Here are the crucial things NOT to do after childbirth
I remember all the things I looked forward to after giving birth to my twins!
Sleeping on my stomach, tying my shoes, and more!
But as much as I wanted to jump back into my everyday life, I knew there were certain things not to do after giving birth in order to allow my body to properly heal.
Instead of going over a postpartum care plan (which you can find here!), I want to talk about those things you shouldn’t do after giving birth.
Because in order to best take care of yourself after childbirth, you need to focus on your healing while adjusting to life with your new bundle of joy.
Let’s get started!
Don’t Put Anything In Your Vagina
A lot of changes happen to your vagina following childbirth, but even if you do feel like you’re back to your old self again quickly, you should hold off from doing certain things like using tampons and having sex.
Typically, you should wait until your 6-week postpartum checkup for your doctor to give you the go-ahead to put anything in your vagina.
This is because there is a risk of infection during your recovery.
Your uterus and vagina need to heal, and using menstrual products or engaging in intercourse can cause infections in these wounds.
If you have stitches from an episiotomy or tear, this is especially important since you don’t want to get the area infected or risk having stitches come out.
Don’t Lift Anything Heavier Than Your Baby
One of the most important things not to do after giving birth is lifting anything heavier than your baby – especially if you had a C-section!
If you had a cesarean section, you could risk irritating your stitches by lifting heavy objects.
Trying to do too much and lift too much can lead to an increase in postpartum bleeding, injury, muscle strain, and feelings of anxiety.
The weeks following childbirth are a time for you to heal!
Don’t Ignore Your Pain
Yes, delivering a child can lead to a lot of pain, but that doesn’t mean you have to accept discomfort and pain as part of the post-partum experience!
If there’s one thing not to do after giving birth, it’s ignoring your pain.
Normal pain following childbirth includes cramping as your uterus shrinks back to its normal size, pain in the area around your vaginal opening, pain around your stitches, and discomfort in your back, neck, and joints.
This type of pain can last days or weeks but will go away.
However, if you experience any of these types of pain, please see your doctor right away:
- Heavy bleeding (soaking two pads per hour)
- Pain when you pee that gets worse with time
- Pain and fever (over 100.4°F)
- Severe headache that affects vision
- Pain and swelling in your legs
- Chest pain and difficulty breathing
Your doctor can determine if your pain can be addressed with pain relievers or if it is a sign of a bigger issue.
Don’t ignore it!
Don’t Forget Birth Control
Did you know that you can become pregnant again as soon as 6-8 weeks after childbirth?
If you don’t plan on having another child so soon, it’s important that you explore your birth control options!
You can start using condoms as soon as you can start having sex again, but if you’d like to use hormonal birth control as well, you may have to wait a few weeks.
Some birth control options include IUDs, injections, implants, combined hormonal birth control, and progestin-only birth control.
Talk to your doctor to see which option is right for you!
Don’t Start a Diet to Lose the Baby Weight
It’s unrealistic to think that you can return to your pre-pregnancy body as soon as your baby is born.
Postpartum bodies are a natural part of having children!
Instead of restricting yourself to lose weight, you need healthy calories after giving birth to help produce milk, replace the blood you lost, and give you the energy you need to take care of a baby.
That’s not to say that you can’t focus on losing the baby weight!
Just wait until you are completely healed and adjusted to your new mom life.
Don’t Do Any Strenuous Exercises
Whether you were following a fitness routine during your pregnancy or you want to get your post-pregnant body back into shape as soon as possible, it’s best that you take it slow when it comes to exercising after giving birth.
If you experienced an uncomplicated pregnancy, you could begin exercising a few days after giving birth or whenever you feel ready.
However, it’s important that you don’t rush into any strenuous forms of exercise.
Stick to postpartum exercises that will ease your body back into a fitness routine.
Start by going for walks with your baby and incorporating gentle exercises into your day, like stretching and yoga.
If you had a C-section or a complicated birth, speak to your doctor before you engage in any type of exercise.
I had a C-section and my doctor told me to wait at least 6 weeks before I could exercise. As well, I couldn’t do any heavy lifting during that time either!
Don’t Entertain a Bunch of People
I know your family and friends are going to be excited to see your new baby, but there are a few reasons why you should wait before entertaining a bunch of people.
First of all, germs.
Babies aren’t born with the greatest immune systems, and having people in and out of your home increases the risk of your little one catching something.
Second, you need to rest.
Entertaining guests can take a lot of you and drain your energy.
You can stagger visits over a longer period of time to avoid large crowds in your home.
I mean, you can’t be expected to hibernate and isolate after giving birth to a child!
Don’t Stress Out About Breastfeeding
I know many new mamas are determined to breastfeed their babies, but it’s harder than it looks!
Between the initial pain, getting the right latch, and blisters, there’s a lot to get used to, and the experience may not be pleasant.
Breastfeeding doesn’t come easy and can be a major struggle, so it’s up to you to decide if you want to continue or not.
You can always try different ways to make breastfeeding a more comfortable experience (which is totally possible!) or consult a lactation expert to help guide you through breastfeeding.
However, the best thing for your baby is to ensure they are properly nourished and well-loved!
I seriously tried breastfeeding my twins and it was painful and difficult. I also wasn’t producing enough milk for twins too.
So I had to supplement. My son took to the bottle and wasn’t into breastfeeding but my daughter enjoyed it and bottle feeding and I was able to breastfeed her until past her first year!
Don’t Rush Back Into Your Normal Routine
Speaking of routines, it’s important that you don’t rush back into your normal routine after your baby is born.
Life changes drastically after a baby is born, and it’s important to give yourself the time to develop a balance between taking care of your baby and taking care of everything else.
If things start to get stressful, don’t be afraid to ask for help! You don’t have to do it all on your own.
You can ask friends or family members to help out, even if that means spending time with your little one so you can have a shower.
Organize chores and delegate them among the other members of your household, or hire a house cleaner.
It’ll take time before you find this balance, and chances are you are going to find a new normal routine that works for you and your family!
Don’t Ignore Your Mental Health
Did you know that 80% of new moms experience the baby blues in the first 10 to 14 days postpartum?
The baby blues include feelings of sadness, anxiety, and depression.
Beyond the first two weeks, if these feelings do not go away, this can lead to postpartum depression (which around 20% of new moms experience).
Having a baby is an emotional experience, but having feelings that get in the way of your day-to-day life is cause for concern.
Some symptoms of postpartum depression include:
- Feeling withdrawn
- Not enjoying things that normally make you happy
- Doubting yourself when it comes to taking care of your baby
- Feeling disconnected from your newborn
- Feeling excessive worry that you may hurt your baby
Ignoring your mental health is a major thing not to do after giving birth!
Postpartum depression is normal, common, and completely treatable.
Talk to your doctor about how you are feeling.
Things Not To Do After Giving Birth – Your Guide!
There you go! These are things you should definitely not do after giving birth in order to allow your mind and body time to heal.
If you’re looking for some more articles about your postpartum body and care, check these out:
- The Best Postpartum Care Kit for New Moms
- Your Postpartum Body: A Simple Guide on What to Expect
- 8 Postpartum Body Changes No One Told You About
Now I want to know – What was the one thing you were looking forward to after your baby was born?
Let me know in the comments!