Having a baby is an amazing time, but it can take a huge toll on your body and mind.  But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.  Our ultimate postpartum recovery checklist can help you take care of yourself and baby and ward off postpartum depression.

Having a baby is one of the most exciting times, but also one of the most stressful.  From feeding, diaper changes and nighttime wake-ups, it may seem you’re never going to sleep properly again.    

This postpartum recovery checklist covers pain relief and emotional support to self-care tips for new moms.  Our list has everything you need to get through the postpartum period. 

So, print it out and breathe a sigh of relief knowing that your postpartum recovery is in hand!

As a new mother, taking care of baby becomes your top priority.   It can be so easy to fall into the trap of focusing solely on ‘mum-mode’ and making sure baby is thriving.

It may not feel like you have the time, but postpartum recovery is vital for your body.  Making sure you get enough rest and sleep is essential to help your body recover from giving birth.

Take Enough Rest

Our bodies are incredible – they will eventually return to a normal state.  However, this process can take longer if you are tired and stressed.

In fact, getting enough rest has been proven to aid breastfeeding and reduce post-natal depression.

So, if possible set aside at least one quiet hour every day where you can clear your mind and relax.  That could be taking an afternoon nap, reading quietly or having a soak in the tub. 

Find whatever helps you to unwind to maximise postpartum recovery.

Make Time For Yourself

Listening to your body’s needs and making time for recovery is vital!  This may seem hard at times with all of the tasks a new parent faces. 

However, remember that taking care of yourself is key after having a baby.

sleep for postpartum recovery

If you’re constantly running around without any downtime, both your and your baby may suffer.  Your body needs time for postpartum recovery, so make sure to ask for help if you need.

Nothing is more important than you taking care of yourself.  Celebrate how strong your body is for bringing new life into the world.  Make it your daily mission to give back some love to your incredible self!

Nutrition & Hydration Are Essential To Postpartum Recovery

It is essential to prioritize eating well and drinking lots of water during the postpartum recovery period.  Eating a nutritious diet will help you heal faster and build back your strength.  It will also keep a good supply of milk if you are breastfeeding.

Eat foods rich in lean proteins, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates after having a baby.  Essential vitamins and minerals will help control postpartum depression. 

Similarly, staying well-hydrated with plenty of water each day can support the healing process.  Drinking water flushes toxins out of the body and carries much-needed oxygen to the cells. 

It also provides muscles with essential hydration needed for proper recovery post-birth.  Even mild dehydration can impact your energy levels and decrease the time taken for wounds to heal.

foods for postpartum recovery

In addition, foods high in omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants can aid recovery after having a baby.  These include salmon, avocado, berries and dark leafy greens.  

Eating well during this sensitive period is essential for energy and any sleepless nights ahead! 

So, pay attention to the food you do eat and how much water you drink.  You can then focus on enjoying time with your newborn knowing you have the right building blocks for postpartum recovery.

Multivitamins May Help Postpartum Depression

For breastfeeding mothers, a daily multivitamin is a great source of essential vitamins and minerals.  Having a baby can be quite traumatic and many women have long labors.  Often, this depletes these micronutrients which are necessary for postpartum recovery and milk production.

Many of the vitamins found in multivitamins are critical for our bodies to function normally.  These include calcium, magnesium and B vitamins.  However, these are not always adequately replaced through a mother’s diet.

Breatfeeding requires significant amounts of energy and nutrients.  It is important to eat well but also use supplement to replenish these lost resources.

Multivitamins and other supplements can reduce the likelihood of deficiencies such as anemia.  Without proper nutrition, neither baby or Mom can thrive.  Furthermore, nursing infants with healthy mothers experience fewer developmental issues.  This is because of the availability of the necessary nutrients for their growth.

Taking a daily multivitamin is an important part of mothers recovery and babies growth.  Ultimately, it is an effective way to replenish essential nutrients while supporting long-term health benefits.

Alcohol And Caffeine Can Prolong Postpartum Recovery

After giving birth, many mothers spend time bonding with their newborn.  However, they also wish to feel like themselves again.

Postnatal recovery is a delicate process that requires ample rest and good nutrition in order to be successful.  Alcohol can interfere with the body’s ability to heal and rejuvenate itself following childbirth.

Drinking alcohol, while it can make you feel relaxed, acts as a sedative.  This makes it difficult for your body to regulate its sleep cycles.

Even a small amount of alcohol can have a big impact on your sleep quality, so it’s best avoided during this time.

avoid alcohol & caffeine after having a baby

As for caffeine, research indicates that high levels of caffeine can reduce the body’s ability to recover from physical stressors.  Hearing this can be frustrating for mothers who rely on coffee or energy drinks to keep going throughout the day.  However, just remember that taking proper care of yourself now will benefit both you and your baby in the long run!

Avoiding caffeine and alcohol will ensure you get plenty of good sleep during postpartum recovery.  This will allow both you and your infant a more calm transition and peaceful times.

Invest In Good Quality Maternity Bras

High-quality maternity bra

When it comes to postpartum recovery, comfort and simplicity is key.  Investing in a good quality maternity bra can make all the difference.  It is important to support your body and feel comfortable during the first few weeks of motherhood.

Maternity bras are designed with extra features for nursing mothers.  These include adjustable straps and wide cups that provide stability and support for breasts that may be swollen and tender.

Having a good quality bra can also help reduce discomfort from engorgement.  This is common in early motherhood as your body often produces more milk than your baby needs.

Also, good maternity bras will minimize sagging and stretching of the skin on the breast area, reducing the chances of stretch marks.

Utilize Postpartum Support Such As Belly Binding

Postpartum recovery may be most natural, but sometimes, a little help can go a long way. Sleep and restorative exercises and acts are indeed vital to recovery, but aids such as postpartum belly binders are blessings that every mother needs to speed up that recovery.

Most mothers experience postpartum core dysfunction, and belly binding promotes form closure which helps alleviate the pain and discomfort after delivery. When the body is compromised, belly binding is just the support you need to achieve proper relief.

Postpartum Recovery Requires Some Exercise

Manyparents find the joy of welcoming a newborn is accompanied by physical discomfort and exhaustion.  Postpartum recovery can be a grueling process, and it’s important to prioritize rest and give yourself time to heal.

However, at some point after having a baby, gentle exercise may prove beneficial.  Even if you don’t feel like doing much of anything, go for a short walk around your house or neighborhood.  Gentle exercise can improve circulation and reduce tension in the body.

Even light physical activity can raise energy levels, boost moods and encourage better sleep patterns.  These are all things newly-minted moms desperately need more of!

Exercising soon after birth doesn’t have to mean intense cardio or weightlifting sessions.  In fact, even basic stretching exercises done while sitting or lying down will promote flexibility while not stressing the muscles used during delivery.

And, if you’re breastfeeding, the outcomes can be even better.  Breathing exercises have also been linked to improved milk production.

So, instead of waiting until you’re fully recovered before starting an exercise routine, get your body moving gently.  Even small moves make a big difference during the postpartum recovery period.

Don’t be overwhelmed and see the task ahead as daunting.  Celebrate the wonder of your body for bringing your baby into the world.  Know that recovery will be different for each individual as is the birth process.

Indeed, start with small activities within your pain threshold and capability.  Triumph over tiredness and exhaustion with exercise, good nutrition and lots of sleep! 

In other words, get moving Mama! Your body will thank you later.

New born moms exercise

Consult A Doctor For Postpartum Depression

Pregnancy and childbirth can be a source of tremendous joy, but it can also have unique emotional challenges.  In particular, postpartum depression is a serious condition and it’s important to get help if you are not coping. 

Postnatal depression affects 1 in 8 new mothers and there is no known cause.  Talking to a doctor about any concerns you have regarding your emotional well-being is very important.

Discussing the possibility of having postpartum depression is vital if you are not coping or bonding with your baby.  Plus, it means you are being proactive about your mental health and your baby’s too.

Additionally doctors are experienced professionals who provide helpful advice on sleep deprivation to diet and exercise during this challenging period of transition.

Your health is paramount, reach out to a healthcare professional if something feels off or wrong.  After all, you deserve the peace of mind that comes with feeling your best!

Final Thoughts

Taking care of yourself after having a baby is essential for postpartum recovery.  This is not only true  for your health and well-being, but also your baby’s.

Be sure to get plenty of rest, eat healthy foods, and drink plenty of water to ward off postpartum depression.  A daily multivitamin can help replenish nutrients and avoid alcohol and caffeine which interfere with sleep and healing.

Exercise as soon as you feel up to it to aid recovery.  Even a short walk can help.

If you have any concerns, talk to your health professional and enjoy this time with your new baby.