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After welcoming a new baby, every mom wants to be free of pain, get back in shape, and feel great. In this article, a mom shares her postpartum recovery tips that will make you feel like your normal self again in no time.

Most mothers feel a little rough right after giving birth. You are likely to be sore and in discomfort whether you have given birth vaginally or had a cesarean section, and you probably still look quite pregnant. You'll soon feel exhausted from a lack of sleep as well. Time tends to be a great remedy for these “wounds”, but do you really want to wait?

There are many proactive steps that newly postpartum mothers and their families can take to speed their recovery up.

How can you feel like a well-rested, fit, and healthy human again as soon as possible?

Dealing With Vaginal Tears And Postpartum Contractions

Many new mothers who gave birth vaginally will either have tears, or an episiotomy wound with stitches. Both can be extremely uncomfortable while you sit or walk, but especially while you use the toilet. Going to the bathroom was very painful for me in the week after my first child was born — it was literally worse than labor and birth.

Fortunately, there is an easy solution.

Keep a squirt bottle with water next to the toilet, and spray its contents onto the sore area while you urinate.

This takes the burning, stinging sensation away. It also helps if you ensure you are properly hydrated, so that your urine is less concentrated and will thus burn less.

Mothers who are in pain can also use an icepack on their perineal area to numb it, and herbal sitz baths are another great option if you would like to speed the healing process up a little. A sitz bath is a little basin that fits into the toilet. You can fill it with water and baking soda, or you can add comfrey leaves, calendula flower and St John's Worth flower. Applying aloe vera gel directly to the torn or cut area offers relief as well.

Postpartum uterine contractions are another common problem during the first few days, and they are especially likely to affect women who just gave birth to a second or subsequent child. These uncomfortable contractions tend to show their ugly face while you are breastfeeding.

Over-the-counter pain killers such as ibuprofen or Tylenol can make life a lot more pleasant.

Faster Cesarean Recovery

Abdominal pain and discomfort at the incision site are both problems that most women encounter after giving birth by cesarean section. Make sure to follow your doctor's recommendations if you want to get through this period as quickly and comfortably as possible.

Post c-section moms will be given strong painkillers when they go home. Don't feel that you have to “tough it out”, and feel free to rely on the painkillers. A c-section is, after all, major abdominal surgery. Doctors advise cesarean section mothers to start walking within 24 hours of the operation in order to encourage healing and to promote fitness.

Walking is great, but don't overdo it. Rely on the help of others when it comes to housework, and definitely don't ignore the advice to refrain from lifting anything heavier than your baby.

Drinking plenty of water and eating a healthy diet full of fresh fruits and vegetables will help you feel like your normal self more quickly. Do check the incision for signs of infection daily. If you like, you can use St John's oil or zinc cream to promote healing and discourage too much scarring.

The most important tip for c-section recovery is still to listen to your own body, and to take a rest when you feel you have been too active. You have just undergone an operation — you don't have to be super woman.

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