7 DAYS POSTPARTUM:
3 DAYS POSTPARTUM: 7 DAYS POSTPARTUM:
30 DAYS POSTPARTUM:
This previously promised post has been sitting in a state of uncertainty in my drafts for weeks. Then a reader reminded me yesterday (thank you reader, you are awesome!) and that gave me the confidence to just come out with it already. I wanted to talk about postpartum recovery and reconditioning but it turned out to be a much bigger topic than I'd imagined. Basically I have so much to say about it, and such a journey ahead it my own reconditioning, that I decided a youtube video series is the best way to go about it. But while I'm working on that I do want to post these photos and talk a little bit about what I did to manage after pains and flatten my tummy.
My after pains were as strong as my labor pains at the point when I began to consider an epidural. They say after pains are worse with second pregnancies and they are definitely right. The hospital offered me Percocet and Ibuprofen, which are the two pain meds discussed in this research so I turned them down, but there were two things that brought much needed and consistent relief. One was belly wrapping and the other was a (super hot) hot water bottle both of which I kept on my belly for all of my waking hours for the 5 days until the after pains subsided. I used a Belly Bandit to wrap my belly, however I would recommend the Cinch because the design includes pockets for heat packs that you can purchase separately, and it's designed to provide even and thereby more effective pressure. It's also fully adjustable so you don't have to purchase two sizes as you do with the Belly Bandit.
Belly wrapping had the added benefit of flattening my stomach within a matter of days. During my Max pregnancy I hardly wore my belly wrap, but I did notice that on the days I wore it my stomach would shrink noticeably and permanently but on the days I didn't wear it, it would stay the same size. This time around because of the intense after pains I wore it non-stop (except while sleeping) for the first 10 days and then more sporadically for another 2 weeks. As a result, by day 3 my stomach was flatter than it was on week 3 of my Max pregnancy.
Anyway all that said, I know that there is a lot more to postpartum recovery and reconditioning than a flat stomach or the numbers on my scale. There is an internal part (core muscle strength, pelvic floor muscles, flexibility, stamina, etc.) that I've learned is far more important than the external parts. But also in reality becoming a mother is not just a physical process, so reconditioning is also not just a physical one but a mental and spiritual transformation as well. A beautiful one, but difficult so it definitely deserves a youtube series. Plus I'm hoping it will help with the writer's block I've had lately!