The first time you hold your newborn in your arms, you’re going to be so overwhelmed with emotions that it will completely escape your mind that your body has just been put through the ringer. It’ll be a few hours before it starts sinking in just how much discomfort giving birth has brought you.
For the first six weeks after delivery, you’re going to have to focus on your recovery. This is called the postpartum period. Depending on your delivery, your postpartum period can last up to 6 months as you heal and your hormones go back to what they used to be.
Pregnancy caused a lot of changes in your body. Now that your baby is here, your body has to go through even more changes to help you nurture your little angel. As you go through your recovery journey, one of the most important things to remember is that even if you are feeling fine, it is very important to go to all your postpartum checkups. This is best way to spot any potential health issues and to treat them before they become too serious.
How long does it take to recover from birth?
According to experts, you need at least six weeks to recover from a vaginal delivery. However, this all depends on how the delivery went. Some moms need more time to fully heal from tearing, swelling, bruising, sore muscles, and episiotomy stitches. For cesarean section deliveries, it’s going to take at least 12 weeks to recovery from the surgery.
Generally speaking, you should give yourself at least two to three months for your body to bounce back after delivery. While this may sound like a painfully long time, when you have your hands full taking care of a newborn, you won’t even notice the passing time.
What not to do during your recovery period
Everyone talks about the right things to do to aid your recovery and how to accelerate your healing process. However, there are a lot of common mistakes that new moms make after giving birth. While some of these might seem obvious, it is still important to point them out.
- Do not skip postpartum visits. These regular checkups are extremely important for both you and your little one. Plus, they also give you the perfect opportunity to bring up any issues or concerns you might have.
- Do not assume you cannot get pregnant. Some women can start a new cycle as little as four weeks after giving birth. Don’t risk it!
- Do not go swimming or sit in a bath. Besides being messy, you also have an internal wound where the placenta used to be. Water will carry bacteria with it up there, which can cause infections. Showers are completely safe, though.
- Do not have sex. It’ll only introduce bacteria to your healing internals and slow down the healing process. Plus, it’ll probably be very uncomfortable when you are still sore.
- Do not hold in your pee. Even though it’ll hurt when you pee, you want to make sure that you do it at least every 2 to 3 hours.
- Do not rely on the Internet for medical advice. A lot of times, when you suspect that something is wrong with your little one, it is easy to do a quick Google search and find some answers. Try to avoid this route and instead talk to an actual person about it. Talk to your parents, your friends, or your doctor because Google will only make the problem seem more serious than it is.
- Do not use tampons. Besides being uncomfortable, they are also an easy way to introduce bacteria up there. So, try to stick with maternity pads for a couple of months until you heal completely.
- Do not go on a weight loss diet. Give yourself some time to heal. Plus, if you are breastfeeding, you need all the calories and nutrients you can get to nourish your little one.
- Do not strain as you make your bowel movements. This can be very painful, and if you had a CS birth, it can rapture your stitches. Drink a lot of water and use stool softeners.
- Do not ignore signs that you need to see a doctor. You know your body best, so when you see signs that something might be wrong, call your doctor immediately.
- Do not be afraid to ask for help. No one should have to do it alone, so ask for help and accept it when it’s offered!
Giving birth is one of the most remarkable things the human body can do. After 9 months of growing a tiny human inside you, you should be extremely proud of yourself for getting to this point. That said, delivery marks the start of a new stage in your motherhood journey. And while most of your focus should be on your little one, you shouldn’t forget to take care of yourself, too. Good luck!