I felt the need to write a post on how I took care of myself postpartum. I wish I had read a post like it before giving birth. After giving birth I was afraid of being alone with the baby. I thought I was going to do something wrong. I was alone with the baby most of the time because my fiancé and mom had to work. My fiancé took two weeks off to be with us, but I had the baby a week before his paternity leave was due.
I took for granted when people tell me to sleep as much as I could before the baby. I even took for granted when the nurse asked me to sleep before I gave birth. My labor was induced, because the doctor was afraid the umbilical cord was wrapped around Lexandry. Everytime I had a contraction, his heartbeat slowed down. I was in labor for 19 hours, with only 4 hours of sleep from the night before. I was beyond tired after giving birth. For about two months I didn’t sleep for more than 2 to 3 hours at a time. My fiancé and I would take turns taking care of the baby at night. After Abel had to go back to work, he slept every other day in the room with me and the baby. My mom would sleep with me the other nights.
When I was at home alone with the baby, I would try to sleep when the baby slept. I would take care of my needs, and myself when my mom or my Abel were home. I didn’t know it was going to be so difficult to get anything done with a newborn. I started to meal prep every night so that I could eat during the day. I also stack on healthy and quick snacks, to help me get through the day. I would definitely recommend storing food before giving birth if possible.
I gave birth to Lexandry naturally and I got a small tearing when the baby came out. I did not know how to take care of my wound. After giving birth I was so tired, that I literally couldn’t listen to the nurses when they spoke to me. One of the stitches from the tear got infected, and the pain was unbearable. I couldn’t even sit down to nurse the baby. At a week postpartum, the doctor added a stitch or two, to help my wound heal completely. I paid close attention to his instructions, and the wound healed within a couple of days. I used Dermoplast, which is a pain relieving spray, PreparationH medicated wipes for women, and Nupercainal on the affected area, to help with the pain. I would also wash the area with warm water, every time I used the restroom. I changed my pad every two to three hours. Another tip from a cousin of my, who is a doctor, was to clean the area with baby wipes because it was very important to keep the wound clean in order for it to heal.
Breastfeeding was one of the biggest challenges I had after the baby. I breastfeed the baby as soon as he was born. Breastfeeding became harder, because of the infected stitch, which made it very painful for me to sit down and nurse. I asked the nurse to give me formula so that I could feed the baby easier. I felt guilty about the formula, so I tried to breastfeed more often. I admit that I didn’t learn to breastfeed correctly. Breastfeeding Lexandry was always painful, and I felt that he was not latching on to the breast correctly. I did ask the lactate consultant to help me at first, but I was embarrassed to keep asking her. I felt like breastfeeding was something I should have known, and I regret not learning more about it. I tried different teas, and supplement to increase my milk supply, but I was pumping more than I was directly breastfeeding. My milk dried out in a month after the baby, I felt horrible.
My last advice on postpartum care is to give your body time to heal. Giving birth, whether it is a natural birth or a cesarean, is hard work. Also taking care of a newborn can be exhausting, try to rest as much as you can when you can. Do not feel guilty if your house is the mess, is all part of the process. Do not be afraid or ashamed to ask questions, because parenting is something you learn not something you know.