep. Take shifts with your partner to get some consolidated chunks of sleep at night. Have a friend or family member organize meals for as long as you need them. If a friend wants to help, have them do laundry or clean up your house. There are so many ways to help that are beneficial to your recovery within those first 6-weeks postpartum.
2. Let go of control.
This goes along with asking for help because in order to receive help we must let go of having control over everything. You might be the only one who can breastfeed the baby, but you are not the only one that can change diapers, watch your little one, put them to bed, go for a walk, feed them, and rock them. You might think you will do it better, but really it doesn’t matter. What matters is your baby is safe and you are getting the break and rest that you need for your mental health and recovering body. Receive the help that is offered to you!!! People love to help!
3. Prioritize what’s most important.
This is one you will take with you WAY past the postpartum period. As moms we wear many hats and prioritizing what’s most important first over what can wait is going to be your best friend in becoming a present mom and not trying to “do it all”. Tasks and chores can wait. Work, notifications, emails, thank you notes can wait. Elaborate meals, laundry, and organization can wait. Ask yourself, “should I be doing this or can it wait?”.
Time getting to know your baby chest to chest, resting, listening to all their little noises, learning how to nurse, all things that matter right now. Trust me when I say there will be plenty of time to do all the tasks, but don’t expect to go right back to how clean your house was before the baby. Remember you can ask for help, receive that help and prioritize what is important right now.
Why do these things help postpartum recovery?
Society paints a picture that moms are supposed to do it all when in reality we are surrounded by resources that desperately want to help you. Being open to the help lifts a burden off the mom to be better rested, and spend quality time present with their baby. So many moms look back on the postpartum period and wish they had enjoyed it more. Being so sleep deprived, feeling behind on tasks. Having so much anxiety that they were not doing enough, and feeling like if they asked for help they would be judged.
It has been proven that more one on one time with your newborn skin to skin can decrease stress and anxiety. It can reduce postpartum bleeding and also has amazing benefits for the baby. YES YES! So let’s do this! Don’t be afraid to offer help to a new mom in your life, if they decline, ask again! Mama’s out there, start asking for help once a day. When someone offers you assistance, take them up on it!! You will be blown away by the changes that will happen in your life . Read more about how to help out a mom postpartum and also all of the programs we offer for mamas!