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Top Tips for Your Postnatal Period

Here are some amazing tips and tricks that we have gathered from our wonderful community of mums who want to make sure that you sail through your postnatal period!

Postnatal tips

After the Baby is born
  • Eat 2 kiwi fruit when you have given birth, they are a natural laxative and this will ensure that your first poo, after the birth, will not be too painful or difficult.
  • No-one told me how much you can bleed after the birth.  Don’t be shocked if you have gross chunks of blood for the first few days.
  • Tea-tree oil and/or lavender oil in the bath can feel really soothing and helps to heal and cuts or tears down below.  Some swear by sea salt dissolved in the bathwater.
  • Get some good maternity sanitary towels.  Some of the supermarket and chemist brands are very plasticky and sweaty.  When the bleeding has slowed down you can use ordinary heavy flow sanitary towels.
  • These pants were so much nicer than ordinary knickers as they let you “breathe” down there and don’t get too hot and sweaty at nighttime.
  • Get out and about as soon as you can, but don’t over do it.  And don’t be embarrassed to say no to visitors or turf people out of your house so you can have a sleep.  Make the most of your partner’s Paternity leave, and try and keep all the well wishers at bay until he has gone back to work, you’ll be glad of the company then,  but make sure that you exploit your visitors for all they’re worth.   Get them to make the tea/coffee/bring the biscuits/hang out the washing/look after the baby while you wash your hair or grab a power nap.
  • Most first time mothers feel nervous about leaving the house for the first time- just bite the bullet and do it.  It doesn’t matter if the baby screams, a baby never died of screaming and people will not stare at you or think you are a bad mother.
  • When your midwife or health visitor comes to visit, it can be helpful if you have a list of questions for her as she may be in a hurry and keen to sign you off.
  • You do not always need to wait for 6 weeks to drive after a Caesarean Section– if you feel you can drive after 4 weeks then go and see your doctor and if they say it is ok then you are fine to drive.  You must also consult with your insurance company and let them know your doctor has signed you off early.
  • If your stitches are not healing or are not healing properly then tell your doctor.  You may need some further treatment and someone women do not get this soon enough as they are too busy or too shy to go to doctor.

 

Newborn Baby tips.

Breastfeeding and Feeding yourself!
  • Stock up on some box sets/Netflix series to watch whilst you are breastfeeding.
  • In the early days of breastfeeding when your breasts are tender and can become engorged with milk- keep a Savoy cabbage in the fridge. Each leaf is the perfect shape to fit one breast and helps cool them down when they become uncomfortable. The leaves fit perfectly inside a bra- like your very own natural ice pack!
  • Get a breastfeeding pillow or find a good cushion so you can get the baby in the right position for feeding.
  • Get a poncho or cape if you are shy about breastfeeding in public.
  • Have a little bag or box prepared with all you want in it for when you are breast feeding, as you will be stuck to the sofa/chair, otherwise you find yourself constantly asking people to pass you things, or if you are on your own you be willing for the remote control to move on its own!  Ideas would be:  Water, book and pen or download app for breast feeding, snacks, water, remote control, magazine, phone charger, muslin, breast pads.
  • You can not have enough snacks ready...breast feeding makes you starving.  My favourite was flapjacks or breakfast bars (oats are apparently good for breast milk production) and cooked chicken. I would do an online shop with your supermarket in advance of the birth and then you can then just book a delivery as your favourite items will already saved to your shopping cart.
  • Get food that you can eat with one hand!  Pieces of cheese, like Mini Babybel are great for stuffing in your mouth when you don’t have time to make yourself lunch!
  • Protein and Sleep are great for your milk supply.  If you are worried you have low supply, then 2 boiled eggs and an hours sleep whilst your partner takes the baby out and you will feel amazing and have full boobs again!

Expressing

  • Some Health Visitors seem to think you should wait until 6 weeks before beginning to express/pump milk for your baby.  However I started the first week and it meant that very soon my partner was able to do one night feed, giving me some extra sleep.
  • Give the baby a bottle (of expressed milk or formula) before 6 weeks and continue to give one every few days or every day.  I have friends who didn’t do this and when they wanted to give up breastfeeding the baby refused to take a bottle.
  • If you are trying to build up a stash for the freezer, (perhaps you have a night out planned) do not worry if this seems impossible as the baby drinks everything you pump, one time he will sleep through a feed and you can pump then and store this!
  • Try and master the art of breastfeeding lying down! Is great for night time feeds!

Changing Nappies

  • If you live in a house with stairs, have a changing mat downstairs as well as up.
  • Cotton wool and water is a bit fiddly, and impossible when you are out and about, but Water Wipes are brilliant- they are 99.9% water.
  • Have some kitchen towel to hand to wipe up any wee they might do during a change.  Watch out as baby boys seem to aim straight for your eyes or mouth every time!
  • Have a bucket with water and Napisan at the ready and just drop any soiled clothes straight in.  It’s the only thing that gets the poo stains out, and later on its great for food stains from weaning.

Sleep, you and the baby!

  • Not all babies like to be swaddled.  Mine spent all the time trying to escape and get his arm out.
  • Get a sling or baby carrier– if you have a baby that doesn’t like to be put down, put him in the sling in the house and you will have your hands free and be able to do things around the house!
  • A bouncy chair is a must have for rocking the baby whilst you eat in the evenings especially.
  • Take the baby to the pub!  They love the loud noise and can sleep through even the noisiest of crowds.  You can probably do this up to about 6-9 months, after this they are much more aware and will wake more easily!  So make the most of it whilst they are little.
  • Sleep when they sleep!
  • If your baby does not sleep during the day, see if someone will push him for an hour so you can have a nap.  Do not use this time to clean the house, get straight into bed and sleep!
  • Apparently, most women feel tiredest 10-12 weeks after having baby when all the excitement has died down and the sleepless nights are taking their toll.  If someone can come and take the baby whilst you have a nap, this is great!

Other Tips

  • Don’t be embarrassed to say no to visitors.  If you feel awkward saying no, then get your partner to do it for you.
  • If it’s chilly at nap time, warm their cot or moses basket with a hot water bottle so that when you transfer the baby from your chest to the cot he still feels the warmth.  (Obviously do not leave it in there or they may overheat)
  • Get your partner involved with as much as possible as soon as possible. They need to learn to have confidence and therefore need to be given the chance rather than you taking control whenever baby cries.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for advice about anything – every question has been asked before and nothing is embarrassing
  • If you are feeling teary, miserable, down please please please go to the doctor- they can help you.
  • If you do not feel immediate love for your baby then do not worry.  If you have had a traumatic birth or you have a difficult baby, you may find it harder to “fall in love” with your baby straight away.  I did not feel a passionate love for my baby until about 16 weeks.
  • Get out of the house every day.  Set yourself a job to do – go to the post office, get a coffee, pick up a bottle of wine – no matter how bad the weather staying at home on your own with a baby will send you doolally!
  • Just leave a messy house, it can get tidied another day
  • Babies don’t need to have their baby gros ironed – sit down and watch tv and relax instead of ironing!

Sex after The Birth

  • As soon as you are healed down there – give it a go, other wise it will loom over you for months!
  • Your body is not really designed to be having sex again whilst you are breastfeeding, so you may be very dry when you try and have sex, make sure you use lots of lube.

 

For more fantastic tips for the rest of your pregnancy and the birth do sign up for our Online Antenatal Course

And for support and guidance for when the baby comes, swot up now with our Postnatal Course 

Looking for some advice for your partner to read? We have something for them too!

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