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The Best Postpartum Recovery Tips for Women

Postpartum Recovery Tips for New MomsCongratulations! You’re now a mother. But getting back to your normal state will take quite a bit of time. A postpartum recovery plan isn’t just about physical exercise; it also incorporates your emotional and social well-being.

In today’s post, we’ll discuss some of the best postpartum recovery tips for getting back into fully living life.

What Moms Can Expect During Postpartum Recovery

Postpartum recovery can take months — if not years, but the critical period is in the first few weeks, specifically the first six to twelve weeks.

Some of the postpartum conditions you can expect include:

  • Hormonal changes
  • Soreness
  • Vaginal Bleeding
  • Baby blues (postpartum depression)
  • Abdominal pain

As you can tell, pregnancy takes a toll on the body, which is why it’s recommended that you provide 18 to 24 months between pregnancies.

Hormones are still rebalancing, and your nutrient stores are returning to normal. Even if you’re cleared to start physical activity after six weeks, it’s essential to ease into it. There’s no need to run a marathon or hike through the Patagonia Mountains immediately after.

To help speed up the process of recovery, physical therapy sessions and even certain types of massage therapy are recommended.

Physical Recovery Tips

Physical Recovery TipsIncorporate cardio, moderate resistance training, and pelvic floor strengthening during recovery.

Pelvic Floor Exercises

The pelvic floor muscles weaken after childbirth, causing difficulties like holding in urine or discomfort when sitting. Moms should start pelvic floor exercises at or around the 6-week mark. Aim for three sets of twenty every day. Gradually increase the repetition as you get stronger, but do not overdo it.

Kegel exercises are another great option; don’t overdo it, as this can worsen matters. 

Additional tips and tricks for alleviating pelvic floor pain:

  • Acetaminophen and ibuprofen can help ease the pelvic floor pain.
  • Ice packs, wrapped in paper towels to avoid frost burn, can also help the perineal area.
  • A perineal squirt bottle, found at Amazon or Walmart, can be helpful.
  • A postpartum recovery belt is used to strengthen core muscles after giving birth
  • Use a heating pad on the abdomen to soothe aches.

Treating Perineal Tears or Episiotomy Scars

When treating perineal tears or scars after a recent surgery, don’t stand or sit for long periods of time. You should also avoid lifting heavy or moderate weights.

If you’ve had a C-section, talk with your doctor about the best way to care for it. They might suggest you cover the wound or leave it uncovered. You might also try gently cleaning your C-section incision with soap and water once a day, drying it completely with a clean towel, and giving it a gentle C-scar massage. Contact your health provider for specific guidance.

Gradually Resuming Physical Exercise

Start with low-intensity exercises, like walking around the house or the neighborhood, and gradually increase the intensity as your body reacclimates to the resistance. Some easy, at-home exercises include heel touches, leg extensions, knee raises, and leg slides.

Obstetricians-gynecologists at Northland Women’s Health Care are here to offer guided, practical advice at every stage of your pregnancy. Your OB/GYN can create a unique postpartum recovery game plan that takes into account your unique physical, emotional, and social needs.

Nutritional Tips for Postpartum Recovery

Nutritional Tips for Postpartum RecoveryGood nutrition helps the body heal and elevates your mood. We have a list of the best foods to eat post-pregnancy. Just like during your pregnancy, you should still prioritize whole grains, healthy fats, and protein while deprioritizing things like caffeine and alcohol.

The highest-priority nutrients you need to take are:

  • Iron, vitamin B12, and folate.
  • Vitamin C, vitamin A and zinc
  • Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), a fatty acid
  • Choline, vitamin D, iodine, selenium and thiamine
  • Calcium
  • Fiber
  • Water (hydration)

Addressing Emotional Wellbeing

Now that you’ve gotten the gist of the physical recovery tips; let’s look at some emotional factors, namely, the most common, depression.

Postpartum Depression

The notorious baby blues, or peripartum depression, occurs within 6.5 to 20% of women. It often involves mood swings, irritability, trouble sleeping, and appetite problems. Sometimes, the symptoms are brief; sometimes, they last for years.

In general, it’s important to follow these tips to alleviate this problem:

  • Get enough sleep
  • Connect with your baby emotionally
  • Make time for self-care
  • Avoid recreational drugs and alcohol
  • Accept help from your social network of family and friends

Your primary care OB/GYN can give you advice on how to alleviate these symptoms and what the next steps are.

Here are some of the treatments they can prescribe:

Psychotherapy: it may help to visit a psychotherapist or clinical psychologist who can help you find ways to cope with your feelings, set realistic goals, and solve problems. OB/GYNs at Northland Women’s Health Care have a network of other professionals they can refer you to.

Antidepressants: any medications you use enter the bloodstream and impact the breast milk. However, these don’t negatively impact the baby.

Over-the-counter (OTC) medications and supplements: a physician can suggest various OTC meds, vitamins, and supplements to help alleviate depression-like symptoms in conjunction with some lifestyle changes. Prenatal vitamins can also help you restore lost nutrients from pregnancy.

Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT): This is only used rarely and in severe cases of depression or postpartum psychosis. It’s sometimes recommended if medicine doesn’t work.

Cultivating Social Support Systems

StudiesCultivating Social Support Systems show that social support systems are critical for coping with a wide range of psychological stressors. Postpartum depression is more likely to occur in women with inconsistent social support systems.

Lean on family and friends. Communicate with loved ones about your needs and clue them into your feelings. Take some time to do activities with them. This alone staves off feelings of depression and boosts serotonin levels in the brain.

Another, often less thought of, solution is to hire a doula. In short, a doula is a childbirth professional who helps you emotionally, physically, and intellectually during the postpartum stage.

Share responsibilities. You don’t have to, and shouldn’t have to, shoulder every domestic chore and day-to-day responsibility yourself. Talk with your partner, roommate, or family member about offloading some of the more taxing responsibilities during your postpartum recovery period.

Find Postpartum Recovery Tips from Expert Obstetricians in KC

Recover from childbirth with the help of experienced counsel from obstetrician-gynecologists at Northland Women’s Health Care in North Kansas City, Missouri. Call us today to schedule your first appointment.


American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Optimizing Postpartum Care Opens a new window, 2021., Postpartum Health and Care, 2023, Postpartum Complications and Warning Signs, May 2021., Postpartum Recovery, 2021.

Northland Women's Health Care, P.C.
8600 NE 82nd St. •  Kansas City, MO 64158  •  Phone: 816-741-9122  •  Fax: 816-741-9665