10 tips for postpartum recovery

My body has endured three pregnancies in 7 years. In that time period I’ve also breast fed two babies for a total of 5 years and I’m now breast feeding our third. With each pregnancy I’ve bounced back faster and healthier than the previous one. And now I’m going to share my tips and tricks to getting back faster. Now I’m not a medical professional nor am I going to promise these tips will work for everyone. But I do know my body has responded to what I’ve done over the past seven years!

  1. Enjoy food during pregnancy but don’t over indulge. This is the number one in my book. The first two pregnancies I gained a normal amount. The last one was tougher and I struggled to gain weight. Work and talk with your doctor about the right amount to gain. Pregnancy does not mean you get to eat for two. It really means you get an extra 300-500 calories a day: that’s like a bowl of cereal with milk!
  2. Stay active. I didn’t exercise regularly but I do stay active. I’m constantly on the go. Walking when I can and NOT grabbing the closest parking spot. Also, did you know pushing a stroller or pulling a wagon burns more calories? Yep, so whenever my kids want a ride I grant it!
  3. Go for natural childbirth if you can. I’ve done both and yes, natural childbirth HURTS but once baby is delivered all the pain truly disappears. The meds take a looooong time to wear off and you can’t get moving around as soon after. I’ve found moving around helps with recovery. Again, small doses at first, I’m not saying run a half marathon right after baby is born. It took me a week to get the energy to walk up our long driveway to get the mail, but just being able to move around the house was huge for me.
  4. Food and recovery go hand in hand. I actually put myself on an anti-colic diet for the last two babies so my food options are very limited. Lean proteins like chicken and turkey cooked as simply as possible. Lots of spinach, sweet potatoes, apples, carrots, avocado and whole grains. And eggs! I’m eating 2-3 eggs a day right now. This simple diet is boring as hell but makes it easy for my meal prep and baby’s tummy stays happy (which means I’m happy!). I add more to my diet slowly after 3 months or so. After I layer on more variety I’ll hop onto the Nancy Anderson 30 day Slim Down for a month or so. It helps keep my mind on healthy choices and reboot my metabolism which has gotten really used to carbs.
  5. Compression garments are the bomb. I’ve used the belly bandit but didn’t like how it moved on my when I moved around. This time I ordered a garment from Marena Recovery (one of the compression garment companies my husband uses for post-surgical patients) and I’ve had that thing on for at least 10 hours a day for the past 5 weeks. It’s truly amazing how it speeds your healing and slims you down. Plus I find it helps support better posture when breast feeding. I’ll probably order a smaller size and continue wearing for another 6+ weeks to really keep my body on the healing track.
  6. Water, water and more water. The only fluids I’ve had since delivery is water, decaf tea, my cup of coffee in the am and the occasional glass of wine. But mostly water. I could be a camel at this point but staying hydrated aids in recovery, flushing out toxins and keeping up a milk supply. Which btw is number 7….
  7. Breastfeeding slims you down fast! If you can breast feed then go for the gold and do it. But don’t use that as an excuse to binge on donuts and pizza daily. I do have a healthy snack before bed and then I’m not waking up hungry in the middle of the night. If you can’t breastfeed or have limits because of returning to work then watch that diet momma. You don’t need to be pounding down the carbs or high calorie foods.
  8. Snacks are not all created equal. I find 200 calorie or less snacks are ideal. That with a glass of water and I’m good for hours. I’ve been grabbing Lara bars and RX bars lately. Also apples. I love snacking on an apple with maybe a dollop of peanut butter.
  9. Find something for your brain. Like a new challenge or new task. I recently started designing graphics for our business. And I play solitaire when I’m stuck in a chair nursing. I don’t just zone out and online shop or surf social media. I make an effort to keep my brain stimulated despite the sleep deprivation!
  10. Ditch the maternity clothes ASAP. I get shopping as soon as I’m up for it. Getting into regular clothing even if its not my normal size and a size up just does something for my self esteem. It means I can see changes in my body and that does a world of good for my mind. Investing in a few pieces you can wear from maternity into nursing is a great idea too. I’ve loved the dresses I got from Mitera Collection.

Recovering from a baby is no joke. I might look good but trust me there are days still when I feel like i can’t get my Sugar, honey and iced tea together. Taking it one day at a time is all I can do.

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