One of the most important requirements to become a surrogate is that the woman must have given birth before to at least 1 child. When these incredible women choose to act as surrogates, the importance of their recovery is often overlooked or forgotten since they go home without a newborn. The excitement and satisfaction of being able to do such an incredible thing can sometimes take over, even after the IPs and their new addition head home for the first time as a family. The next chapter is all about healing you! Your watch has officially ended (we love Game of Thrones!) and the time has come to rest, relax, and recover!
Childbirth (both vaginal and c-section) is no easy feat. It can be hours or even DAYS of contractions, nausea, and/or any of the other fun “perks” of labor. It leaves women exhausted, dehydrated, and in most cases- with quite a bit of pain. The obvious recovery tips are to rest/sleep as much as possible, continue your pre-natals, and to relax as much as you can… The hard part is over! 😊
Here are some tips to get you through those dreaded postpartum weeks:
– Donut Pillow: Hemorrhoids and perineal pain can be unfortunate side effects of childbirth. It makes it extremely hard to get comfortable or to feel any real relaxation. Sitting hurts, laying hurts, walking hurts- you get it! Plop yourself down on a donut shaped pillow that will not only help with your posture, but will also alleviate any pressure that could be caused by a chair seat or couch, or even super soft beds!
– Bellybands: Post delivery, most women continue to feel pressure and contraction like pains due to the uterus and stomach shrinking back up or any gas that could be trapped (especially with a c-section!). Things like wraps and belly bands are a new trend we’ve seen with many postpartum women. Shaped a bit like a girdle, these bands help alleviate those gas pains and can speed up the uterine shrinking process!
– Padsicles: Here’s a really easy DIY for cold and medicated relief pads that you can use for those extra sore first few weeks. You’ll need: MaxiPads (the bigger the better!), aloe vera gel, and witch hazel spray. Open your pad so it’s flat but still stuck to the wrapper. Spread a thin layer of aloe vera gel all over and then spray with a healthy amount of witch hazel. Put them in the freezer and you have your very own medicated padsicles! 😊
*Addition of essential oils like lavender and chamomile are optional as they both provide healing benefits and a nice scent!*
– Sitz Bath: A sitz bath is technically the act of soaking your privates (up to your hips) in a water solution of your choosing. For pain relief purposes, the following additives are recommended to your lukewarm or cool water soak (Epsom salts, Witch Hazel, Lavender essential oil, Chamomile essential oil)
*Please get permission from your OB or midwife before trying!*
– Panties: For those first few weeks after delivery, you can expect quite a heavy flow and the hospitals will typically send you home with a few pairs of their super stylish mesh panties but that’s just not enough!!! Hopefully your hospital is laid back and will allow you to take as many as you need but if you find yourself needing something similar- look no further than boy shorts or Depends! A few good stretchy pairs of boy shorts are the perfect underwear for a monster pad or DIY padsicle. For those with extra heavy bleeding, we do recommend Depends for just the first few days.
– Mattress Pad: There is only so much prevention one can do when it comes to a 4-6 week long heavy period. As an extra precaution, throw a thin mattress pad on your bed (under the sheets) until the bleeding slows down. Better safe than sorry!
– Hydration: Drink water and lots of it! Staying hydrated will help with fatigue, dryness, will get things moving, and will help flush out any toxins. We can’t stress this enough- HYDRATE, HYDRATE, HYDRATE!
– Stool Softener: Pooping after birth is scary! Whether you had a vaginal delivery or c-section, there is an inherent fear of pushing or pressure. To help move things along and keep you “regular”, stool softeners can help. They will make your first couple of bathroom trips just a little easier 😊.
– Positioning: Potty posture is another hard thing to navigate right after birth. You may not feel comfortable and may not find it as easy to “go” in the position you’ve known your whole life. The natural human “poop position” is actually to squat as it alleviates strain in your back and allows for your intestines to pass things along. Our fave fix for this is the Squatty Potty!
– Scar Prevention: Typically a c-section scar is located just below the bikini line but if you can prevent or treat a scar- why not! Our recommendations are tried and true creams like Mederma or c-section specific products like ScarAway’s C-section Scar Sheets.
– Don’t Bust a Gut: The incision from a c-section tends to remain tender for the first 1-2 weeks and a simple laugh or cough could cause it to feel like it’s going to rupture! Keep a pillow or Boppy around to lean on so you aren’t scared to giggle!
– Probiotics: After almost any invasive surgeries or procedures, many will complain of abdominal pains which are caused not only by the c-section itself, but are also combined with gas that can get trapped during the surgery. The recommended remedy is Gas-X and we also will HIGHLY recommend that you immediately begin taking probiotics. After the surgery, you’ll be taking strong antibiotics to protect you from any infection but they are known to cause an upset stomach and who wants that coupled with gas pains??
If you have any other unique or not well-known tips for us, please let us know! 😊
Happy healing ladies!