Postpartum mom with newborn baby

What to Expect for your Postpartum Recovery Timeline (The Ultimate Guide to an Easier Postpartum Recovery!)

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Postpartum recovery tips for a faster postpartum recovery timeline – Q&A with a postpartum doula!

How can you have an easier postpartum recovery and shorten your postpartum recovery timeline?

You may have heard that recovery after birth is not easy. While that may be true for many new mothers, you can definitely save yourself lots of unnecessary suffering by simply being organized and having a plan… a postpartum plan to be exact!

In this post, I’m going to help you to know what to expect from your time of healing after birth. I’ll also share my favorite postpartum care tips to get you feeling better fast!

Hang on… because this is a jam-packed collection of postpartum recovery tips, hacks and planning help!

In fact, this is the only source you’ll ever need to learn all you need to learn about postpartum recovery care.

In this post, I am also going to answer these common questions about your postpartum recovery timeline:

  • How long is postpartum recovery?
  • What can I expect from my postpartum recovery period?
  • How long should you rest after giving birth?
  • What do I need for postpartum recovery?
  • How long does it take for uterus to shrink after birth?
  • How long does postpartum pain last?
  • Does walking help postpartum recovery?
  • How long does bleeding last after giving birth?
  • What postpartum essentials do I need?
  • What are some postpartum healing tips?
  • How to avoid postpartum complications?
  • What are some C-section recovery tips?
  • What is the difference between postpartum depression and baby blues?

Mom kissing a newborn baby.

How long is postpartum recovery after normal delivery?

Generally speaking, it takes a woman about 6-8 weeks to fully recover after birth. However, this timeline can vary and may even take longer for a C-section recovery or if a new mother is recovering from any postpartum complications.

A final postpartum checkup is usually scheduled at six weeks postpartum. However, DON’T hesitate to reach out to your doctor if you have any concerns before that time!

This post-birth warning signs checklist is a great assessment tool to know if you need medical care sooner.

Print out these post-birth warning signs and keep it handy for easy reference!

Print out this post-birth warning signs checklist. What does a postpartum recovery timeline look like?

How long does it take for uterus to shrink after birth?

It takes about 6 weeks for your uterus to fully heal and shrink back to its original pre-pregnancy size.

How long does postpartum pain last?

Postpartum pain varies from woman to woman and there are various types of postpartum pain.

Most women experience “after pains” which is another name for the cramping felt while the uterus contracts after birth. This is totally normal and a very good sign that your uterus is working properly to prevent hemorrhaging and shrinking back to its pre-pregnancy size.

It’s very common for breastfeeding moms to feel these cramps more intensely while breastfeeding during the early days after birth. Thankfully, these cramps usually only last a few days!

If you have a vaginal delivery, you may feel tenderness, swelling and bruising in your perineum area. You may also have pain or tenderness from stitches after a tear or episiotomy. Some women experience muscle achiness after birth from squatting, lunging or straining during pushing.

If you deliver via Caesarean section, then you will be recovering from surgery. You’ll most likely experience abdominal tenderness or incision pain for a few weeks.

New mom in hospital holding a newborn baby. What does a postpartum recovery timeline look like?

What can I expect from my postpartum recovery?

This is a great question and one that every pregnant woman needs to ask before giving birth!

Find out what you can expect after having a baby and how you can be ready for a smoother recovery. Don’t be surprised by these totally normal postpartum experiences…

10 things that shocked me about recovery after childbirth

Don’t be completely caught off guard when your baby arrives (like I was). Knowing these 10 things to expect for your postpartum recovery timeline can really help.

10 Things That Shocked Me About Recovery After Childbirth

15 things you might not know about childbirth recovery

It’s really helpful to read some personal birth and recovery stories from experienced moms.

This vaginal birth recovery story is full of helpful postpartum healing tips and timeline expectations as you prepare for your baby’s arrival.

New mom in hospital holding a brand new baby skin-o-skin immediately after birth. What does a postpartum recovery timeline look like?

How long does bleeding last after giving birth?

Here’s everything you need to know about postpartum bleeding. How long does bleeding last after childbirth? What’s normal? What’s not? When to call the doctor? Tips for how to handle postpartum bleeding. How to stop postpartum bleeding faster. And more!

The ultimate guide to postpartum bleeding… the good, the bad and the ugly!

Lochia 101: The Ultimate Guide to Postpartum Bleeding… The Good, The Bad, The Ugly!

How long should you rest after giving birth?

It’s very important to rest and take it easy during the entire 6-week recovery period. Give yourself permission to relax and let people help you!

In fact, most childbirth professionals agree that for the first 2 weeks after birth, new moms should plan for plenty of extra help and lots of bed rest.

That’s why I created my 2-week postpartum baby-moon planning course for new moms!

In this course, I teach you step-by-step how to plan and customize your very own postpartum baby-moon.

It’s your chance to be PAMPERED and SPOILED for the first 2 weeks while you rest and bond with your newborn!

Sound wonderful? It is!

How to prioritize postpartum sleep during the 4th trimester!

Since you’ll be feeding your newborn every 2-3 hours around the clock, it’s essential that you nap during the day. This means that you will need to be intentional about getting enough sleep!

In order for you to avoid sleep deprivation and get the restorative sleep that you need for your post-baby recovery, you will need to prioritize sleep.

This can be hard to do!

How to prioritize sleep during your postpartum recovery

Here are my 14 best tips and sleep strategies for how to prioritize sleep during the 4th trimester:

How to Prioritize Sleep During the 4th Trimester: 14 Great Tips to Help!

3 mason jars of homemade bath salts. Make this easy recipe for postpartum sitz bath salts. What does a postpartum recovery timeline look like?

What postpartum recovery essentials do I need?

Recovering from delivery is easier if you have a well-stocked postpartum recovery care kit. This printable postpartum recovery must haves checklist can really help!

In this next post, I share my favorite 100% natural postpartum essentials and teach you how to make your own postpartum recovery kit. This kit also includes my homemade recipes for DIY padsicles, sitz bath salts, healing bottom spray recipe and more!

Postpartum must haves to speed up your postpartum healing timeline

Healthy Mama’s DIY 100% Natural Postpartum Kit Checklist!

Image of postpartum planning packet download. Download this free printable postpartum packet for easier pre-baby planning.

Why do I need a postpartum plan?

Many pregnant women focus exclusively on preparing for childbirth and buying what they need for the baby. Consequently, they don’t give much thought to how they will recover from birth. They also don’t think much about their own postpartum self care.

That’s why I stress the need for a postpartum plan.

You have probably heard of a birth plan, but have you thought about creating a postpartum care plan? Learn why postpartum planning is so important and how to create your own postpartum plan in this post:

Here’s how to create your own postpartum recovery plan

Why You Need a Postpartum Plan

New mom and baby sleeping together. Image for postpartum recovery timeline post.

What postpartum recovery tips will help with faster healing?

The best way to ensure an easier and faster postpartum recovery is to plan a postpartum baby-moon!

What is a postpartum babymoon?

A postpartum baby-moon is a sweet 2-week vacation with your newborn and the ultimate postpartum self-care. A postpartum plan is good, but a postpartum babymoon is even better!

Find out how to plan a 2-week postpartum babymoon and why I recommend this special time of bonding, resting and recovery…

How to Plan a Sweet Postpartum Baby Moon!

Postpartum survival tips from experienced mom bloggers

Some of my favorite mom bloggers share their personal experiences with their own postpartum recoveries.

These moms share vulnerably about their postpartum struggles along with offering some great postpartum recovery tips for breastfeeding, postpartum bleeding, postpartum care tips and other great postpartum healing tips.

Postpartum Survival Help: Problem-Solving Tips by some of my Favorite Mom Bloggers!

How to speed healing with postpartum sitz baths

One of my top recommendations for speeding up healing (of sore bottoms) after birth is a postpartum sitz bath.

Ahhh…. taking a warm sitz bath with these herbal bath salts feels so amazing on a sore post-natal bottom. Aim to take 2-3 postpartum sitz baths a day to speed healing, relieve pain and itching and help relax tense, sore muscles.

Easy DIY postpartum sitz bath recipe

Check out my recipe for herbal bath salts here!

How to Use a Sitz Bath for Postpartum Healing – Easy DIY Recipe!

Does walking help postpartum recovery?

After a vaginal birth, it’s actually recommended that you keep pressure off your pelvic floor to speed healing.

You can really benefit from being more horizontal during the first two weeks. In addition to keeping pressure off your pelvic floor, a horizontal position encourages increased blood flow to the area.

For this reason, it’s best to delay walking around too much during the first two weeks postpartum.

Certainly, it may be a good idea to stretch your legs once in a while, especially after a C-section, but try to avoid too much walking during the first two weeks.

Instead, take seriously the recommendation to rest and recline to allow your pelvic floor to heal more quickly.

Experiment with side-lying, semi-reclining and other horizontal positions to see what is most comfortable for you.

After the 2 week mark, short slow walks can be helpful for circulation as you slowly ease into more activities.

If you notice your lochia getting heavier again after it has slowed down, you are over-doing it. It’s time to rest again. Your body is speaking to you. If you want to avoid mastitis or other postpartum complications, you would be wise to listen!

How to avoid postpartum complications

Rest… rest… rest!

After pregnancy and childbirth, your body needs rest. Without rest, you increase your risk of developing postpartum complications. You also hurt your chances of successful breastfeeding.

It’s hard to rest, though. Especially if you’re the type of person that likes to be always on the go!

That’s where a postpartum baby-moon plan can be helpful.

When you create a postpartum plan during pregnancy, you give yourself permission to rest and bond with your newborn.

It also sets that expectation for you and for others.

Remember, this time of rest, skin-to-skin and extra bonding helps establish breastfeeding, prevents postpartum depression and does wonders for your milk supply!

I highly recommend that every mama takes a 2-week postpartum baby-moon with their newborn.

You will be so glad you did!

Watch this short video to help you and your partner better understand your need for postpartum rest after your baby’s delivery…

C-section Postpartum Recovery Tips

Let’s not forget to think about recovery after a possible cesarean section!

Since 1 in 3 women deliver via C-section in the U.S. 🙁 it’s a good idea to be aware of these healing tips, as well.

If you’d like some great tips for postpartum recovery after a C-section, I recommend that you check out this mama’s C-section recovery story.

She shares her story and offers some really great postpartum recovery tips for how to recover after a cesarean section.

New mother in hospital bed holding a sleeping baby. Image for postpartum recovery timeline post.

What is the difference between postpartum depression and baby blues?

Most women experience some form of “baby blues” after having a baby.

After delivery, new moms experience a significant hormonal shift as their bodies shift from pregnancy hormones to breastfeeding hormones.

This huge hormonal shift often triggers all kinds of confusing emotions for new mothers.

That coupled with intense fatigue and the emotions of childbirth (+ becoming a mother) can be pretty overwhelming at times.

But how do you know if what you’re feeling is more than just the baby blues?

Quick tips and resources for postpartum mood disorders

Find out the difference between postpartum depression (PPD) and the baby blues.

If you have been struggling with negative feelings and moods that have lasted longer than 2 weeks, learn what you can do to feel better.

You can also visit Postpartum Support International to find local help and lots of great information about postpartum mood disorders!

How to process your birth story?

Why is it so important to process your birth story after delivery?

Learn how to process your birth story and why it’s so important for your postpartum emotional self-care.

Here’s why it’s helpful to talk about your baby’s birth

Why You Need to Process Your Birth Story

10 Smart reasons to delay visitors after birth!

As we’re talking about your postpartum recovery healing timeline, let’s discuss one of the biggest reasons that new mamas don’t get enough rest … VISITORS!

When you’re awake a few hours during the overnight hours to feed your baby, you absolutely must nap during the day!

However, when you have a constant flow of visitors, it’s almost impossible to get in the naps that you so desperately need. It’s also harder to get enough skin-to-skin bonding time with your newborn.

Without enough skin-to-skin time, it may be more challenging to establish breastfeeding during the first 2 weeks.

Because of this, I HIGHLY recommend that new parents wait for at least 2 weeks before allowing visitors to come. In fact, there are several good reasons to wait on visitors.

Here’s why some new moms wait on visitors…

Find out 10 smart reasons to establish a “no visitor’s policy” with your newborn.

10 Smart Reasons to Request NO VISITORS after Birth!

Why newborns LOVE social distancing!

Since we are living in this crazy time, I’d like to discuss the benefits of social distancing with a newborn.

Did you know that the current pandemic has some positive effects on newborns? Newborns are THRIVING while social distancing!

That’s probably because with less visitors and more time together, moms and babies have way more skin-to-skin bonding time and less interrupted breastfeeding sessions!

More privacy = more skin-to-skin = more breastfeeding = better milk supply = better weight gain = better sleep = happier mom and baby!

Find out more about why newborns love social-distancing.

The Benefits of Social Distancing for Newborns + 13 Survival Tips for New Moms!

How to get ready for baby. Other great pre-baby planning tips…

Free baby essentials checklist!

Get organized and ready for baby by downloading this printable baby essentials checklist!

The Ultimate Planning for Baby Checklist!

Favorite mom and baby product recommendations!

I also invite you to take a look at some of my favorite mom and baby product recommendations for pregnancy, postpartum, breastfeeding and newborn care. Add these to your baby registry or put them on your pre-baby shopping list today!

My Favorite Products for Mom and Baby!

Please share your postpartum recovery timeline tips for new mamas and babies. Thank you!

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