Finally! It's girls' night out! The baby is at home with dad and you are having a glass of wine with some very funny friends who are making you laugh. Then ooops! You just peed a little. Sounds like someone isn't doing their Kegels!
I'm sure your doctor, your mother, or your friends told you to do those pelvic floor exercises. You may be getting lots of unsolicited advice from people now that you've had a baby -- but if you're not already doing Kegels, oh trust me ... start them now. They are number one on my postpartum tips list. Strengthening those muscles may help prevent or treat urinary stress incontinence, which is that pesky peeing when not at a toilet problem affecting women during or after pregnancy.
Go ahead, squeeze. And squeeze! You can do some right now while you keep reading about four more postpartum tips you shouldn't ignore -- and while they don't all involve needing an adult diaper, they are just as devastatingly important.
2. Invest in Lubrication: Many women, especially when breastfeeding, have low levels of estrogen and that can make vaginal tissues dry. Sandpaper dry. If you've been cleared to resume sex after your six-week check-up and have dryness during intercourse, use a water-soluble lubricant to ease discomfort and make you remember how much you actually like sex. Do it dry and risk never wanting to have it again.
3. Use Contraception: Until your menstrual cycle starts again, you won't know if you're ovulating. Your body needs time to recover from pregnancy and childbirth, so if you're feeling frisky, go for it, but be aware that you can make another baby.
4. Take It Easy: You want to lose that baby weight, I know. But too much activity during the first weeks after delivery can cause your vaginal flow to become pink or red, or flow more heavily. This is your body telling you to s-l-o-w down. Notify your doctor if bleeding restarts after it stopped or if you experience any pain when you exercise. You can work out more after. Enjoy your gorgeous "just had a baby" body. You just created life -- bask in your miracle.
5. Buy a Good Bra: Whether you're breastfeeding or not, your breasts have changed. For the first few weeks, avoid exercises that make your breasts sore and wear a supportive bra. It will help prevent tenderness and make you feel better about your more curvaceous shape. And invest in a frilly, printed, lacy, pick-your-poison one -- pretty underthings will make you feel ... pretty.
What's the best postpartum advice you would share?
Image via armigeress/Flickr