Top 5 postpartum recovery tips from the experts


Pregnancy is a rollercoaster ride. From fun gender reveals and baby showers to fluctuating hormones, nausea, and back aches—everything is worth it when you hold your little one in your arms for the first time.

But if you think that the challenging part of becoming a mom is done, you’re in for a surprise because now begins your journey of postpartum recovery.

Most women focus a lot on taking care of themselves when pregnant so that the baby is healthy. However, after birth, the attention shifts to taking care of the baby full-time, so much so that you forget about your recovery. 

The postpartum period is a tumultuous time, not only are you physically recovering from the exertion of giving birth, but sleep deprivation, along with the new physical and emotional demands of being a new mom, are major factors that affect your postpartum mental health. 

Therefore, it’s paramount that you find the time to recover post-birth, and who better to help you do this than the experts? We’ve taken five of the best tips from postpartum experts and put them together to help with your postpartum recovery.

1. Mental health

According to Dr. Kelly Fradin, pediatrician and author of Advanced Parenting, a common misconception among new mothers is that they’re the only ones suffering from sad, upsetting, or anxious thoughts. In reality, nearly half of new moms feel this way.

New moms often feel pressured to be happy after the birth of their child, because if they’re not happy, they don’t love their child—but in reality, it’s the opposite. There is a lot of change, stress, and sleep deprivation during the postpartum period, so, it’s normal for moms to struggle with their mental health amidst all this change.

It’s because of your commitment and love for your child that you work so hard to adapt to this change in your life, and you may feel sad, anxious, or overwhelmed as a result. And that’s to be expected.

Many moms struggle to take time away for their baby to rest and recuperate because they feel only they can feed their little one or stick to the schedule. Dr. Fradin’s advice is to push past this feeling. 

Maybe no one can do it exactly like you, but accepting help with feedings or watching the baby, so that you can take care of your well-being is a necessity. This way, instead of being burned out, you can be fully present for your little one.

2. C-section recovery

For some women, postpartum recovery involves recovery from a c-section. C-sections tend to be more complicated than vaginal births and require more recovery time which varies from person to person.

On average, it takes six to eight weeks to recover from a C-section, and swelling, pain, and discomfort around the incision point are common. If you’ve had a c-section, Dr. Chitra Akileswaran MD, MBA, a board-certified OB-GYN and Cradlewise’s maternal health advisor, says the best things you can do to speed up your recovery are:

  • Prioritize rest and ask for help
  • Manage pain with doctor-prescribed medications
  • Don’t lift heavy things, avoid chores and stretching or bending
  • Avoid driving and exercise
  • Focus on nutrition – drink plenty of water and consume protein as it aids with tissue repair

3. Prep your recovery kit and keep it well-stocked

Whether you have a vaginal birth or C-section, Hali Shields, an IBCLC, or board-certified lactation consultant, recommends the following items to help with your recovery:

  • Postpartum pads and underwear: Post childbirth, mothers experience lochia – vaginal discharge made up of mucus, blood, and uterine tissue. This usually lasts up to six weeks. Postpartum pads can help absorb this fluid. Postpartum disposable underwear is also good to keep, firstly because leaks during this time are common and secondly, because the stretchy, soft waistbands make them far more comfortable than regular underwear.
  • Peri bottles: These are great for washing the perineal area and keeping it comfortable and clean after birth. Using even the softest toilet paper after birth can be uncomfortable, especially if you’ve had stitches. For women who undergo c-sections, a peri bottle removes the need to bend and wipe.
  • Cold packs: Whether you’ve had a vaginal birth or c-section, you’re bound to be swollen either around your vagina or at the incision point. A cold pack can help soothe these areas and reduce swelling.
  • Nursing pads: Designed to fit inside nursing bras, these pads help to alleviate discomfort, provide relief to sore nipples, and absorb leaks from breastfeeding.

4. Make nutrition a top priority

Food plays a major role in helping you recover after birth. Shields recommends the following foods and nutrients to promote postpartum healing:

  • Proteins such as eggs, cheese, milk, beans, and meat.
  • Healthy fats found in yogurt, nuts, seeds, and avocado.
  • Warm stews, soups, and broths that are nutrient-dense and easy to digest.
  • Pregnancy and birth will deplete your iron stores for obvious reasons. Iron-rich foods such as fish, leafy greens, and poultry will boost your energy and help you heal faster.
  • Another reason to consume fish postpartum is omega-3s that help boost the nutritional value of breast milk.
  • Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli contain choline which is important if you’re breastfeeding because it helps with baby’s brain development.

5. Taking care of your emotional health 

Just like your mental health, it’s important to take care of your emotional state postpartum. According to Shields, moving into your new normal will take time, so lower your expectations of parenting and let yourself naturally adjust to parenthood.

Don’t feel guilty about taking time for yourself. You don’t have to do it all at once or alone; ask for help and set aside “me time.”

Lastly, know that you’re the expert on your baby; no one knows them better than you. If you feel something is wrong or those parenting books aren’t working, do it your way. It’s okay to trust your gut and go with your instincts.

More posts you might like:


You may also like


Stay in the know

Sign up to get sleep tips, exciting product updates, and special offers right into your inbox.