Post natal self care - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 8 Old 01-18-2004, 06:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I gave birth about 2 months ago to baby #3. This was a long & somewhat difficult pregnancy. I really felt like I was falling apart at times, i.e. I developed varicose veins & arthritis in pelvic joints, which I didn't have w/the first two pregnancies. I had lots of migraines & vomitting. Now that my wonderful baby is born & 2 months old, I'm still not feeling fully recovered. My pelvis still hurts, still having sporadic uterine contractions & overall just do not feel well. Any ideas for nurturing oneself after having a baby?

Happy mama of four Wild Things
"And now," cried Max "let the wild rumpus begin!"
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#2 of 8 Old 01-18-2004, 06:29 PM
 
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Ah, Robin Lim has an excellent book called After the Baby's Birth: A Woman's Way to Wellness. She has TONS of incredible information in there.

Also, there is another great book by Aviva Jill Romm called Natural Health After Birth.

Amazon has both of these books - and I know that you could find some great information in these.
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#3 of 8 Old 01-19-2004, 03:25 AM
 
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Have you thought about seeing a physical therapist who specializes in pelvic floor rehabilitation? You might need a referral to see one, but I just attended a meeting of my local professional doula association and we had a guest speaker on this topic. I am unclear on the scope of their practice, but you might look into it.

warmly,
claudia
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#4 of 8 Old 01-20-2004, 02:05 AM
 
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I'm sorry your recovery has been so difficult for you.

All the above suggestions are great. I would just add that you might also consider seeing a chiropractor and/or a massage therapist who is comfortable and experienced in treating pregnant and postpartum women. I wonder if your pelvis is out of alignment, which can cause many aches and pains, and general discomfort.

Are you still having a postpartum blood flow? If so, what is it like (color, smell, amount)? Are you getting enough fluids, at least 3 quarts of water a day, minimum? Good, quality protein is needed for your tissues to repair themselves. Do you take any sort of fatty acid supplement? That might be something to consider. Also, since you are having uterine discomfort, I would suggest red raspberry leaf tea.

And, too, please be gentle and kind to yourself. Three children is alot for a mama to love and care for, and sometimes it can really run you down, physically. I find, as I am now in my 30s, that I do not bounce back, emotionally or physically, as quickly as I did in my 20s, or as easily. Plus, you are only two months post partum. Your body cannot be expected to recover overnight, especially if you had a rough pregnancy. Do you have help at home? Can you maybe arrange for some support (mom, friend, dh) to take responsibility of the kiddos for a couple of hours during the day, to allow to you nap or rest? How are you feeling emotionally? Do you feel well supported? Are you getting enough to eat? Sometimes it is difficult to do! You are hungry, but so is one of your kids, so you sit down, nurse the baby, feed the oldest, get a bandaid for the middle one, throw in a load of laundry, and all of a sudden you remember that three hours ago you were hungry, but you didn't get a chance to eat.

Finally, what does your midwife/doctor say? This is a postpartum problem, it is part of your care, and I hope that you have discussed it with him/her. If not, please do! If you already have, and are unhappy with the support and guidance you have received, then you can always change providers. Just like you can switch at any time during your pregnancy, so can you switch for your postpartum care.

Take care of yourself! Keep us posted on how you are doing.

Lori
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#5 of 8 Old 01-21-2004, 08:45 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for your kind replies. I appreciate the suggestions. I have reserved the suggested books from my library & look forward to reading them. The physical tx. option is new to me & I will definately look into it. I have been thinking about chiropractic care for migraines, so perhaps this would fit as well. I do see an accupuncturist, who has provided some relief.

Lori, you were on the money about eating & drinking properly. I definately need to eat more, drink more water, & increase my protein. (I am vegetarian, so this takes some attention.) I am just beginning to get back into exercising, so I hope this will help as well. You mentioned a fatty acid supplement. Can you give me a specific? You also asked about postpartum bleeding. That has stopped.

With three little ones & a teenager to care for, I am quite drained. I am sure this has a huge impact on my recovery. It has been helpful for me to be vaildated by your replies. I thank you again.

Happy mama of four Wild Things
"And now," cried Max "let the wild rumpus begin!"
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#6 of 8 Old 01-21-2004, 12:14 PM
 
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I'm glad our input was helpful!

I take an omega 3-6-9 hexane free supplement. Some people prefer fish oil, evening primrose oil, or flax oil. Also make sure you are using olive oil, and eat healthy fats--avacados, nuts (almond and walnuts are supposed to be especially good).

For protein, you can add Brewer's yeast to things like mashed potatoes, smoothies, etc. It is high in b vitamins and protein. I also munched nuts, ate a ton of beans, and ate some tempeh or tofu several times a week. If you eat eggs, that is a good source of protein and fat, too, especially if you get the organic, free-range kind.

Finally, if you feel that you are maybe a little depressed or blue, because of the slow recovery, you might consider taking a B-complex supplement. Something like B-50, twice a day. Alot of our moms who are having some very mild depression have good results with a b supplement and omega fatty acid supplement. And once you get to feeling better from the improved nutrition and the improved pelvic and joint health, you can start to get some exercise. This is not only going to make you feel better emotionally, but also physically. Even if you can just get a quick 10-15 minute walk in each morning; put the baby in the sling, have dh or teenager watch the other kids, and get around the block a time or two. The sunshine exposure and the walk will definately help with making you feel healthier and happier, kwim? Also, the exercise will help with improved bloodflow throughout the lower extremities and pelvic area.

Now that you have a plan of action, don't you feel much better!?!? Whenever I am feeling crummy, either physically or emotionally or both, I always seem to improve some just having a plan. I'm sort of a freak about "having a plan" anyhow, though: .

Keep up the good work, mama. Man, a baby, little ones, AND a teenager. You've got alot on your plate! You are a brave woman, Max. Have faith, it will all come together for you and you and your body will be feeling better soon!

Lori
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#7 of 8 Old 01-21-2004, 02:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Lori, I just saw on your profile that you are a nurse at a birth center. You're patients are very lucky to have you, as are we. Thank you again for your help.

Happy mama of four Wild Things
"And now," cried Max "let the wild rumpus begin!"
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#8 of 8 Old 01-21-2004, 03:25 PM
 
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Thank you, Max. That is very kind of you, and I appreciate it very much!

Lori
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