So you just went through nine magical months of carrying a baby inside of you, and another so many hours in labor to give birth to your baby. It’s done now right? You can wear normal clothes, not have to pee every hour, and have more energy to enjoy the precious moments of your newborn…wrong! Sorry, but postpartum recovery is a real thing. You really want to make sure you’re taking good care of your body in the several months after giving birth. It won’t be easy, but here’s what to expect and some tips you can use to have a smooth Postpartum recovery.

Keep your diet in check: Hopefully, your pregnancy cravings of ice cream and chips (perhaps mixed together) has passed, and if not, then you’ll have to find a way to substitute with a healthier alternative. Here’s a guide on what foods to eat for postpartum recovery and what to avoid.

There will be blood: After giving birth, you’ll find that you’re constantly on your period…if your period was on steroids. Make sure to contact your doctor if you’re having to change your sanitary pads more than once per hour. Also, because there’s such a heavy flow after giving birth, make sure you’re keeping everything down there, clean. 

Contractions again?? No, just cramps: Expect cramps as you go through postpartum recovery. For many, they’r enot your everyday period cramps, you might feel like you’re having contractions- another baby??  No, just cramps that will usually occur because your uterus is shrinking.

Let it all out: The emotions will be a roller coaster for the first weeks or even months. Your body is going through a lot of physical changes which can affect your hormones. Even besides that, you’re restructuring your whole life and changing the way you think about everything…this can be very emotionally draining. It’s okay to ask for or accept help and lean on others for tasks that might be too straining on you. Lastly, make sure you have someone, whether a partner or best friend, who you can spill vent to.

Catch more Zzz’s: You’re body will be in recovery mode and you’ll constantly be tired. With a new baby around, it can be especially difficult to get the proper amount of sleep. However, you need to find a way to get enough sleep that you feel rested. Some ways to do this are by maximizing the time you are awake, prepping your meals, asking for help, and even getting your outfits ready to minimize decision-making. By doing the little tasks like this, you can hopefully fit in that extra 20…30 minutes (or more) of sleep! 

Although this can all sounds shocking, it’s best to be prepared for postpartum recovery. The recovery is different for everyone and some may have a more mild case of baby blues, whereas others may have severe Postpartum depression. During your pregnancy it’s best to talk to your significant other, friends, and already-moms to get their advice or to let them know you may lean on them once the baby is born.