Taking Care Of Yourself After Labor
A difficult labor may be caused by a number of specific complications or even by nothing in particular at all! Babies which may present in a breech position, or who simply cannot fit through the birth canal because they’re too big or the mother’s pelvic bones are too close together often cause difficult labors.
What you may feel after a long labor
Even an uncomplicated pregnancy, which may end with a relatively easy birth is an emotionally and physically exhausting experience. However, if your labor was longer, or perhaps more difficult than you originally expected, or if you simply experienced a basic “complication”, you may feel particularly worn out. This may also lead you to feel anxious about your recovery.
You might also have some questions about what exactly happened and why; and you may be wondering about future pregnancies and how this labor experience may affect your health. “Be sure to communicate your concerns to your physician,” says Carol L. Archie, an obstetrician-gynecologist and professor of medicine at the University of California at Los Angeles School of Medicine. Even if the doctor explained to you what was happening during the delivery, you may not remember everything that was said — you were a little distracted after all! Don’t be shy. Ask again now that you’re able to listen to and think about the information.
Tips for a faster, easier recovery after labor
The best advice is often the most basic. Sleep when your baby sleeps, ask for help keep following a nutritious and healthy diet, and possibly most importantly- keep drinking those fluids! Accept all offers for help with cooking, cleaning, childcare, whatever friends and family offer.
If you lost a lot of blood during the labor, became dehydrated or are anemic after childbirth, it may take you a few extra days or weeks before you start feeling like yourself again. If you do not have anyone to help you, especially during the first few days post pregnancy, then you may wish to consider hiring a doula. Most people simply think of a doula as someone who only assists during labor, however a doula can also help out after delivery with light housekeeping duties, cooking and whatever else you need once your’e home so you can rest and bond with your newborn.
Talk to other people. Some women find that talking, particularly with others who’ve experienced similar difficulties with labor, helps them feel better.