I think it’s important to have a shortlist of sorts which you can then see again as yet another list to sift and find whatever makes sense to you.
I know if I had this, it would’ve made my life much easier.
Before we start off I’d like to share that I had an elective C section at 37 weeks and an absolutely low risk pregnancy. Under no conditions does any of this advice serve as a replacement for a medical professional’s opinion.
These are just things that helped me and some stuff that helped my friends who gave birth normally in the following months sending me on a google rampage AGAIN and finally figuring what worked for them. This is part 2 in continuation to the Part 1 here.
My gynaecologist is also a very good friend. After I was pulled out of the operation theatre he kept me in the lobby for a bit for observation while he stood around talking to my husband and I.
The first thing he said was “The next fifteen days will be the toughest you will ever have seen in your life. There will be times when you will want to pick your child and chuck it out the window. Two words. Get help”
At the time I was like jee Thanks dude. I JUST gave birth? Though in hindsight I find it more of a Nostradamus type revelation.
I wrote to him a week or two later telling him, I don’t want to chuck the baby out the window. I want to chuck myself. He said the same thing again. Please get help.
You need physical AND emotional help both. You need someone to care for your house and you as well as a trip to the shrink every now and then. Even if you think you don’t need it.
I always wanted to do everything myself. About everything in life. I’m your proverbial “Mein khud” (I’ll do it myself) kid just stuck there through life. It wasn’t different with raising a child so I powered through it myself. However when I look back I can see it could’ve been easier if I had accepted the offered help but I find it a trade off between having people around constantly. Which literally tires me out.
Even if they sit quietly and say nothing.
So yes. Powering through it solo worked for me but I don’t recommend it unless you’re not a classic introvert like I am. Who will take longer bathroom breaks just for the solitude.
The first upto 4ish months or so? You’ll just generally feel pulled down. Like everything is improving, your body is growing back et al but ESPECIALLY in the first six weeks and for some of us more than that you’ll just feel like you constantly have a low grade fever that isn’t there (make sure you report any level of constant fever to your GP. I’m just describing the feeling). Baseline body aches. Just like something is amiss.
Do NOT stop your multivitamins. My OB/ GYN gave me a calcium and a multivitamin to live with since the first visit after conception and 15 months postpartum I’m still on them. Speak to your doctor and get a recommended Omega 3 (fish oil) capsules to add to the mix of you have a healthy liver. This is in case you’re breastfeeding or planning on continuing to do so after an initial break etc. If you’re not breastfeeding still speak to your gynaecologist and get a regular multivitamin suggested.
Get used to drinking only Ajwain & Saunf Infused Water. I stopped at around 10 Months. That too because I didn’t have any house help. Otherwise I would’ve continued with it.
Tie this golden milk/ turmeric milk/ haldi doodh recipe to your kitchen apron’s corner and keep it there. Have it every day. A friend’s mom shared it with me and I added some stuff but it is THE best thing ever for health and strength.
and a pinch of ajwain
in a teaspoon of desi ghee.
Add 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon turmeric and a cup of milk and bring it to the boil.
I have it everyday. Nothing heals like this baby. It is equally good for natural birth as well as C section.
In case of a C section birth
No lifting heavy stuff until your own baby is big enough to be categorised as heavy. Some kids are heavy from the beginning. Trust your body. Let the discomfort guide you and don’t let it go to a level where it turns to pain. I would suggest at least 6 months of steering clear of bending down, lifting heavy stuff. Just try and relax and learn to say these on repeat “I can’t lift this. I can’t get this. I’m a new mother. Can you get this for me? Thank you can you get that for me. Thank you.” The first time I killer stretched my fresh wound was trying to pick up something from the top shelf at a grocery store. Yeah don’t do that.
Keep your stitches clean. Ask your doctor BEFORE the surgery how to care for your stitches after. There are different kinds. One that can’t be exposed to water and ones that can. I had the latter so I was made to take a shower the next day of my baby’s birth and onwards.
Try to walk as much as you can but don’t push it. Sit and rest wherever you are the moment you feel tired or get any pain at the incision site.
I promise every day is better than the previous. If for some reason it isn’t, talk to your doctor.
Before starting ANY sort of exercise check with your gynaecologist and let him/ her examine your incision to make a decision. Remember. There’s an incision inside too that you can’t see but always always let your own comfort guide you through this. There’s a lifetime to get back into a fitness regime but any injury caused now can last you right through that lifetime too. Be kind to your body.
Even though most of this applies to everything Normal Birth too since we still have stitches down there most of the times, there is some extra care needed.
Yes. You heard that right. There’s an absolute myth out there that comes crashing down on new Mother’s the day they give birth. You’re expected to get up the next day and serve a house full of guests or at the very least feel perfectly fine an hour or a few after giving birth.
Don’t allow this to happen to you. Don’t DO it to any new moms around you because you’re a douche if you do this. Seriously.
Carve this in the meandering tubules of your brain. Natural birth is STILL A BABY’S BIRTH. A woman’s body feels like a truck hit her. Her bones are all shaken up, she is all shaken up. There’s most likely a case of tearing or episiotomy down there which is an RVEN worse place to have stitches than C section. So those who think C section moms need care and Natural birth moms can get up and go about their business like a deer foaling on Animal Planet does. WRONG. Get your head out of your proverbial behinds and care for the new mother.
She is bleeding more blood in an hour than you’ve ever seen in one place and that’s ONE body of hers. Like. Seriously.
She is most likely struggling with breastfeeding.
Definitely working at bonding with her child.
Definitely in pain or discomfort (3 of my friends who gave birth after I did, had natural births and took much longer than I did to heal. Just stating facts here)
Definitely feeling a rush of emotions. Aka hormonal upheaval.
Have a heart and treat her like someone who’s been through major surgery even if she hasn’t. Here are a few things Natural Birthing Moms can do to help in the first year postpartum.
See the Turmeric milk and Ajwain Saunf water up there? Yeah those are for you too.
Invest in an inflatable donut pillow. The one that has a hole in the middle. You’ll thank yourself. Natural birth will give you tearing, episiotomy stitches or haemorrhoids or BOTH. This contraption will help you heal.
Epsom Salt or Sitz Bath. Sit in these baths every day. I know it has helped people I know. Tons.
If you can get your hands on Claraderm Spray (start using it through your pregnancy) get it. Google it and find it if you can. (We will soon have it available right here at This Lahori Mom!)
If not C spray then Use just plain coconut oil to give yourself a perineal massage. Google how to do this too if you’re clueless like I was.
You will most likely have difficulty pooping postpartum. Things below the belt are like a war zone for some longer than the others. Use Ispaghol (Psylium Husk), or Products like Benefibre in your diet to help with your bowel movements. Do not let it sit around. Monitor your bowl movements like you do your child’s.
Invest in a pack of Tucks. These helped me through haemorrhoids I had all through my pregnancy and ermm. Still have them popping up every now and then to say hello. Yep. It’s a gift that keeps giving. Tucks inventor is perhaps the most blessed person on Earth because the number of duaas they would be getting from pregnant and new moms the world over must be insane. It’s witch hazel drenched thin pads. I owe my night time sleep to these through most of my pregnancy. If not these then look up how to make witch hazel padsicles. They’re supposedly straight from heaven for new moms after natural birth.
Have Panjeeri if you like it. Don’t binge on it. Maybe just a spoonful a day. Even if you’re breastfeeding, you’re not eating for two.
Please keep this in mind. If you have had active labour and then were taken in for an emergency C section, both parts of the above mentioned details will apply. Do not underplay it in your mind or allow anyone else to do it. You’ve been through a double whammy. Be kind to yourself. It’s literally like you’ve had two births in one go.
I’m not kidding. So serious inanimate objects in the room will start crying any minute.
Whether C section, Natural Birth or both. Eat well and eat clean. Vegetables, fruits, Turmeric in food, ginger in food. All good for your digestion, entire system and health.
Those who say sleep when the baby sleeps don’t know a thing (or have conveniently forgotten) what it’s like to be a new mom. There’s a ton of things to do not to mention the calm you need to process the ever abruptly changing life as a new Mum. So keep a stash of books, mindless game apps, Netflix/ TV remote, articles, any other hobby you might have, at hand. The times when the baby sleeps and you don’t feel instantly sleepy, these will help you unwind.
Try and plan a spa outing every now and then for a nice massage if nothing else if there’s a support system who can care for your child while you’re away. They get clingier post the 6-8 month mark. Before that they’re easier to leave with people. They’re like little Happy Goldfish zombies who will laugh and snuggle with everyone and forget about them the next second to stare at a moving ant. (If you’re breastfeeding then you need to schedule your getaway wisely because they’ll cry like you broke their heart if they’re hungry and you’re not around. I promise it’s just hunger. So pump and leave some to be bottlefed or if you have a smartass like Mine who never touched a bottle, feed them before you step out and aim to be back within the time they’ll need a next feed. For us it was a Standard 2 hours max. Any later and I was blackmailed to death to live a life with an ungroomed face and no massages ever.)
I know this isn’t an exhaustive list and I will keep adding to it as I remember stuff but this should be it for now. Everyone has a different experience and as my mother puts it, a different experience with each child of theirs too. I’ve tried to put together a list of things I feel are more or less common between most experiences. If there’s anything you wish for me to add to these do reach out at email@example.com and let me know.
I will at some point in Time be doing more elaborate posts on single points within these two posts that need to be spoken about in detail.
You’re the best thing to ever happen to your baby! I promise.