Women are marvellous creatures who are made to go through some pretty incredible situations. Yet they always come out more resilient and stronger forever. Women are made to carry a baby in their womb for 9-months, nourishing it and helping it grow. Then they are tasked with the heavy burden of birthing the child, which is something women do every single day without a second glance.
The problem is, no matter how strong or resilient a woman is, childbirth is no joke. Whether it be natural or C-section, it will always take time to recover. While childbirth may be something that happens every single day, it is still one of the most dangerous things that a woman’s system can go through.
Healing after childbirth will vary from woman to woman and a lot has to do with how they gave birth and how they take care of themselves after. This will play a large role in how quickly they are able to recover. There are a lot of things that women should not be doing in the week following childbirth, no matter how well they feel. We have found 20 activities that are strictly off-limits to women who have just delivered their babies.
20 MOM SHOULD SKIP THE GYM: LET YOURSELF HEAL
Pregnancy changes a woman’s body, and not normally in positive ways. A woman will gain weight which is to be expected. A lot of women struggle with body image concerns when they are pregnant, they are not happy with how their body is changing and they wonder if it will ever go back to the way it was before.
The answer is, with some work there is no reason why a woman’s body will not go back to some resemblance of prenatal glory with time and a little bit of work. The problem is that this work will have to wait some time. In the first week following childbirth, and for the first few weeks, women should not be heading out to the gym. Her body is recovering and it needs this time to rest and rejuvenate.
19 WIPING IS A NO!
This one may apply more for moms who have had a natural birth. It is obvious that with a natural birth comes some damage to the downstairs parts. They will be tender, sore and if mom tore during labour she is likely to have some stitches. These are all enough to make it hard enough to sit down, let alone wipe yourself after you go to the bathroom.
The hospital will most likely send mom home with a peri bottle, which is a little squirt bottle that mom should use to cleanse herself after going to the bathroom. Toilet paper is too rough when mom tries to wipe an area that has been through some trauma, and she also does not want to spread bacteria. These bottles are lifesavers, and mom should always buy a couple extra.
18 BE CAREFUL WHEN YOU LIFT!
Just as wiping is important for moms who have had a natural birth, watching what you lift is important for mom’s who have had a C-section. A c-section is a major surgery and that comes with some pretty extensive scarring and trauma. The incision that is left in your abdomen is very tender in the week following childbirth and it should be treated with care.
A new mom should not be lifting anything heavier than her new baby during her healing time. Doing so could cause the stitches to tear open and this would make everything much worse. This may be more difficult for the mom who has toddlers at home who are dying for some attention.
17 WHATEVER YOU DO, DON’T STARVE YOURSELF
One of the things that makes women so amazing is their ability to be completely self-less. Once they have that new little baby in their arms, they immediately forget about caring for themselves and all of their energy and attention goes to caring for that little baby. This means that a lot of her needs will get pushed aside, and eating is one of them.
It is important that a new mom remembers to eat, and does not starve herself. This is important for healing, for keeping her energy up and it can be crucial if mom is breastfeeding. It is always a good idea to make some pre-cooked meals and freeze them before you give birth. If you did not do this, make sure you pick up some quick and easy to prepare meals for when you are home.
16 DO NOT CLEAN THAT HOUSE!
This is one that all new moms should love and follow. In the weeks following childbirth, especially the first week, do not clean your house. A lot of women feel pressure to keep up their house even when they have just had a baby and are trying to heal. Women must fight this urge. Your needs and your baby’s needs come first, and the dirty dishes can wait.
It is important to just relax and ask dad or other family members who come to visit to help if there is a job that absolutely needs to be done. If you know someone who is expecting soon, or you are, a good idea is to hire a maid for a week or two to have a clean house and take the pressure off of mom for a little bit.
15 HOT TUBS ARE STILL OFF-LIMITS
There are a lot of things that are off-limits to pregnant women for the sake of the health of their new baby. Hot tubs are one of them. The temperature is too hot when a woman is pregnant and it can cause mom’s temperature to rise which could put the baby’s health in danger. The sad news is that hot tubs are still off limits once the baby has come, at least for a little while.
While nothing may sound better than sitting in a hot spa and soothing all of your aches and pains, it is just not worth it. There is a risk of infection when a woman who has had a natural or C-section birth submerges themselves in water that is chemically treated. Hot tubs are such things, as they rely on chemicals to keep the water clean.
14 SO ARE BUBBLE BATHS!
This image may look very relaxing and inviting to a woman who has just given birth and wants to relax and unwind after a hard day taking care of a newborn, but it is still not OK. Hot baths are another thing pregnant woman have to give up when they are pregnant because of the high temperature. A lot of them are also warned against having a bubble bath due to infection.
This risk is still there after you have the baby, and it may actually be worse. Your lady parts are considered an open wound after birth, and you don’t want to be sitting in a tub of harsh soaps and chemicals that you often find in bubble baths. The best thing to use is Epsom salt, which promotes fast healing.
13 STAYING AWAKE: JUST DON’T DO IT!
There are always certain words of wisdom that are given to anyone who is expecting a child, especially their first child. One of these phrases is to always ‘sleep when the baby sleeps.’ Mom will soon learn this is a hard thing to do, but she really should try.
When you first bring a baby home, you are filled with adrenaline and excitement mixed with a little bit of nerves and this can make it hard for anyone to fall asleep. Mom will find herself staying awake all night because she is worried for her little one. No one is a good parent when they are completely sleep deprived so it is always important to get that sleep you need.
12 DON’T STAY INSIDE ALL DAY
The world can be a scary place, especially when you have a little baby to protect from germs and any other thing that may want to harm your little one. It is easy for mom to just stay inside after having her baby, to hibernate with a good book or TV show and enjoy the cuddles.
In the first week after giving birth it may not be a good idea to go to the beach for a day, but there is little reason why mom can not get out of the house for just a little bit and enjoy a walk around the block. The fresh air will be wonderful to mom and baby. There are even studies that say that fresh air can help a baby sleep better.
11 ISOLATING YOURSELF IS NO GOOD
Visitors after mom has had a baby will always be a hot topic, and the decision will come down to each individual woman and what they are comfortable with. Some welcome any and all people to come and visit, while others want some time to recover and bond with their baby.
It is a good idea to allow visitors to come and see the baby, if you are nervous about germs, you do not have to let them hold your baby just yet. It is more for the adult interaction and conversation. To have people around to talk too. It also would be helpful if any visitors you have will help out with a chore or two while they are visiting.
10 DO NOT STRAIN TO DO YOUR BUSINESS
Now is the time for a little too much information. When a woman gives birth, it is not just her lady area that gets a little torn up, it can also put a lot of pressure on her who downstairs section as well. When a woman pushes a baby out, she is told to push like she is going to the bathroom, she uses the exact same muscles.
This can cause a lot of pressure and may even introduce some hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoids can be extremely painful and they take some time to calm up. Unfortunately, once a woman gets them they will not go away, they will only have periods of flare-ups. It is important in the days following labour that mom does not strain when going to the washroom, take stool softeners to make sure everything runs smoothly.
9 DON’T PUT TOO MUCH PRESSURE ON YOURSELF
Having a baby can be very overwhelming, so it is important that in the days and weeks following childbirth that mom does not make it all worse for her. New moms place a lot of pressure on themselves, they see having a baby as a huge responsibility and one that often falls on their shoulders the majority of the time.
The best thing mom can do is try not to place this pressure on herself. She needs to take it slow and realize that she can only do what she can. If that means she can only focus on feeding herself and her baby for a while that that is going to have to be OK.
8 TRY NOT TO COUGH, SNEEZE OR LAUGH!
This one may sound weird, but it is true. In the weeks following childbirth mom should really try hard not to laugh, cough or sneeze. It seems impossible at times, but it is really important. If mom has had a C-section, then these movements are going to cause some discomfort because they all effect movements in the abdomen.
It is still quite painful to a mom who has had a natural birth as well. When parts of your body are sore and tender, it is surprising to see just how much you use those muscles when you do these actions. You will also want to watch out for any bumps in the road.
7 DON’T WORRY TOO MUCH (I KNOW!)
This one may be impossible, but we want every new mom to at least try. Worrying is part of the job description as a mother, and it never really goes away even when your children are all grown and left the house. Worrying is how we know we love our children and how we make sure that they get the care that they need.
This worrying can hinder healing of a new mom because it usually means that she is not sleeping when she should be. Try and relax and understand that you are doing the best that you can do and that is all that your little baby needs.
6 YOU DON’T HAVE TO ALWAYS CUDDLE
There is an age-old battle on how much you should hold your newborn. Some will tell you that if you hold your baby too much they will struggle to become independent and that you are raising a spoiled baby. There are others that say you can definitely not spoil an infant and you should be holding your baby as much as possible.
This conflicting advice makes for a very confused mom who is not sure what she should do. The answer is to do what you feel is best, but don’t be afraid to put the baby down once in a while. When baby is sleeping it is OK if you put them down to eat, sleep or even just to have a moment that you are not holding a baby.
5 RESIST TURNING TO GOOGLE!
We live in a world that is run by technology. We have a well of information at our fingertips at any given moment. We always have our cell phones, which allows us to access Dr. Google whenever we feel like something is not right. This is not a good idea, and it can not be said enough. There is a lot of unknown when you have a new baby and it is tempting to google every little problem you have.
The problem is, the internet is full of wrong information and this can end up worrying a mom more than she needs to be. If mom ever has a concern or worry she should always just ask her doctor, that is the best and most accurate source of information.
4 PRIVATE TIME WITH YOUR PARTNER HAS TO WAIT
We all know how a woman ends up pregnant, and that can change during the pregnancy. Mom won’t feel like it and mom will get too uncomfortable and tired to even think about it. Unfortunately, once the baby is born that does not mean that mom and dad can get back to business right away. It is very important to wait the recommended 6-weeks before engaging in any activities.
This is for two reasons. The first is because mom is very prone to infection and being with her partner is one way that mom could get an infection that may halt her recovery. Another reason is because mom is very fertile right after giving birth, and it is not recommended to fall pregnant that close to giving birth.
3 NEVER SKIP ANY APPOINTMENTS
Mom may have a lot of appointments immediately following delivery and that will depend on the kind of delivery she had and if there were any complications. Most women do not go back to the doctor until they are 6-weeks postpartum. If you have any appointments immediately following delivery it is very important to not skip them.
It does not matter if you feel too tired to get out of the house, or if you are feeling relatively fine you still need to see the doctor. It is always better to be proactive and find an issue before it becomes worse and that is what these appointments are for.
2 DON’T JUST HOLD IT ALL INSIDE
When we are pregnant, our hormones go a little crazy and it takes time for them to regulate themselves. It is normal for a woman to feel sad and depressed in the week following childbirth, and this is not normally postpartum depression. This is most likely a case of the ‘baby blues.’ The baby blues are a small period of time where mom may feel sad and cry for no reason.
This is due to hormones trying to regulate themselves. The worst thing a mom can do when this period rears its ugly head is to hold it all inside. It is better to just let it out. Have a good cry in the shower while dad is watching baby. Let yourself feel and express these emotions.
1 YOU GOT THIS: DON’T DOUBT YOURSELF!
No one is harsher on a new mom than herself. She will constantly feel like she is doing everything wrong, and if there is ever a time when her baby won’t stop crying, she will feel like a failure. We place unrealistic expectations on our self and it is unfair.
A new mom should never doubt herself. Doubt will come up often in that first week and it shouldn’t. The first week is a time of bonding and getting to know your little one. You may have carried him for 9-months but you both are still learning together. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself and make sure to let all the little things go, they won’t matter when your baby is a toddler.