By now, most of the swelling or pain will have subsided. You can go for a walk as long as it feels good. Start at a slow pace and short distances. It’s also a good idea to carefully start to find your pelvic floor early on. No strength clenches, but make sure you can clench, and do so once or twice a day.
If you feel that you can, and if you do not start bleeding more or develop other complications, it’s good to slowly start to build strength in your pelvic floor. Don’t put any pressure on yourself. It’s more than enough to concentrate on identifying the clench every day and, when you lift things, remember to gently tighten your pelvic floor.
Once you’re comfortable doing this, gradually start to exercise the pelvic floor more regularly. Increase the intensity and frequency gradually when it feels right for you. If you’re uncertain whether you are doing the exercises properly, or if you have other complications, contact your midwife for an early postpartum checkup. While it may feel like pressure to start pelvic floor exercises early, there is evidence of fewer complications in the long term, less vaginal swelling and a positive effect on the healing process in general if you exercise the pelvic floor daily after childbirth. But it’s also never too late to start, so if you didn’t start this week, you can start next week.
Another good tip to give your body the best conditions for recovery is to tighten the abdominal muscles and peritoneum. This is not strength training, and not something you must do, but it is a good idea should you want to and have the energy. Lie on your back and feel how you activate your stomach muscles. It should feel as if the stomach is slightly tighter or activated, and remember to breathe. Hold the tightness briefly, 5–10 seconds, and then repeat 8–10 times.
Room for many different emotions
They say that newborns sleep between 16 and 22 hours a day, and yet everyday life is completely changed. It can even prove difficult to find time to grab a shower or go to the toilet alone. And the nights may not provide the rest they should when the baby still has no circadian rhythm and often wakes several times each night. Try to sleep during the day when your baby sleeps. Let the dishes or laundry wait, and ask for help. The most important piece of advice we want to share is that you should not demand too much from yourself and trust that things will get easier with time.
You may experience maternal feelings or unconditional love to your baby instantaneously, or it may take time to develop. It doesn’t mean you love your baby less if you don’t experience instant infatuation. This love for a baby takes time and occasionally needs to evolve. Hormonal changes and being physically exhausted can be the cause. Sometimes the body is simply unable to take in anymore. For some women, the major accomplishment is getting through a delivery and pregnancy. Therefore, it can feel overwhelming that the delivery is over.
It’s normal to feel this way in periods. It is possible to have several different types of emotions at the same time and there is room for all. You can be sad and wiped out one moment, and filled with love and joy the next. You can both love your child and feel a need to be alone sometimes. Bonding with your baby and landing in this new relationship is a process that may take time. Give yourself peace and quiet. Try to not get worked up about the emotions—though doing so is quite common.
Spend time skin-to-skin with your baby and be present. Try to also find time for yourself, and establish routines that help you to relax and recharge. If you find it difficult to recharge, meditation and relaxation exercises can help.
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