My top 11 tips and hacks for postpartum. What to expect in the months after giving birth and how I’ve been continuing to support my body postpartum both mentally and physically.
If you’re new around here, I’m a new mom of a 5-month-old and today we’re talking all things postpartum. Our daughter Sage is growing so fast, and although I have a few months of postpartum under my belt now, it still feels like it was just yesterday that I gave birth – both mentally and physically! I feel like it’s only natural that your body takes a while to recover after bringing a new human into the world. Even after 5 months, I’m still doing things daily to support my postpartum body and I can confidently say that by practicing these hacks daily, I’m slowly starting to feel more like my pre-pregnancy self.
Now, if you haven’t checked out my other post-partum experience and update post yet, I highly suggest that you do because I dive into all of the things that I did to recover right after birth. From there, you can consider this post a sequel or the “after…aftermath” as I like to call it haha. Aside from simply healing your body, there are other things that I’ve been doing to support my body in my postpartum journey and I’m so excited to share them with all you mamas or future mamas out there in today’s post – let’s get into it!
Would I even be a HealthNut if my first tip wasn’t related to food?! I’ve always loved my snacks, but they’ve become even more essential now that I’m postpartum. You’ll notice that you start to become hungrier than usual, which is only natural after having a baby even if you’ve spent most of the day in bed or snuggling on the couch. Not only is your body in recovery mode, but it’s also working hard to produce milk and nutrients for your little one. Breastfeeding alone (if you choose to do that) burns a ton of calories, so it’s crucial to feed both yourself and your little one with wholesome and nutrient-rich foods when your body needs replenishing!
I love to stock up on snacks that are healthy and easy to grab when I’m doing things around the house. Some of my favourites snacks that I’ve been enjoying over the past few months are dried fruit, nuts , banana chips, crackers and protein bars – but feel free to stock up on whatever you like! I’ll throw them into this handy snack caddy, along with my water bottle and vitamins and carry it around the house with ease! And even if you’re not breastfeeding, just long days and nights taking care of your little one will definitely build up an appetite.
Next to snacks, another thing I love to throw into my little personal caddy is my postnatal vitamins. Not only does having them in there remind me to take them haha, but it’s just convenient to keep them all in one place with easy access when I need them! Over the past 5 months, a few vitamins that I’ve noticed have made a huge difference in my mood and overall health during postpartum are:
*Disclaimer: Please note that I am not a doctor. Always check with your doctor or health care provider to see what’s best for you and your body.
By now, we all know the importance of drinking enough water throughout the day. Multiply that by 10 when you’re in postpartum recovery! Staying hydrated helps you to detoxify, flush out your body, keep you energized and not to mention boost your milk supply! In fact, I’ve noticed that I’m always thirsty now that I’m breastfeeding, so I pay extra close attention to always be sipping on H2O throughout the day. When Sage drinks I drink!
I always have my water bottle with me wherever I go and I highly recommend getting one with a straw attachment to make drinking so much easier whether you’re breastfeeding or have your hands full with your little. Trust me, it’s a total game-changer!
The next thing I want to talk about is exercise and moving your body. Of course, this can look very different for everyone, but one thing I’ve really noticed is that it’s not about the intensity of my workout but more about the consistency and variety. Some days I’ll be craving a mobility/yoga flow/toning full-body sequence on this online fitness platform by my friend Kelsey (Use code HEALTHNUT50 for 50% off your first month). Then, at least once a week I like to get sweaty with my personal Pre/Postnatal trainer Laura who I saw throughout my pregnancy and now postpartum to help rebuild and recover post-birth properly and safely. It all just depends on how I’m feeling and what my body needs on that particular day.
One thing I will say is that I definitely have new aches and pains at 5 months postpartum that I didn’t have previously. What I’ve been doing is making a habit to stretch for 20 minutes each night before bed to help me wind down and relax.
Another way I like to stay active postpartum is by walking. Not only is it a great way to spend quality time with the family, but it helps to loosen things up and help this mompreneur distress after a long day of work. Plus it’s FREE and what I like to call nature’s therapy!
All and all, what I recommend is having a set of stretches, exercises or movements that you do each day (even if it’s only 5-10 minutes long) and stick to that routine. I find that when I’m consistent with my routine is when I notice results and it saves me from being sore in the long run.
Pelvic floor physiotherapy is something I’ve sworn by throughout both my pregnancy and postpartum journey. Whenever I’m due for an appointment or haven’t been keeping up with my pelvic floor exercises, I notice a huge difference. Paying regular visits has done wonders for regaining strength in my core, strengthening my pelvic floor, and realigning my body to where it was pre baby. I’ve also been getting some inner thigh and pelvic aches, so my physiotherapist has provided me with a list of stretches that I can do to help repair and stretch those specific areas which have been amazing postpartum.
If there’s one thing you need postpartum, it’s a personal neck massage! When you’re experiencing body aches and pains, there might not always be someone around to help massage them out. Maybe your partners at work or you can’t book an appointment because everything is closed, so having a personal massager is the best do-it-yourself solution!
I got this shiatsu massager on Amazon and I love it. It’s heated, and you can control the pressure and get right into any sore muscles that are bothering you. You can use it on your neck, shoulders, and right down through your mid and lower back just by loosening your hold and letting it drop to the right point. It started off as a pregnancy must-have and now it’s a postpartum must-have and I look so forward to indulging in a little self-care massage every night!
Ahhh postpartum hair loss. One of the many joys of being a new mom, am I right?! Now that my hair seems like it is forever falling out, this tub shroom has been a saviour for both myself and our drains! Even if you’re someone who has long hair (postpartum or not) this little bathroom gadget is essential to prevent your drains from clogging in the shower without using nasty chemicals like draino. It catches all your hair but still allows the water to drain through while you’re taking a shower in the quickest, most effective and affordable way!
Speaking of showers, next time you’re in there, try taking a couple of minutes to turn the water on hot (as hot as you can handle so you don’t burn yourself of course!)and let it run on your neck, shoulders and back. I can’t even tell you how good this feels, it’s like free water therapy. I do this every time I take a shower and it’s yet another tip to help soothe those achy postpartum muscles that I can’t seem to escape from! Especially if you’re breastfeeding this will feel amazing and just help provide some relief. To add to the relaxing experience, try adding a few drops of eucalyptus essential oil to the shower and you’ll feel like you’re at the spa!
When you’re a new mom, sleep is everything. If there’s any way to improve the quality and duration of your sleep, I’m all for it and using an eye mask has done the trick! I know eye masks aren’t a new concept and there are tons to choose from on the market, but I really like this one from B.Yoga in particular because it’s silk and weighted. Not only does it feel nice on your skin while you’re sleeping, but it also creates that dark space and comforting sensation when it’s the middle of the day (hello postpartum naps!).
If you’re still waking up often in the night for mom duties, this mask is perfect for helping you settle back into a peaceful sleep. It shuts out all light and distraction. Plus having that added weight really helps my body to wind down and fall back asleep.
Guess what? Pregnancy pillows aren’t just for nursing! Now that I’m 5 months postpartum and starting to get creative with my new mom essentials haha, I’ve realized that another great way to use your nursing pillow is for leg support when you’re laying down.
I know a lot of the time we associate nursing pillows with pregnancy, but they’re actually super helpful even when you’re not pregnant but are still experiencing those uncomfortable postpartum aches and pains! When I’m sleeping, I’ll wedge the pillow in between my knees. It helps align things better and it’s way more comfortable to sleep in this position.
Back to that lovely postpartum hair loss that I mentioned earlier, my next tip is to get yourself some headbands and make it cute! If you’re anything like me, I’ve lost most of my hair around my face (aka where everyone can see it) so these headbands have really helped to cover things up and make way less unnoticeable! It helps me feel more confident, they’re a fun way to dress up your outfits and I’ve been getting a ton of compliments from you HealthNuts about them, too! Not to mention it keeps my hair pulled back so Sage can’t pull at it and it’s not in her face when I’m breastfeeding.
Alright HealthNuts, those are my top 11 tips when it comes to postpartum. I hope they help you out in your own healing journey as a new mama and I’m excited to see which one you’re going to try first. I know it can seem scary and overwhelming, but as I always say it’s all worth it in the end and it’s fun to find little tips like these to make it a little bit easier to function in new mom and postpartum body and life! Remember, I am an open book… so if you have any other questions please leave any them down below in the comments and I will do my best to answer them!
Also, be sure to follow me @healthnutnutrition on Instagram, as I share my journey with motherhood, cute photos of Baby Sage, and of course lots of healthy eats and wellness tips every day on my stories!