04 Jul My recovery was harder than my labour – but it didn’t have to be
Like most mums, I spent my first pregnancy alternating between visions of snuggling my newborn, and battling anxiety over how difficult – and painful! – childbirth could really be.
Not once did I consider the recovery process–not even when other women described it as “the fourth trimester”.
I wish I’d listened.
Childbirth recovery gave me a crash course in all sorts of problems I’d never heard of (not to mention pain in body parts I didn’t even know I had): tearing, prolapse, incontinence, infections, nutrition depletion, and more.
And perhaps the biggest secret of them all? Breastfeeding was hard. Sore, cracked nipples, anyone?
Looking back, it would have been so much easier if I’d had somebody to guide me through those early months, instead of learning everything I could have done AFTER it was too late.
…Including these three (very, very) hard-earned lessons.
- Nourish your postnatal nutrition (now!)
When I became pregnant, I’d been an Accredited Practicing Dietitian for many years, so I knew the theory of good nutrition inside and out.
But once I experienced pregnancy for myself, the execution was much harder than I had predicted. I got hit with the one-two punch of food aversions and cravings (pickles dipped in peanut butter apparently don’t help) and then my already low reserves being utterly spent in breastfeeding my baby.
My milk supply dropped into the gutter and took my optimism with it.
I wish I’d had a more holistic understanding of my health – before it became a problem.
- Breastfeeding might be natural, but it isn’t easy
I’d be willing to bet that I’m not the only first-time mum who assumed breastfeeding would be easy. If millions of women have done it for eons and it’s the best nutrition for your baby, it’s got to be simple, right?
I know, I know. I can hear the experienced mums laughing already.
Breastmilk is simply the best food for babies, but actually getting the breastmilk to the baby? It’s definitely an art that you and your baby must learn together, and it can be very complicated.
I wish someone had educated me about tongue ties, potential infections, and milk supply issues before I gave birth. I also wish someone had been there to walk me through every obstacle that came up, so that I could have had a pleasant, pain-free experience.
- Strengthen your postnatal pelvic floor … before childbirth
Running to the bathroom as you sneeze? Feeling discomfort in muscles you didn’t even know existed down there? Yep, it’s all part and parcel of giving birth, right? Well, actually, it’s not.
Many mums – myself included – muddle through post-birth healing for a while, thinking discomfort and urinary incontinence must be normal.
But it isn’t.
Some problems that are accepted, but definitely not normal:
- Incontinence during coughing, sneezing, or laughing
- Incontinence during exercising or jumping
- Pelvic floor pain during exercising or at the end of the day
I wish I’d realised that I could have taken control of my pelvic floor health before putting myself through the ordeal of childbirth – and recovered much faster than I did.
I wasn’t prepared, but you can be
Since having my baby, I have combined my expertise as a dietitian with my training as a breastfeeding consultant, to empower new mums to take control of their health, care properly for their bodies, and raise happy, contented babies.
As a mum, I know exactly how overwhelming the postnatal period – that fourth trimester – can be.
That’s why I’ve developed the Postnatal Roadmap Membership.
It’s the exact resource I wish I’d had when I was recovering from birth: a personalized and interactive week-by-week guide that educates new mums about pelvic floor health, breastfeeding, nutrition, sleep, mental health, and more.
No more flying by the seat of your maternity pants – I’ve only included the most accurate information.
The best part? It’s all online, so while you’re taking care of baby, you can take care of yourself.
It takes a village to raise a mother. I’d love to be part of your village.
Visit www.growthspectrum.com.au/NATURAL and let me help support your unique journey into motherhood. Use code Natural to claim $10 in store credit!