Is there a difference between a surrogate’s postpartum recovery and that of a non-surrogate? The answer? No. Both women will face issues that are common after delivery of a child. They may be subject to pain and postpartum depression. It’s vital that surrogates take enough time to heal before getting back to life as normal. Here are some of our top postpartum recovery tips.
1. Understand Why Postpartum Recovery Is Necessary
Postpartum recovery is an important part of the journey. Every woman is different however, what is universal is the need for recovery after giving birth. Birthing is a traumatic experience for the body which requires women to take time off to heal physically, emotionally, and psychologically. Coming to terms with what has just happened takes time. 8 out of 10 women fall into postpartum depression around this time. It will happen regardless of whether one is a surrogate or not. What’s key, however, is realizing that it’s okay.
2. Postpartum Recovery Means Taking Time To Heal
Whether you opt for a C-section or are lucky enough to have a natural delivery, the first six weeks after delivery should be set aside for postpartum recovery. Women may experience a range of postpartum aches and pains which include backache, perineum pain, sore nipples, breast engorgement just to name a few. Women who had a vaginal birth but were fortunate enough to come out without a perineal tear (episiotomy), recovery is typically three to six weeks. For those with an episiotomy, healing is slightly longer. Employers should offer their female employees time off and not pressure them to “hurry up and get back to work”.
3. Prepare A Support Group
The importance of a support group – especially one made up of former surrogate mothers – cannot be underestimated. It’s not just physical healing that is taking place after you’ve delivered the baby. There is emotional and psychological healing that also needs to happen. Because of the influx of hormones at this time, having friends who’ve been through the process and who can walk with you, listen to you, and empathize will be therapeutic.
4. Keep Yourself Healthy
You must make a deliberate effort to keep yourself healthy. Incorporating low-impact exercises like walking and swimming will help to strengthen your body day-by-day. Diet is another important element to factor in. The type of food you eat can affect you emotionally and psychologically therefore aim for healthy, wholesome meals. Avoid having unrealistic expectations of when you should get back to normal. This can actually slow down the recovery process. Don’t try to do too much, too soon. Our postpartum recovery tip? Two words – self-care.
Looking For A Support System?
Our team here at Joy of Life has been helping surrogates for years. As former surrogate mothers and intended parents, we understand the unique challenges that are part of the journey. Contact us for more information.