Brookie-Lee’s Thoughts on Postpartum

Okay so I love birth but I don’t get too excited about the end of pregnancy nor the postpartum period.  Granted the newborn phase is my absolute favorite time with the child.  I love, love, love hanging out in bed with a nursing baby who sleeps cuddled on my chest.

The end of pregnancy you get to deal with peeing minuscule amounts every one-two hours making solid sleep a lost memory.  You have the aches from your pelvis(multips) and the extra weight from babe, making any activity more challenging.  (And again chiropractic and yoga made a HUGE difference with this for me.)  Most women get to the point where they are so uncomfortable they are desperate to birth the baby.

There is also usually a period of nesting.  It’s funny how it takes form differently for each child.  One evening Kevin finished the laundry shelf we desperately needed and the next day I picked up the whole house and scrubbed down the bathroom.  I was worn out and in other circumstances wouldn’t have been up for it.  But there is this drive that I had and I just couldn’t stop.  That would have been the Thursday or Friday before the Saturday that our daughter was born.

With my second and third children I had several days of pre-labor.  So when I went into labor with this fourth baby I completely thought it was a warm up.  After all there was no way she would come early and we didn’t expect her for at least two more weeks and quite possibly longer than that.  So sex the evening before, the full moon, the consistency of contractions, it was all brushed aside while I forged forward with the activities I “had” to do that day(turns out things will work out without me).

After our baby arrived I was reminded of all the postpartum stuff that I had thankfully forgotten about.  The intense cramping, that helps stop bleeding and reduce the size of the uterus, still knocked me over.  The extreme emotional mood swings over the littlest, dumbest thing.  My brain is often like “why are you crying over this?!” but I can’t help it.  Thankfully my placenta pills have really helped level this out for me.  They are magical!  And the increased bleeding when I over do it.  Which is a visual reminder that I’m still in a fragile state and need to take it easy.  Not to mention the initial encouragement that comes with breastfeeding.  Thankfully completely allowing babe to nurse often and on demand minimized the discomfort this time around(hey you learn and grow with each babe).  Hubby can help too if it gets too intense.  In the past I also used a breast pump just once(didn’t want to increase supply).

  • Cramping- ibprofen for the first day then it’s not so bad
  • Baby Blues- placenta encapsulation
  • Bleeding- REST! stay in bed for the first week. Cleopatra style!
  • Engorgement- let baby nurse as often as possible.
  • Mummy tummy- gentle exercises(below) & Belly Bandit

This time around I’m more conscious about my health and wanting to get my body in a healthier, stronger, and more stable state.  After all I now have four kids and I want to be healthy for them so we can really enjoy our lives.  And the fact that we are probably done having babies is a nice motivator too.

I have a three finger wide Diastasis Recti That’s when your abs split into two halves. Fun, fun.  So I did a little googling and looked for exercises for strengthening my core.  Specifically exercises that would focus on my transverse abdominus.  Below are descriptions of the exercises that I will be working on to help heal the diastasis recti.  These are gentle and I can start now(1 week postpartum).  In a few weeks I will also be returning to my yoga class(prenatal and postpartum).  I ordered Belly Bandits for the store and am looking forward to using it to help minimize my tummy and to use as a cinch for the diastasis recti.

Do the following exercises 3 times a day (morning, nap, and bedtime):

  • Lying in bed(can move to carpeted floor or yoga mat when you feel up to it) on your back, bend your knees and put your feet flat on the mattress.  Contract your abs and press your lower back into the bed.  You will feel your pelvis tip toward you.  Hold this contraction for a few seconds and then release.  Do 20 of these pelvic tilts.  (Use a towel as a cinch option.)
  • Same position as previous exercise.  This time draw your belly button toward your spine hollowing out your tummy.  Continue breathing steadily and hold for 10 seconds.  Then release, take a few breaths, and repeat 10 times.
  • Same position as previous exercises.  This time tighten your abs and slide your left leg out until it is straight.  Then slide it back in and do the same with the right leg.  Alternating do it 20 times.

About Brookie-Lee

Brookie-Lee is the mother of four wonderful children and wife to her best friend. She is a La Leche League Leader, Hypnobabies instructor, and previous owner of Happybottomus. She gives birth at home, breastfeeds, co-sleeps, cloth diapers, baby-wears, non-vax, eats organically, uses natural remedies, does yoga, and now homeschools. She lives in Historic Northeast Kansas City and has an urban farm with a garden and chickens.
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