Recovering after Birth

By: Nicole Nifo, RMT water faucet

The human body has the ability to heal itself. In today’s society, we tend to work against the natural healing of our bodies. Poor posture, sedentary lifestyles, overuse of medications and returning to activity before our bodies are ready can inhibit natural healing.

The strain of a growing belly and relaxed ligaments and joints are all needed to prepare for birth but can lead to injury in the postnatal stage.

Good care must be taken for the postnatal body. Mental and physical fatigue can sometimes prevent us from taking care of ourselves. Prepare at least three weeks of meals or ask family to bring a few meals worth of prepared food to relieve extra stress after your baby arrives.

Steps To Recovering From Pregnancy and Childbirth

Step One:

Take care of the injury endured from tearing or episiotomy during childbirth. Hydrotherapy such as a sitz bath is a safe way to cleanse the area and prevent infection.

A sitz bath can be done by sitting in a tub of warm water (up to the hips) for 20-30 minutes a few times a week.

Step Two:

Nourish the body with nutrient rich foods and supplement with herbs and vitamins to promote and restore positive hormonal balance, breast milk supply and mental/physical recovery. Remember to stay hydrated with water, even though at times coffee may seem more useful for sleep deprivation.

Step Three:

Establish a feeding and sleeping routine with your new baby to allow you to plan time to take care of yourself. Start exercise by walking and increase to light weight lifting and cardio routine.

Step Four:

Postnatal massage therapy is used in Asia as a way to help repair strained muscles and joints, restore blood flow and balance out hormones and digestion. In Western massage therapy, we incorporate more stress reduction techniques and learn how to keep mental/emotional balance as a new mom.

Step Five:

Join a mommy group or exercise group specialized for postnatal woman and babies. This will give you a change of scenery and help you to relate to other moms who may know exactly what you are going through. Always remember, love yourself and take care of yourself no matter how busy you think you are.

Be Careful After A C-Section

• Do not lift heavy objects over 15 pounds for at least six to eight weeks after your c-section

• Bend your knees and use your legs for lifting (even lifting your baby)

After eight weeks Postnatal:

• Consult a trainer or physiotherapist to educate you in restoring your core strength

• Massage therapy can help increase tone in weakened muscles after surgery

Nicole Nifo is a Registered Massage Therapist and founder of Fully Alive Wellness Centre. She has extensive training in pregnancy massage and has worked closely with high risk pregnant women at the Women’s College Hospital in Toronto. After becoming certified to work with infants and children, Nicole created the BabyLove Infant Massage class. Recently, Nicole has started to practice as a Birth Doula (DONA). Her goal as a therapist is to ensure that top quality care is given to mom and baby and to educate families on the many benefits of loving touch.

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