When a woman gets pregnant, she must put a lot of things on hold to make sure she and her unborn baby stay happy and healthy. Certain habits, tight-fitting clothes, and foods all need to go. Let's not forget the effect pregnancy has on a woman physically and mentally.
Following the long-awaited birth, she may want to get right back to a normal lifestyle and pick up where things were before she became pregnant nine months ago. The reality is there are still some things a woman can’t do after give she gives birth, at least for the first few weeks as her body heals and tries to get back to what it used to be before baby. Add that on to having a new baby who needs constant care and supervision and life can take a while to get back to normal.
The fact of the matter is, certain activities, foods, even daily chores need to be avoided until the good ole doctor gives the OK, as annoying as that is. Here are 20 things a woman should avoid the first few weeks after giving birth and until she gets the OK from her doctor.
20 It's Not Time For Tampons Yet
Tampons are a no-no for at least the first six weeks after a woman gives birth. For the first few weeks after a woman has given birth, her body will cleanse itself of a lot of different substances. The best option for when this is happening is to stick to sanitary pads. According to BabyCenter, women are left with an open wound where the placenta used to be when they give birth. Therefore, it is very important for a woman to avoid using tampons. When inserted, a tampon can introduce bacteria to the wound, causing infection. A new mother needs to make sure she is completely healed, and her body has finished cleansing itself before trying to use tampons again.
19 Intense Workouts Are A No-No
Exercise after having a baby is a good thing. It not only helps a woman lose the baby weight but also helps to improve energy levels and self-esteem. Intense workouts are a no-no though, especially if the new mother has had a difficult labor. After labor, women will experience heavy bleeding and soreness all over their body. Intense workouts can make these type of symptoms worst, a new mother could even go so far as to pop a stitch, which is not a good thing.
According to babymed.com, the best thing a woman can do is to listen to her body. When she thinks she is ready, contact her doctor and figure out the next steps. Most recommend waiting six weeks, but if a woman was active before and during her pregnancy, some may be able to start working out again within a week or two.
18 Swimming Is Not Ok, Even If You're Ready
Swimming is a good way to help to lose weight and restore muscle tone. It helps to work the upper and lower body, a person’s core and even helps to boost strength and energy. However, a woman who has just given birth should avoid this for a bit. After birth, a woman’s body cleanses itself of a few different substances. Typically, this will start to slow down around seven to ten days after giving birth, but won't completely finish for another two to four weeks, according to livestrong.com. As with tampons, swimming can introduce bacteria to a woman’s sensitive area, which can lead to infection. Swimming before being completely healed is not recommended as a result.
17 Tight Clothes = Back Of The Closet
For a lot of women, they are excited to finally be able to get rid of their maternity clothes and get back into their normal clothes again. Though this may be the goal after giving birth, for most women, this isn’t the case. Some women have the unfortunate luck to still look pregnant after giving birth, while some are lucky enough to shed the baby weight quickly. Whatever the case is though, for the first few weeks after giving birth, the best option is to wear loose fitting clothes that keep the new mom comfortable and happy.
Tight clothes, especially pants, can be uncomfortable for a woman who has just given birth. Tight pants can lead to infection if worn after labor, so it is best to allow the secret areas to breathe. According to whattoexpect.com, sweats, t-shirts, leggings, and stretchy pants are what is best. Also, dark colors for those untimely leaks that may occur from breastfeeding, or from the body cleanse a woman goes through after labor.
16 Put The Bedroom Fun On Hold
For some women, getting intimate while pregnant is something they don’t want to even think about. Pregnancy brings on cramps, gas, bloating and so much more, so it's understandable. After the baby has arrived, getting back to a normal is a goal. First things first, a woman needs to give her body time to heal, especially if she had a hard labor. Her body will be sore, stretched and cleansing itself after labor. The best thing to do is to wait until she gets the OK from her doctor.
According to gynob.com, most practitioners recommend waiting at least 6 weeks though before trying to have intimate relations again with one’s partner. Some women might want to wait even longer though. Even if a woman is ready physically, there are a lot of things mentally that can stop her. Anxiety, mixed emotions, or even a decreased drive can all play parts in why she may want to wait longer.
15 Don't Strain On The Bowl
Constipation is not a fun thing to go through. Unfortunely for women about to give birth, it is not a new thing, nor uncommon to have after giving birth. There are many different things that can happen before, during and even after labor to make a woman constipated, according to verywellfamily.com. If the woman had a long labor and didn’t get much food if she had a bowel movement or an enema during labor are just two ways a woman could become constipated after giving birth because her tummy was empty.
Pain relievers and the type of surgery a woman had to deliver the baby are another two factors. The best thing to do in these cases is to try not to strain. The muscles a person uses to go to the bathroom is basically the same ones a woman uses to push out a baby. Straining can cause a delay in the healing process, excess bleeding and can make the pain worse.
14 Skipping Meals Is Not The Best Idea
After giving birth, a woman might feel pressure to try to lose as much weight as possible to get back to her normal body, or even smaller. The fact of the matter is though, skipping meals or trying to go on a strict diet is not a healthy thing to do, especially when a woman is suffering from constipation or bloated.
According to abcnews.go.com, how a mother eats and fuels her body those first few weeks after giving birth is just as important as how she ate while pregnant for those long nine months. Dr. Jennifer Lang, a Beverly Hills, California obstetrician/gynecologist says, "Food is the cornerstone of health and wellness, not only for a mother but her baby as well, both in utero and out. Nutrition can really make a difference."
13 Avoid Lifting Heavy Objects
There is a reason why doctors tell women to keep away from anything heavy, even avoid lifting their other children. Any strenuous activity, heavy lifting, or sudden movements can cause tears or excess bleeding. Sometimes these types of activities can even cause the uterus to fall into the vagina if not careful.
Mamma3tobe, a vlogger on the site, pregnancy-info.net, had this to say, “I was told not to try to lift my son after giving birth to my daughter and he was only 10 months old. Of course, I ignored my doctor and was in the middle of picking up my son when he walked in. He immediately told me that lifting anything even remotely heavy, including my other child, so soon after giving birth could cause my uterus to fall!! Of course, I put him down right away and didn't lift anything heavy for the recommended 2 weeks. With the real heavy stuff, I'd wait the full 6 weeks if I were you.”
12 Make Sure To Wipe The Right Way
Every adult should know the proper way to wipe. Having to add this in is probably a waste of time, but just to make sure, wiping front to back is a crucial part of the healing process for women that have just given birth. After going through a vaginal birth, a woman’s perineum, the area between the rectum and vagina, may be tender and painful due to stretching or ripping during labor, which in turn can cause it to feel swollen, bruised and sore. According to webmd.com, it is very important that a woman who has just given birth makes sure to wipe front to back after a bowel movement to avoid infecting this area with germs from the rectum.
11 Wait On The Bubble Baths
After giving birth, a woman can have baths. According to all the different mom bloggers on netmums.com, soaking in warm water can help to soothe the episiotomy repair and ease even swollen hemorrhoids. Some doctors will even recommend that a woman who has just delivered a baby have one right there at the hospital, but bubble baths are a different story. Bubble baths, oils, scented soap, or any other perfumed product that a woman may have used before giving birth should be avoided for the first few weeks after giving birth. Perfumed products can cause the labor areas to become inflamed and more painful than before, some may even cause infection.
10 Certain Personal Products Should Be Avoided
After giving birth, there are certain products that a woman needs to avoid until she is fully healed and gets the OK from her doctor. Products that she must put in her and stuff with perfumes can do serious damage if used before the healing process is over.
Tara R, a blogger on Yahoo, had this to say about douching right after giving birth, “Do NOT douche!!! Doctors tell you not to do this because it kills all the good bacteria in your vagina that protect you, and then you can get all kinds of nasty infections. This is an especially bad idea since you recently had a baby, your cervix could still be a little bit open and the infection could travel into your uterus, causing huge, huge problems.”
9 Only Do Light Housework
There are different circumstances that can cause a woman not to be able to give birth naturally. Complications can arise, or maybe she just doesn’t want to have a vaginal birth, either way, after a C-section, there are a lot of things a woman cannot do due to being able to rip open her C-section scar if not careful.
For the first couple of weeks, a woman who has had a C-section will be tired and sore from her surgery. It is recommended that she schedules help before the baby comes if she can so that when she or he does come, she has help around the house. Lifting anything heavier than a newborn baby, squatting, and heavy housework like vacuuming, cleaning the bathroom, or dusting in high places are just a few of the things a woman can’t do, according to marchofdimes.org.
8 Try To Stay Away From Certain Yoga Poses
Yoga is a great way to loosen up tight muscles, release tension and calm one’s nerves while also rebuilding strength in a person’s pelvic floor and abdominal muscles. For someone that has just given birth though, there are some poses that can be dangerous if the body hasn’t fully recovered from giving birth yet, according to wellroundedby.com.
Cobra, deep twists, malasana, cat/cow, bow pose, hanumansana, and inversions are a few poses that a woman who has just given birth naturally or by C-section should avoid. The best thing a woman can do is to contact her doctor and go over all the different poses she can do if she wants to do yoga after delivering.
7 If You Gotta Go, You Go!
There are some careers and events where a person has no choice but to hold themselves if they must go to the bathroom. While this may have been easy to do before getting pregnant, it may come as a bit of a challenge after giving birth.
After giving birth, women tend to suffer from what is called, urinary incontinence. This is when a woman loses control of her bladder and involuntary leaking can occur, usually while laughing, sneezing, coughing or performing a strenuous activity. Using the bathroom as much as a woman can is the best way to avoid some of these embarrassing issues and even some medical issues that can occur like bladder infections, according to whattoexpect.com.
The best option to retrain one’s bladder is to try and go every 30 minutes. Even if there are no signs that one must go, still try and go and as time goes on, a woman can try start to add time in between bathroom breaks. Doing this will help to regain control of one’s bladder.
6 The Mommy Juice Can Wait
Drinking after giving birth is a rough topic to cover. There are a lot of women who love to come home right from the hospital and have a beer or a glass of wine. They went nine months without drinking, they deserve it.
Some doctors will say that it is ok to have a drink now and again if they don’t overdo it. It is recommended to pump and dump breastmilk afterward because of the effects alcohol can have on a baby.
Ketia, a blogger on medhelp.org, had this to say on the topic of drinking after delivering a baby, “you are not supposed to drink any form of alcohol until a month after delivering a baby. Not only can it cause problems with the child, but one needs to remember that having a child takes a lot from your body, so it is always wise to give your body time to heal. Plus, you should never drink while breast feeding.”
5 Avoid Spicy Food
Spicy food is a back and forth type of food. When a mother who is breastfeeding eats spicy food, it can change the smell and taste of her milk. Some babies are fine with it, while others may refuse to eat or become sick from it. A baby’s digestive tract, intestines, and blood stream are very tender when they are first born.
Some may not be able to handle milk that has been changed by too much spicy food. The best option a new mother can do is to test her child slowly. Eat a little at a time and see how he or she reacts. If the child is fine, try eating a little more. Keep tract of how much is consumed. If the child becomes fussy while eating or starts to have digestive issues, then it is best to lower one’s intake. Some doctors will suggest avoiding spicy food altogether. According to iythealth.com, it is best to avoid any type of spicy food for at least the first 6 months after giving birth.
4 And Oily Food As Well
One thing a new mom looks forward to losing after giving birth is her pregnancy weight. It was all fine and dandy while she was carrying her unborn child, but afterward, all a woman looks forward is getting her old body back. With the proper diet, exercise and even by breastfeeding, the pounds will shed off.
What a lot of women don’t know though is that certain foods can put a halt in the weight loss process. According to iythealth.com, oily foods are one food group a new mother should avoid if she wants to quickly lose the weight. Too much of this type of food will stop the fat from leaving the body. Making lose weight even harder.
3 What About Caffeine?
Caffeine is a daily get up and go for a lot of people. Some just can’t function until they get their daily dose of caffeine into them. It is not something a new mother has to completely give up, but she needs to limit how much she drinks every day. According to BabyCenter, when a woman drinks coffee, a small amount of it ends up in her breast milk. A newborn can’t break down or get rid of caffeine for the first three months of his or her life, so it can accumulate in their system.
Many experts say that it is fine to have no more than a 16-ounce cup a day, drinking more than two to three cups can cause irritability, jitters, or agitation and can cause sleep problems. Just remember, every baby is different. If a child is showing any of those signs, it is best to cut caffeine completely from one’s diet for a while.
2 Pay Attention To The Grocery List
There are many foods that a mother can eat that can cause gas in her child. Cauliflower, cabbage, brussels sprouts, broccoli, and onions are just some of the foods that could contaminate a mother’s breast milk and cause gas in her child. According to BabyCenter, if a new mother is having issues with her child, the best option is to contact her child’s doctor first. Find out what he or she thinks they should do. Some doctors will refer a new mother to a dietitian who can help balance out her diet, while others will suggest cutting out certain foods from her diet until the baby is a bit older.
1 Talk To Your Doc About Medication
If a woman is on any type of medication, she must tell her doctor right away when she finds out she is pregnant and the same goes for after she gives birth. According to iythealthy.com, any type of medications a woman takes can pass through her breast milk and into her baby. A new mother should never take medicine without talking to her doctor first, or the baby’s pediatrician.
All these do’s and don’ts a woman must go through while pregnant and even after can be very frustrating. The best thing a mother can do to help get her through all these trials is to remember that a healthy and happy mom, is a happy and healthy baby. Eating well and taking care of one’s self, is the best way for a woman’s body to go back to normal and heal fast.
References: Gynob, What To Expect, Live Strong, BabyMed, BabyCenter, WebMD, Pregnancy.net, ABC News, Very Well Family, NetMums, Yahoo, March of Dimes, Well Rounded NY, What To Expect, MedHelp, IY Health, Babycenter, BabyCenter IN