How to Take Care of Yourself Postpartum

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Whether you had a Caesarean section or a natural birth, it's important to take care of your own body after giving birth. While a C-section, which is major abdominal surgery, is the more invasive and traumatic procedure, women who deliver naturally still need to care for themselves postpartum. Expect to have some bleeding, at times very heavy bleeding, for up to six weeks after delivery. Your OBGYN will advise you not to use tampons - only pads. If you've had an episiotomy - a small perineal cut to allow easier passage for the baby out of the birth canal - then there could be some significant pain, plus care for stitches. Take the pain medication your doctor has either prescribed or recommends. Significant pain can inhibit milk production in breastfeeding moms, so be sure your pain is managed. In order to replenish the nutrients depleted, either by pregnancy or the subsequent bleeding, be sure you're eating the right diet. Beef up your protein levels to 60-70 grams a day - chicken, lentils, eggs and other sources help your body recover from childbirth. Iron from lean beef, cereals and other grains will help prevent anemia as your body sheds blood and other fluids.