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Ten Tips for Birth Recovery
Ten Tips for Birth Recovery
TEN TIPS TO RECOVER FROM BIRTH
• Set realistic expectations. Don’t expect too much of yourself in these early days and weeks. You’ve just given birth, your body has undergone a huge physical transformation and emotionally it’s been a rollercoaster (and will continue to be so!).i It’s important to expect your recovery to be slow and gradual. Progress may not be steady, so try to be prepared for setbacks along the way. Know that recovery and keeping you and your baby safe are the most important things.
• Acknowledge that birth is both an intensely physical and emotional experience. Give consideration to your recovery in both terms. For years we’ve been conditioned to think of our health in primarily physical terms. We now know that our emotional health is every bit as important. Think about things you can do to help heal both your body and your mind. Seek nourishment emotionally as well as phsicaly. Make sure you are atling honestly about how you feel.
• Recognise that everyone’s birth experience is different. You may have had your baby at home, in a birth centre or delivery suite. You may have given birth vaginally or by caesarean section. Your recovery, both physically and emotionally, will be unique to you. Have your own plan.
• Adjust to your new life and accept that things will be different. It’s harder than ever for women to adjust to motherhood and adapt to a slower, gentler and less predictable pace of life. A new baby throws us a whole new set of challenges and taking time to adjust to those demands, and accepting a certain loss of control, is a difficult but important step. In a nutshell, expect chaos and let go of control.
• Rest. This is a tricky one. Difficult when you have a new baby, but it’s so, so important. Yes, you’ll be exhausted for possibly weeks and months to come, but perhaps marginally less so if you take whatever chances you have to rest in these early days and weeks. The old adage sleep when the baby sleeps is sage advice and will really help you to grab some much needed rest, even if it’s just a few minutes. Remember that rest doesn't have to mean sleeping. Lying back on the sofa and day dreaming for 10 minutes is rest.
• Try to process your feelings around the way your baby’s birth might have differed from your birth plan. In reality, most of us don’t give birth in the way they expected to do so, but it’s still hard to reconcile your feelings about this. You might feel disappointment, or even anger that things didn’t quite go according to plan. These are all valid emotions, and it’s helpful to explore them and talk about them to fully process the emotions you have about your baby’s birth. Again, be honest about how you feel.
• Accept help. Again, this is a tricky one for women who’ve been used to simply getting on with it and being in control. Try to accept that life is different now. Perhaps your partner won’t cook or clean to the same standard you do, or perhaps your mum won’t find the right home for towels and socks when putting away the washing, but these are relatively inconsequential things. Accepting help allows you to spend more time with your baby, or to have some much needed rest.
• Ask for help. Perhaps even more difficult than accepting help, is asking for help. Not necessarily all visitors will offer to help, or perhaps your partner will miss a job that to you is glaringly obvious. In this case, asking for help allows their efforts to be redirected in a way that helps you, reducing stress and increasing baby and rest time. It’s hard to ask for help if you’re not used to doing do, but you will honestly find that the more you do it, the easier it becomes.
• Confidently tell well-meaning visitors to stay away. This might seem to contradict the previous two points about accepting and asking for help, but sometimes well-meaning family and friends will appear when you least need them to! At a time when you’re getting to know your baby, coping with the realities of life with a newborn and all the associated chaos that goes with it, sometimes your world needs to shrink to that of your new family. Don’t be afraid to kindly, but firmly, ask people to wait until you’re ready to see them.
• Follow advice from health professionals, but also trust your instinct. Your midwife, consultant or doctor will supply you with advice about your recovery, and it’s important to follow their advice. Remember though, that you know yourself better than anyone, and if something doesn’t feel quite right, or if you’re concerned about anything, let them know and ask for help.
The most important thing is to take care of yourself. Your baby needs you to be happy and healthy. You are vital to their wellbeing.
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What our mums say...
Mandy is such a positive influence
I went to Mandy's pregnancy yoga class for a block of 8 lessons. I enjoyed it so much that I kept going for another two blocks. You may think you're going for yoga, but it's so much more. Mandy is such a positive influence on how you feel about your pregnancy, birth and parenting. I gained friends, lost any fear of giving birth and am looking forward to joining one of her baby classes with my newborn.
Every class provides a relaxed and friendly environment
I first attended baby massage classes when my son was 3 months old, and then went on to do mum and baby yoga, and I’m on my 4th block of classes now (my son is now 9 months old!) Every class provides a relaxed and friendly environment, great yoga for post pregnancy, focussing on pelvic floor exercises and breathing, and a general feel good hour where you can forget about the outside world. The cake and tea are a bonus at the end of the classes and I have met some really lovely moms through attending. Mandy has a special gift at teaching and she never fails to create a relaxed environment for the babies, who all seem fixated by her presence. I am so glad I found her classes as Wednesdays are my favourite days of the week! Cannot recommend enough.
Mandy really encourages everyone
I first attended Mandy’s pregnancy yoga classes when I was pregnant with my first baby, the yoga helped hugely with my pregnancy aches and pains but most of all the support and encouragement from both Mandy and the rest of the group was amazing. Mandy really encourages everyone to engage with each other which wasn’t something that I had experienced in other groups I attended, it meant that I felt safe in asking that daft question or verbalising my fears! I then went on to attend baby massage and postnatal yoga with my first baby and again the support and ability to engage with other new moms was fantastic! I have recently had my second baby and attended pregnancy yoga, whilst I had less concerns and worries about pregnancy and birth the classes gave me a dedicated hour to have just for me...which was so important and you don’t get much time to yourself when you are running around after a toddler! I am now attending postnatal yoga and although this is having to be done via zoom Mandy has continued to provide a safe environment and an opportunity to engage with other Moms! Thank you Mandy you help me keep my sanity!
I did want to say thank you. Your classes are fantastic - you explain everything so clearly and know which achy bits to work on. It has made me think that I should find a ‘normal’ (ie not postnatal) yoga class post-lockdown, but finding the time will be a big challenge! I also think that what you do for mums is great and I hope that you will be able to start your classes in person again soon. If I come across any mums to be or new mums I will certainly recommend you, although Arlo was a late (and very happy) addition to our family and most of the mums I know have kids at school now. That’s been another positive for me actually - being able to connect with people going through the baby/pregnancy stage as otherwise it would have been very easy to neglect that side of my life with the demands of having other young children. One of the unforeseen bonuses of Mandy's classes was that my baby always slept for three hours afterwards!
Mandy understands that babies have their own minds...
Mandy was extremely friendly and made me feel at ease so quickly. Which was fantastic as I was nervous being the youngest mum in the room. It was good to introduce everybody and nice for Mandy to explain she understands babies have their own minds so if we wanted to we could feed or change nappies just simply watch.
And she really meant it.
Having tea and cake at the end of each session made you stay and engage with the mums. I loved how Mandy explained all the benefits of the different massages e.g. winds/sinuses Oh and one final thing I loved the goody bag! Couldn’t rate the class highly enough.
I feel empowered as a pregnant woman and as a future mum
I signed up to the class to get to meet local expectant mums with the side benefit of a nice stretch. I did meet some lovely local mums and found it so helpful to have a space where you could talk about any issues and get advice or support. What really surprised me was how much I valued the yoga and stretching but mostly the breathing exercises. It gave me a toolkit of things to do during pregnancy and also in Labour and has made me feel excited for the birth! Mandy’s affirmations during the rest time have really spoken to me and made me feel empowered as a pregnant woman and as a future mum.
The class was so beneficial to me, to have a space just for me to enjoy my pregnancy and learn about the things I can do in birth to help it be a positive event. Thank you!
Absolutely love her classes
I returned to Mandy's pregnancy yoga classes following my second pregnancy as I absolutely loved her classes first time round and made some solid friendships.
Mandy creates such a welcoming and safe environment. She is passionate about ensuring mums and mums to be have a support network alongside the yoga which is so vital. Her classes provide opportunities for open discussion around pregnancy/childbirth/motherhood and no question is out of bounds!
Following the birth of my daughter, I went on to attend baby massage and baby yoga classes, both of which I can thoroughly recommend. Baby massage has given me some really helpful techniques to manage baby's trapped wind and has also helped me deepen the bond with my little ones. Baby yoga was surprisingly more relaxing than I expected! I have made some amazing friendships that have continued post classes. I would definitely recommend Mandy's classes. She is so honest and puts her heart and soul into her classes.
SO glad I'd found Mandy and her classes
I had previously been to a few different yoga classes and found them a bit intense and not what I was looking for. I heard about Mandy's prenatal yoga classes through a friend and it sounded just what I was looking for. From the first session I was SO glad I'd found Mandy and her classes. They are way more than a yoga class - meditation, breathing exercises, relaxation and a chance to chat to other expectant mums and soak in Mandy's wisdom. The jammie dodgers are a welcome bonus to the class too! Since lockdown the classes were via zoom and this worked really well and I still had the same sense of connection and relaxation I got from the in person class. Between classes I also did Mandy's yoga sessions on her website which really helped me stay relaxed and helped my aches and pains. I also made sure I regularly listened to her audio relaxations which helped me stay calm and grounded in those final weeks. Above all of this, Mandy has been a wonderful support and checked in with me after the birth of my daughter and during our hospital stay - Mandy really does go above and beyond and puts out some brilliant online content. I can't thank her enough!