When I gave birth to my first child, I had a vaginal delivery and I did not take an epidural. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done and I found myself focused on learning how to care for my daughter and also healing. I was speaking with a fellow mom and we discussed how people are obsessed with knowing the baby’s every move but don’t always keep that same energy when it comes to checking in with mama.
After the birth, I began experiencing vaginal pains. As I said, I gave birth vaginally, so I thought it was normal. I consulted with other moms, and a doula and not many people remembered feeling what I described. The pain persisted and it got to the point where I was walking slowly and sitz baths weren’t helping.
I decided to go to the hospital. A doctor told me that I had a vaginocele, which is a type of hernia brought on by straining, as well as a UTI. I thought that I was dedicated to taking care of my body, but I realized that I wasn’t doing my absolute best. I came up with a short list of ways to better care for myself and I can say that things got better.
H2O was especially helpful when I had a urinary tract infection and needed to flush my body. I added a little apple cider vinegar, too, for an energy boost.
People underestimate just how refreshing a glass of water can be and the ways that it positively affects your skin and internal organs. Make sure you don’t get so caught up in taking care of your new little one that you forget to replenish yourself.
RELATED: Postpartum Depression: What Every Black Mom Needs To Know
Nursing Pads (optional: with aloe vera)
When I went to the hospital, I totally forgot to throw on a bra. I wasn’t big on wearing them before giving birth, and I was rushing while getting dressed. Within an hour, I had a giant wet spot on my dress from breast milk!
Nursing pads are vital because they not only keep you dry, but you can also add a little aloe vera to the pad itself (or your skin) for healing cracked nipples.
I was big on washing my hands pre-baby, so this hasn’t been a big transition. But still, it’s super important.
You don’t realize how many things you touch in any given 5-minute increment. Your baby’s skin may be