I have shared some of my pregnancy journey and what I learned throughout each chapter. You can read those posts here: Initial Signs & First Trimester, Second Trimester Recap, Third Trimester Recap,Birth Story. With my niece making her arrival in a couple of days (can’t wait), I thought I would share my experience with recovery and what that was like for me personally. Like I have mentioned, we all have such a different experience when it comes to pregnancy and birth, which is always something to keep in mind. Out of all of my experiences, I honestly wish I had been a little more prepared for the “after” or recovery phase, especially as a first time Momma!
It’s so easy to forget everything a woman is going through after having a sweet newborn baby in the world. You can easily forget that the woman is personally recovering from something major and trying to heal her body, learning to nurse (if she chooses) and having her body change/adapt to provide for her baby, running on little to no sleep, navigating taking care of a precious baby that there is no manual for, handling a multitude of hormones, and so much more! You go through so much change overnight that it can feel difficult to navigate and adjust, which is okay! You are already everything that baby needs and with time you learn and gain confidence in your new role. .
Depending on the birth, you will have a different recovery experience physically. Thankfully, our hospital had awesome nurses so they helped me A LOT as I tried to move around. Just remember….your blood volume increases when you are pregnant so it has to normalize after. Gravity is not your friend when you stand so having your partner help as much as they can is nice (or staff members). You will probably be sore for a few days/weeks depending on your situation and ice packs/medication help. You don’t have to be a super mom during this time because you can easily overdo it. Your body definitely needs that recovery time. Our nurses quickly showed me how to do everything myself so that I immediately felt comfortable using the restroom on my own and gave me all the materials to bring home (they will monitor the first time, especially if you had a catheter). You definitely want some cheap/different undergarments to use as well as recovery products.
Every time the nurses came in to check me, they would look at my vitals, ask about pain or any specifics I was experiencing, as well as check on swelling in my legs/feet. I also asked a million questions which is also OKAY. They are there to help you, reassure you, and provide valuable knowledge and insight. I also had a lactation consultant come a few times in our hospital room to observe/help as I was learning to nurse. Take advantage of those resources! You will initially produce colostrum and then have your milk come in a few days later which is such a strange and surreal feeling. Nursing is a whole other ball game that I will share more on later!
For the most part my physical recovery was pretty easy, which I am extremely thankful for. I felt stronger with each day and was able to do more. I also had new Momma friends which helped a TON in seeking advice during an unknown time and asking if certain things were “normal”. I did call my doctor a couple of times from home just to make sure nothing was out of the ordinary. The emotional side is a tough one to navigate because it is so unique to each person and can be a totally different experience. With time, the emotions and hormones do balance, you do begin to feel normal, and there is so much help and support if you are in need of something more. Becoming a mother is such a humbling experience full of firsts. People truly want to help!
What were your recoveries like? Anything that surprised you? I would love to know!
Until next time…