Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Postpartum Tidbits I’m Glad Were Shared with Us

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Nursing my little one. Casey’s had me in bed almost exclusively since Ian was born. Though boring at times (and sometimes lonely), I am grateful for his insistence that I rest. It truly speeds all aspects of recovery. How glad I am that my husband listens to good advice, even when it means a ton more work for him.

Thinking of this reminds me of the tips and advice we’ve gained over the years. Things I don’t remember until I’m going through it again. Here are a few pieces of advice I’ve benefitted from in the last few days.

After giving birth, mom is “Queen for three days, princess for a week.” (Queens lay in bed, princesses dictate from the couch.) My midwife with Ruby gave Casey (not me--this is key) these instructions, which he has followed since then, with few exceptions. It is, I believe, one of the best gifts a husband can give his wife. A gift she may not even want, but it will benefit her more than she realizes. Yes, this means that she cannot jump back into life right away. During this time she won’t be attending church or social functions. She won’t be doing laundry or loading the dishwasher or going grocery shopping or getting her other children breakfast.

I believe my quick and complete recovery from my births can be mostly attributed to Casey’s almost strictly following this rule. (I remember with Haley, I begged him to let me just drive through Sonic for some drinks so I could get out after several days of being home-bound. He let me do it, then made me sit on a lawn chair in the back yard as soon as I got back.) Any tears or swelling heals in record time, milk comes in right away (July 4 this time—only 2 days), baby gains back weight quickly, no milk production issues or breast infections or clogged ducts, and engorgement lasts less than a day (all of this provided baby feeds frequently). Placental site bleeding is minimal and short-lived. I might even be forgetting some things.

The other tidbit Suzanne gave Casey is, “when the milk flows, so will the tears.” This was especially helpful when my milk came in with Ruby and I found myself crying buckets for no particular reason (yes, engorgement hurts, but am I that upset about it?). Remembering this phrase helped me to just let the tears flow freely and not try to think of a reason. It also kept Casey from worrying what was wrong with me.

A few other helps for the days after delivery:

Olive oil on baby’s bum makes cleaning off meconium so much easier.

Honey on pads is soothing and healing.

Disposable diapers make nice ice packs for swelling.

Air and light to the perineum facilitates healing.

Frequent feedings and sunning a naked baby quickly eliminates jaundice.

Anyone out there have another tidbit to share?


1 comment:

ann said...

Great advice!! What a blessing that Casey is making you rest. I am not good about that. Praying for you as you begin life with four children. Can't wait to hear updates as you get a chance.