Getting Back in Shape after ChildBirth

Helping your body to recover after childbirth

Women who are expecting their first baby may be slightly daunted by the prospect of giving birth, and may or may not think about postpartum recovery and weight loss after pregnancy . Women going through subsequent pregnancies already know what awaits them after giving birth to their baby, but may well be wondering what they can do to speed up recovery from childbirth. The key to a quick recovery after you give birth is being prepared and resting as much as possible. Here are some things every postpartum woman can do to make those first weeks a little easier.

Peri bottle

While healing from any tears, skid marks, or an an episiotomy, going to be bathroom to pee can bee one of the most painful sensations you've had in a while – even after you just pushed a whole baby out! To gain relief from the stinging pain that goes hand in hand with peeing during the first week or so postpartum, have a peri bottle on hand near the toilet. You can buy these at any pharmacy, and squirting water onto your sore area while you pee prevents burning. Some women even add in herbal solutions to encourage healing.

Have meals prepared

Cooking a meal for your family can be very hard while you are newly postpartum and caring for a newborn. Having a collection of meals in the freezer, or asking friends to bring buy your dinner in the first week or two, is such a great help. This is something I didn't do when my daughter was born, and instead relied on my husband to cook – something he didn't always do! New dads also want time to bond with their babies. The first weeks were so much easier when I did have all my meals planned once my son came along. A friend made me dinner for a week, and after that I had freezer meals I prepared while I was still in the midst of pregnancy signs and symptoms.


Nursing a new baby can mean sore nipples. Some women find that rubbing a natural cream like lanolin on their nipples helps a great deal. I also recommend giving nipples the opportunity to air a few hours a day. Going around topless may be hard when you are squirting breast milk all the time, but it is totally worth it. A friend of mine made it happen by wearing a t-shirt with holes cut out where the nipples are. If you opt for this, just make sure not to open the door like that! Engorged breasts can be "cured" by breastfeeding as much as possible.


Painful uterine contractions after birth are more common with each subsequent baby. Afterpains every time I nursed my son was something I wasn't at all prepared for, and they went on for a good seven days. The most effective solution is, without a doubt, taking an over the counter pain killer. Consult your doctor in advance about how many you can take a day, and which kind – especially if you are breastfeeding. 

Take it easy

Perhaps the single best tip for postpartum recovery, as well as the one that is hardest to implement, is taking it easy during the first weeks of your baby's life, and just not doing a lot other than nursing, caring for your baby, and sleeping. Don't worry about housework, and get others to run errands wherever possible. Taking it easy after your baby is born doesn't mean you should stay inside and be bored all day long; just to listen to your body and your baby's needs, and not overdoing things. Many mothers invite people over to help with the baby or housework. This can be a great help, but if your helper is behaving more as a house guest than someone doing useful stuff, you will just be annoyed. You may also like the freedom of just getting to know your baby without outsiders, even if they are your mother. Thinking carefully about who to invite in the first weeks, even if just for a short visit, will definitely help you feel good. 

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body after pregnancy, Healing after childbirth, healthcare


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