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Top 8 postpartum recovery tips for new moms

Congratulations, you’ve made it through around 40 weeks of pregnancy and childbirth! Your postpartum recovery now lies on the horizon. But while it’s important to look after your newborn, you should also take care of yourself. This means recovering well to give yourself the opportunity to be the best mom you can be for your little one. Strap in for Pacific Prime China’s guide to postpartum recovery: what you will be experiencing and tips to come out on top.

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How long does postpartum recovery take?

Expect postpartum recovery to take about six weeks post-childbirth. Although some researchers believe that it actually lasts six months, do keep in mind that you may experience different symptoms than other new moms and heal at your own pace.

Differences in postpartum recovery time

Your postpartum recovery time mainly depends on your chosen delivery method. With vaginal birth, your perineum (i.e. the area between the anus and the vagina) will be sore for three to six weeks. Any tears and stitches to your perineum or complications will prolong this process.

As for delivery via C-section, you’ll be staying at the hospital during the first few days post-delivery, followed by four to six weeks of healing at home.

Note: Maternity costs can be incredibly steep. Secure maternity insurance in China so you won’t have to pay out of pocket. With this in hand, you can avoid footing the bill for unexpected costs, such as an unplanned C-section or birth complications. 

What to expect during postpartum recovery?

As mentioned, perineal pain is normal post childbirth. You’ll likely experience postpartum vaginal bleeding as well, as your body rids itself of leftover blood and tissue. This is a common symptom of recovery and it flows similarly to heavy periods for up to the first 10 days. Remember to avoid using tampons during this time. Have faith and don’t worry too much. This area of your body (i.e. your vagina) heals exceptionally well.

8 postpartum recovery tips

Follow the tips below so you can get back on your feet in no time.

1. Look after your delivery region

Childbirth can be a mentally and physically demanding process, which is why we’ve included a list of postpartum essentials near the end of this article for your reference.

Post-vaginal delivery

    • Sitz bath, dermoplast, and hazel pads are going to come in handy in easing your pain.
    • Ice your perineal area during the first 24 hours after delivery.
    • Spray warm water over it after peeing instead of wiping.
    • Avoid sitting or sleeping for long periods.
    • Try to sleep on your side.

Post-C-section delivery

Take extra care of your incision during the first six weeks post-C-section, so it doesn’t tear open. Clean your scar gently with soap and water each day. Then, pat it dry before applying antibiotic ointment.

2. Manage pain, so you’re more comfortable

Acetaminophen, hot showers, and a heating pad will help you manage any back pain and body aches. Going to the toilet will be difficult. Still, avoid forcing your bowel movements. Instead, eat fiber-rich foods and take stool softeners.

3. Fix postpartum urinary incontinence

If you feel up for it, and your body is healing relatively well, you might want to do kegel exercises. Complete 3 sets of 20 repetitions every day throughout the first six weeks postpartum. This should ease any urinary incontinence you may be experiencing.

4. Recruit help from family and friends

Don’t be afraid to ask your friends and family for help, especially for the first week postpartum. You might not have the energy to take care of house chores, childcare, and errands fresh out of the hospital. That’s why you should take the time to get some good rest in.

5. Get lots of rest

Sleeping does wonders for your postpartum recovery process. Rest well so you’ll have the energy to care for your newborn properly. As the saying goes, “you sleep when your baby sleeps”.

Catch as much shuteye as you can while your baby naps. In addition, don’t do anything taxing when you’re awake, either. This way, you can take care of your child when they wake sporadically – the way babies are bound to do.

6. Eat well and exercise lightly

Now, you might be tempted to go on a diet to lose your baby weight. However, a crash diet could do more harm than good. Besides hurting yourself, it might go as far as to harm your baby, particularly if you are also breastfeeding. Aim to eat balanced meals instead.

Go for light exercises like walks around your neighborhood. During your first week postpartum delivery, walk a little before slowly increasing the length and duration.

7. Take extra care of your breasts

Gently massage your breasts, or try using a warm compress or ice packs for achy breasts. A comfortable nursing bra also offers good support. Remember to let your breasts air out after every breastfeeding session if you’re opting to do it. Apply a layer of lanolin cream afterwards to prevent or treat cracked nipples.

8. Know when to call your doctor

After giving birth, it’s normal to be feeling some discomfort. Contact your doctor if something doesn’t add up or your pain worsens. It’s better to be on the safe side. Signs you should watch out for include:

  • Severe headaches
  • Extremely heavy vaginal bleeding
  • Pain during urination
  • Depression
  • Signs of infection (e.g. a red or pus-filled incision)

Postpartum recovery kit

These are a few postpartum recovery essentials you’ll be glad you have with you.

  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol) will help with any body aches and perineal pain.
  • Maxi pads: Have enough on hand to last until your postpartum bleeding subsides.
  • Ice packs for icing your perineal area to reduce swelling and discomfort. This can be frozen padsicles or lunchbox-sized ice blocks wrapped in paper towels to prevent frostbite.
  • Heating pad to ease sore breasts.
  • Witch hazel pads – often used in combination with ice packs – can help relieve vaginal pain and postpartum hemorrhoids.
  • Sitz bath relieves postpartum pain.
  • Cotton underwear that is comfortable.
  • Loose sweatpants to make it easier to dress and move around in.
  • Peri or squirt bottle can be used to rinse off your perineal area with warm water before and after peeing as the area heals.
  • Lidocaine spray helps ease any hemorrhoid or perineal pain.
  • Stool softener prevents constipation.
  • Nursing bras that are comfortable and offer good support.
  • Nursing pads to keep leaky nipples under wraps if you’re planning to breastfeed.
  • Lanolin cream prevents sore, cracked nipples.

Protect your health with Pacific Prime China

By following these postpartum recovery tips, you should be able to recover in no time. If you’re planning for a baby, it’s best to secure maternity health insurance in China early. They cover costs from pre and post-natal treatments to the delivery itself, and more. You might also want to understand the differences between private and public hospitals in China. Note that these policies often come with waiting periods, the period of time that must expire before your coverage kicks in.

Pacific Prime China has over two decades of experience in the insurance industry. We work with reputable insurers to bring you plans that match your needs and budget. For a free plan comparison and impartial advice, reach out to our team of insurance advisors today.

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Disclaimer: Pacific Prime China solely represents, operates, and manages locally regulated insurance products and services in the territory of PR China. Any references to Pacific Prime Global Company or Group, the international services, insurance products, or otherwise stated written or verbally, is for introduction purposes about our overseas network only as each entity is fully independent.