Becoming a new mom surely seems like a wonderful thing. After all, you’ve been waiting for this for the past 9 months! That being said, your new journey as a mother can also get overwhelming at first. Regardless of how many parenting books you read, taking care of a newborn baby isn’t a piece of cake. And it’s absolutely natural for new moms to focus all of their time and attention on the newborn while forgetting to take care of themselves.
There may be so many questions in your head after giving birth to your baby. Right from your eating habits, sleeping schedule, and other chores, you’ll have to manage and juggle a lot of things and responsibilities. All the while, you need to avoid several things that could impede your recovery process. So, to have a smooth postpartum recovery, there are certain things you need to be mindful of. Let us take you through what not to do after giving birth.
1. Don’t Forget To Eat Healthy
One of the things that most women find difficult to cope with is the changes in their bodies after pregnancy. It would be totally unrealistic of you to think that you’re going to look the same as you did before childbirth. You’ll have to embrace the new changes in your body and not tire yourself out with a rigorous workout routine. That will cause you more harm than good. While postpartum exercise is certainly encouraged, this is more to get you on your feet than to shed the post-baby weight.
We want to remind you that after giving birth to a new human, your body needs energy especially to make up for the blood loss during childbirth. Let’s not forget that your body will also try to produce healthy breast milk to feed your little one. For that, you’ll be needing nutrients like protein in order to improve your lactation. Another thing you need to be mindful of is avoiding foods that’ll cause you constipation problems or diarrhea. So, you’ll have to fight your cravings for highly saturated fats and sugars. Instead, you’ll have to switch to healthy food like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, etc.
2. Don’t Give Up On Breastfeeding Too Soon
Breastfeeding is another thing that you’ll have to be prepared for after childbirth. It’s not as simple as letting your baby suck your nipples hoping they’ll be well fed. Breastfeeding can be a major struggle for several new moms. This could be due to several reasons – sore nipples, your baby cluster feeding, not being able to latch on or you not being able to produce enough. You will need to be patient, and not be too hard on yourself.
Another important thing you need to know is understanding when to pump your breast milk. That’s why we recommend you consult a lactation consultant who will teach you when and how to pump. You can begin your pumping sessions only after your supply has been regulated in order to match your baby’s needs. Whatever you do, being hard on yourself is big on the list of what not to do after giving birth.
3. Don’t Compromise On Your Sleep
Taking care of your newborn baby is far from an easy task. Right from changing your baby’s diapers and breastfeeding to bathing and sleeping schedules, you’ll have tons of responsibilities. It’s natural for you to overlook your sleeping time and get busy with all the other tasks that revolve around your baby. Do keep in mind that during the first few days after your delivery, your body needs to rest properly. So it’s important that you too get yourself some rest when your baby goes to sleep.
One more thing you’ll have to deal with is visits from your friends and family. After all, everybody would be excited to see your little one. But you need to remember that you need to rest and sleep whenever possible. So it’s best if you limit the many visitors coming home, especially for the first 2 weeks after your delivery.
4. Don’t Use Tampons
You’ll notice that after your delivery, there will be certain changes in your vagina. Several women deal with perineal tears after a vaginal delivery. On the other hand, your internal organs, especially your cervix, have to recover irrespective of whether you had a vaginal birth or a C-section. Women also face lochia, or vaginal bleeding, irrespective of how they give birth. At such times, you might feel tempted to use a tampon.
But that’s not a good choice for new moms as tampons and menstrual cups can cause infection in your wounds, especially if you’ve had a vaginal repair. It takes time for your vagina to get back to its normal size in case you’ve had a vaginal delivery. Let’s not forget that there are chances of you having an internal wound where your placenta was attached. So, if you use tampons or menstrual cups, you will actually make way for bacteria and infection, and possibly hurt yourself. We recommend you use maternity sanitary pads and sanitize your hands frequently in order to avoid infection.
5. Don’t Hold Your Pee Or Strain Yourself When You Poop
After pregnancy, organs like the pelvis, bladder, bowels and uterus can get strained. After all, you’ve done a strenuous thing by giving birth to a child. So, it’s natural if your abdominal muscles and posture haven’t returned to their normal state. Not to forget the tiring tasks you may get entangled in like holding your baby for long hours, changing diapers, lifting strollers, etc.
In case you’ve had a vaginal birth, your discomfort while pooping is due to the tenderness you experience in the perineum. For those of you who’ve had a C-section, the discomfort while pooping can be because of your incision. Your uterus begins to shrink back to its normal size after your pregnancy. While doing so, it tends to contract and cramp due to which you may experience stools more frequently. When going over what not to do after giving birth with your obstetrician, ensure you ask about stool softeners and other ways you can make things easier.
6. Don’t Hesitate To Ask For Help
Taking care of a newborn can be really overwhelming at times, more so for new parents. You might experience postpartum emotions like getting all panicky or feeling like crying. We want to remind you that all of this is absolutely normal. Having said that, postpartum can be different for everyone. You don’t have to feel bad if you’re facing a lot of problems while your friend or relative is able to handle it better.
During such times, you need to take some time out for yourself. Being a new mommy, you too deserve all the love, care and support you try to give your little one. So, don’t feel embarrassed or hesitant to ask someone for help. You can ask your family member to look after your baby if you need to go for a quick bath or have your meals in relative peace. If you feel too stressed, anxious, and depressed, ensure you speak to a therapist about postpartum depression. That will help you get through this phase and embrace your new motherhood.
Remember that the first few days after your pregnancy are very precious, and you must take the list of what not to do after giving birth seriously. The worst thing you could do is exert yourself after giving birth. At the same time, it’s important to be prepared even after your childbirth. Being a mother can be a wonderful experience but there’s no denying that it is sometimes stressful. That’s why you shouldn’t rush to get your old life back on track. Just relax, breathe and take all the time you need to nurture your little bundle of joy without forgetting yourself.
To help you take care of your little one, consider downloading the ImmunifyMe app. It’ll help you with your child’s vaccination appointments, telemedicine consultations, and more.
FAQs On What Not To Do After Giving Birth
How Long Should You Rest After Giving Birth?
It takes around 6-8 weeks for most women to recover after giving birth to a baby. That being said, your complete recovery after childbirth can take months. It’s advisable to rest as much as possible, especially in the initial few days after birth.
What Should You Do After Normal Delivery?
If you’ve had a normal delivery, you can soothe your vaginal area using an ice-pack or a sanitary napkin with a chilled witch-hazel pad. That’ll soothe your vaginal opening and the anal region. Also, when you are sitting upright, make sure to use a pillow or a padded ring.
What Happens If You Don’t Rest After Giving Birth?
If you don’t rest after giving birth, you’ll simply exert your body and that can cause a lot of complications. You may experience problems like heavy bleeding or reopening of your perineal stitches.
How Long Should You Stay In Bed After Giving Birth?
After giving birth to a baby, it’s advisable to stay in bed for the first 24 to 72 hours. That’ll give your body enough time to rest and you’ll learn more about breastfeeding as you spend more time with your baby.