We all know that giving birth is not a walk in the park by any means.
As moms sometimes we just want to get it all done because we feel that we should.
Afterall life doesn’t just stop because you now have this tiny little person demanding ALL your attention. Oh no! We try to keep going.
The 4 weeks in particular postpartum are the most precious and the most difficult time. Your hormones are all over the place, you might still be feeling some pain if you had a c-section and in general your postpartum body might just feel like a hot mess!
It’s easy to put your own needs on the back burner while you try to sort everything else out.
The housework still needs to be done, people still need to eat and your new baby has needs that you have to meet.
There are so many things not to do after giving birth. Most of the time we are aware of what we should be doing but not necessarily what NOT to do after giving birth.
Today I just want to run through some of the things that you should be staying far away from especially in those first few days and weeks after giving birth.
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Things to avoid after giving birth for as long as possible
Let’s start off by looking at why you shouldn’t be doing these things after giving birth.
After having given birth your hormones are all over the place, you might not even know if you are coming or going. I know this was certainly true for me ALL 4 TIMES!
It’s completely understandable and normal!
Before giving birth you probably read every single book out there on the shelf about postpartum recovery.
You probably think you will manage to pull everything together after the first few days of giving birth. Honestly, positive thinking is great but you can only achieve so much with it.
Nothing, absolutely nothing can prepare you for the wave of emotions that are going to hit you once you give birth.
Not only will your hormones be doing crazy things but your muscles will be too. They have just had a huge shock and need time to recover.
By pushing yourself to do things you are not ready for yet you will actually prolong your recovery process. It will, in fact, take longer for your postpartum bleeding to stop.
You could even render yourself bedridden for a few days if you push your body too hard.
You might have it all mapped out in your head.
Get ready to throw all of that out of the window once your bundle of joy arrives, especially the sleep part.
It takes a lot of hard work to get your baby sleeping through the night. Only a hand full of people are lucky enough to have a new baby sleep for long periods of time. The rest of us have to muddle through sleep deprivation.
Hopefully, I’m not digressing too much for you. Postpartum recovery holds such a dear place in my heart because it is a time of vulnerability for most women so I just love to be able to help as much as I can.
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor so anything that I talk about here is purely my own experiences from giving birth. If you are ever concerned about any of your symptoms after giving birth you should seek the advice of a doctor immediately.
12 THINGS NOT TO DO AFTER GIVING BIRTH (Seriously don’t do it)
These are 12 things that you should absolutely avoid doing after you have just delivered your baby
1. DON’T FORGET TO EAT
This might sound pretty simple right now but when that lack of sleep kicks in it’s pretty easy to forget.
I lost track after having given birth the number of times that I forgot to eat. Usually, I wouldn’t remember until around bedtime.
You get so caught up in the things you have to do for your baby that you immediately put yourself second and forget.
You might even find yourself faced with the dilemma between eating and using the time to sleep.
Even I can’t help you with this problem. It’s too hard to decide. Haha! Eat, sleep, it’s a tough one!
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2. DON’T USE YOUR BABY’S NAP TIME TO TIDY UP
It can be really difficult not to do this sometimes because of your natural instinct.
You will want to just quickly pick up those clothes from the floor or just put the washing on whilst your baby is sleeping.
Don’t do that. As tempting as it is you have to resist the urge. No one will die just because your house is in a bit of a mess.
The reason you shouldn’t use your baby’s nap time to tidy up is because you need time for your body to recover from birth.
You have just personally delivered a tiny human being through your body, give your postpartum body time to heal.
3. DON’T REPLACE SLEEP TIMES WITH ANYTHING BUT SLEEP
For me sleeping when my baby sleeps is difficult because I don’t enjoy afternoon naps.
Afternoon naps always throw me off course for the rest of the day and I usually wake up wondering who I am and which earth this is.
Don’t be like me. Use the opportunity to catch up on the well-deserved sleep that you will probably miss come night time.
I have a terrible habit of denying myself sleep during the daytime and then horribly regretting it at night time.
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4. DON’T THINK THAT BREASTFEEDING WILL BE SECOND NATURE
When I had my firstborn I thought breastfeeding was an easy thing that most women did.
You take out your breast, put it in your babies mouth and after a few minutes they would be full up.
How naive was I!
Whilst I was in the hospital the midwives kept asking me how my baby was feeding.
I remember saying “he’s feeding really well, he wants to be on the breast all the time.”
Little did I know that my son wasn’t even getting a drop of breast milk.
I had no clue what I was doing. I had even less idea that breastfeeding could hurt to begin with whilst your nipples adjusted.
After a few minor adjustments from the midwife, later on, I began breastfeeding for real this time.
It hurt like hell in the first few days while my breasts were getting adjusted but it was worth it in the end.
Why did no one tell me this?
Don’t assume that breastfeeding will be like second nature to you. It takes time, patience and practice. Lots of practice.
Don’t be disappointed if your baby doesn’t latch on straight away.
Most women don’t know what they are doing the first time around.
If you are worried about being able to properly breastfeed your baby then you should definitely consider taking a breastfeeding class. These classes are not only informative but they will show you skills that need to successively breastfeed your baby without feeling the need to quit.
The mistake I made was that I thought breastfeeding would be natural to me but it wasn’t. You need to know what you are doing in order for your baby to get a good latch and successfully breastfeed painlessly.
You should take a look at the breastfeeding class from Milkology if you want to win at breastfeeding.
5. NO HEAVY LIFTING
You are still in the postpartum phase, therefore, your muscles still have to recover.
I know you feel like superwoman right now but you need to give it time before you try to do any heavy lifting.
It’s not just about giving your body time to rest. You could actually do yourself some damage by lifting something heavy so close to having given birth. Your muscles need time to recover.
6. DON’T ALLOW EVERY TOM, DICK, AND HARRY TO VISIT IN THE FIRST FEW DAYS
This is really important. After giving birth everyone wants to come and see the new baby.
Does he look like you?
Look how small he is!
That’s really nice and it’s good to feel wanted but you need some space.
There is a WHOLE host of stuff going on in your body right now and you need time to deal with that.
Limit the people you allow in to see the baby in those first few days.
Most people will understand that you don’t have it all together just yet and need some space and time to adjust.
Don’t feel bad for putting people off for a few days.
7. NO TIGHT CLOTHES
It can be tempting to want to get back into those skinny jeans and look like all the celebrities that you see on the TV who have just had babies and make it seem like they just went on holiday and came back. That just isn’t practical or real in any way so don’t get deceived by it.
As your body is trying to get back to normal, you will be sweating and leaking all kinds of things, the last thing you need at this point is tight clothes.
You need to give your body some room to breathe. Loose clothing is always going to be best for you.
8. DON’T WEAR YOUR USUAL UNDERWEAR
Don’t even think about wearing your usual underwear unless you are prepared to throw it away.
In the days following childbirth, you will be bleeding something called lochia. It’s very messy, to say the least.
During this time your body will be releasing a lot of things. It’s best to get yourself some disposable knickers that you can easily throw away after wearing.
Trust me you’ll be so glad you have these.
9. DON’T GO SWIMMING
Please don’t try to go swimming, at least until you have stopped bleeding.
This is not good for anyone and it will also make you more susceptible to infection.
10. NO TAMPONS (Please don’t use tampons!)
Tampons are a no-no!
Whatever is inside you has to come out.
Using a tampon will not only prevent this from happening but you also run a high risk of contracting an infection. No tampons, use maternity pads instead as this is what they are made for.
11. NO SEX (Sorry)
This might be the farthest thing from your mind right now but there are always going to be exceptions to the rule.
For those that may not be aware, you should not be having sex until you are at least 6 weeks postpartum.
You should at the very least have been checked over by a midwife to give you the all clear before normal services resume.
12. NO STRAINING TO POOP (You’ll probably too scared to anyway)
Those same muscles you use to poop are the same muscles that you just used to push out your baby.
Right now they are still in shock. You need to take it easy on them.
You might find it may take you a few days to poop after having given birth especially if you had to have stitches after a perineal tear.
That’s ok, take your time and don’t be in a rush.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON THINGS NOT TO DO AFTER CHILDBIRTH
Postpartum is going to look different for everyone so anticipate this.
Don’t be in a rush to get your life back on track too quickly.
These things not to do after giving birth are to enable you to enjoy this period of your life.
The time will come and go in the blink of an eye. The first few days after you come out of the hospital are the most precious.
Treat them as such.
Give yourself a break and use the time to get to know your baby and rest. Everything else can wait.
Trust me on that.
POSTS RELATED TO POSTPARTUM:
- 7 Reasons to try skin to skin contact
- 7 Tips to guarantee your survival of the fourth trimester
- How to cope with postpartum hair loss
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