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Tips For Postpartum Recovery

Once your baby is born, the typical assumption is if baby is doing well then mama is doing just fine. It’s easy to ignore your body’s physical needs when you are juggling feeding sessions and marathon diaper changes, all on a lack of sleep and fluctuating emotions dictated by hormones. Whether you have a natural birth or a c-section, the first couple of weeks is a time for healing… a recovery game plan is essential.

1. C-Section Recovery If you had a cesarean, the first couple days will be difficult to move, roll over in bed, and even breastfeed your baby. Take it easy and start by walking 10 minutes, gentle movement will lead to a faster recovery. No lifting anything heavier than your baby for the first 4-6 weeks. Accept help from friends and family (or baby nurse) to help with caring for the baby, cleaning, and cooking to allow you time to heal properly.

Ancient Minerals Magnesium OilOnce the C-section scar has closed and healed, time to start breaking up the scar tissue and contracture around the incision that can cause weakness in the core muscles leading to dysfunctional breathing and movement patterns. We recommend magnesium oil to help soften the scar. Newer scar tissue will feel like a grain of sand under the skin, try to rub and iron out this scar tissue. Old scar tissue that has been around for 9 months and longer will feel leathery and tough. This kind of scar tissue is much harder to break up down the road, so do it now! Twice a day everyday!

Sunbird (Chakravakasana) yoga poseAfter your 6 week check up with your birthing provider, you are typically cleared to start exercising again. We recommend starting on all fours with rocking the hips back to the heals to open up the hips, crawling to reprogram the brain with cross patterning, and gentle core work including pelvic tilts, beast plank and bird/dog. Consult our doctors at Urban Wellness Clinic to help with form of these exercises.

Working hands of acupuncture

More recent studies in the effect of acupuncture on the effects of scar tissue shows that threading acupuncture needles under a scar can create fibroblastic change and soften the scar. We have 2 great acupuncturists at Urban Wellness Clinic, feel free to call with any questions and make an appointment. (See references below)

2. Natural Birth Recovery Your pelvic floor has taken a fair load of your pregnancy and a vaginal delivery will lead to some soft tissue damage postpartum.

-Sitz Bath: It’s common for first-time moms to tear their perineum (the area between the vulva and the anus) during a natural birth. To relieve the pain, fill a sitz bath with warm water the first couple of days. One week postpartum try resting your bottom with a soothing herbal Sitz Bath with:

  • 1/2 cup Epsom salt
  • 2 tablespoons baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons witch hazel
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 drops lavender essential oil
  • 8 drops chamomile essential oil

-Squirt Bottle: If you have hemorrhoids, tearing, or an episiotomy during birth, wiping after going #2 will make you scream. A squirt bottle filled with tap water can help you feel cleaner after you use the bathroom without the added pain.

-Witch Hazel Pads: A simple drugstore product, witch hazel pads help relieve pain postpartum from tearing and hemorrhoids.

-Pelvic Floor Assessment: 80% of postpartum mothers who had a natural birth will experience incontinence symptoms where there is urine leakage with heavy lifting or with just moving positions. There may be 2 different issues here and it is important to get assessed to know the course of action for healing properly. The pelvic floor may be weak and you need to start doing Kegel work. The second option is there is internal scar tissue from delivery not allowing the pelvic floor to fully contract or relax, leaving the pelvic muscles in limbo and throwing off motor control of the intrinsic core.

For external work and to determine if you have a weak or overly facilitated pelvic floor, call us at Urban Wellness Clinic.

We love to hear your comments, questions, and personal experiences with pregnancy. Visit us at the clinic by calling 212-355-0445, shoot us an email,, or visit us on social media.