When You're Awake and Asleep
Narcotic pain relievers such as Percocet and Darvocet offer almost guaranteed relief after delivery, but they can also constipate you, so ask for a laxative and use it right away. "You do not want to get backed up and have to push all over again with a tender bottom," says Dr. Gunter. For the same reason, drink lots of fluids, eat high-fiber foods, and walk the hospital halls as much as you can: Before birth, gravity gets a baby moving; after, it helps move other important business.
Sleep It Off
Most moms are so excited after giving birth that they feel as if they drank a gallon of espresso, which can make it difficult to rest and recuperate. It's time to cue up your iPod and try to nod off. First, though, ask your nurses if they'll take your vital signs when they bring Baby to you for a feeding, so they won't have to wake you twice.