A lot of women feel like they are back to their former selves again after giving birth to their babies. After all, her little new bundle of joy has been holding up real estate in her womb for nine long months. As much as every pregnancy is a blessing, it’s not always easy sharing your body with another little human being. You go through so many different changes that by the end, you don’t even feel like yourself anymore.
Yet, a lot of women think they can go back to doing what they used to do before their pregnancies immediately after having their babies. But that’s not always the case. As much as you would love to have sip of your favorite wine, hit the gym to get rid of that postpartum belly or better yet, get intimate with your partner again, you’ll have to wait.
As a matter of fact, you’ll have to hit pause on some of your favorite activities – like taking a bath or going swimming – for several more weeks postpartum. Just sitting up for the first time while you are still in your hospital bed might feel like a lot of unnecessary work! Check out our list of when it’s safe to do these 15 things during your postpartum recovery.
15 Use Tampons
With everything that your privates have been dealing with lately, the last thing you want to do is putting anything back in there. You just gave birth to a beautiful baby – give it some time to take a breather.
And while there’s no doubt that you will probably see two or three days heavy bleeding after you give birth, do not under any circumstances, use a tampon. According to medical experts, if you use a tampon before your wounds have healed, you can increase your chances of getting an infection. As an alternative, use external sanitary products like pads instead. As uncomfortable as they usually are, you just don’t want to take any chances, especially during those crucial first few weeks. Wait at least six weeks before using a tampon again.
14 Sit Up On Your Own
Believe it or not, it will take a while before you can take a walk, let alone even sit up after birth. For a lot of mothers, it doesn’t happen right away, especially if they just went through a long and traumatic birth. And there’s even a good chance that when you do sit again, you’ll most likely be in a lot of pain.
If you feel like you can’t sit up in your hospital bed on your own, wait. Or better yet, ask for help. You will want to take every little step slowly, especially if you have your newborn baby in your arms, or if you’re preparing to breastfeed for the very first time. The last thing you want to feel is any discomfort, aches or pains. If you feel as though something might not be right, seek help immediately.
13 Go For A Walk
There’s no denying that there are a lot of mothers out there who love to be active. Some managed to work out up until the last day of their pregnancies while others can’t wait to get back to the gym after giving birth. And there’s nothing wrong with wanting to run five miles on the treadmill or left a heavy set of weights, if that’s what floats your boat. But you’d be surprised at how difficult it will be for you to walk, let alone do any other type of physical activity in the hospital.
Many doctors say that you should wait at least a full two weeks before going for a walk again. And it’s without a doubt that walking will soon become your most favorite activity, and especially with your newborn baby in his or her stroller around the neighborhood.
12 Lift Heavy Things
Sure, you might feel like there are things that need to be done in the house. Now that you are back home from the hospital with your newborn baby, you’ll probably feel the need to do a little light cleaning, take care of laundry or sort out all of those Amazon boxes and shipments that have been waiting for you in the corner. Well, they are going to have to wait a little bit longer because according to doctors, you shouldn’t be doing any heavy lifting until at least four to six weeks postpartum.
If you don’t need it, don’t lift it. As a matter of fact, don’t even touch it. As a mother with a newborn baby, you’ve got other important priorities to focus on. Someone, eventually, will do the heavy lifting and the work for you. Take it easy, mama.
11 Get Intimate With Your Partner
It’s been awhile, hasn’t it? While some couples don’t mind getting frisky under the sheets during a pregnancy, others prefer to wait until the baby bump is out of the way. And when you are nine months pregnant, that can feel like an eternity for both you and your partner.
Unfortunately, you are going to have to wait a few more weeks before you start getting busy in the sack again. That’s because many medical professionals recommend that you wait at least six weeks before having sex again. Don’t worry, it’s what got you where you are in the first place. If he’s willing to wait nine months, he should be able to wait just a little bit longer. Don’t take any chances if you don’t need to. You’ll get back into your old routine in no time.
10 Take A Bath
It’s without a doubt that the first thing a lot of new mothers want to do after giving birth to their baby is relax. It doesn't matter if you’ve given birth naturally or via C-section, your body has gone through a lot in the last several days. All you want to do now is just kick back, enjoy precious quality time with your newborn and maybe squeeze in a little Netflix time or a hot bath. Unfortunately, you can’t do the latter just yet.
Most medical professionals suggest that you don’t take a bath for at least two weeks postpartum. As a matter of fact, wait until your doctor gives you the green light to soak in a hot bath. You’ll want to give it at least three weeks before you can taking a relaxing bath again, especially if you just had a C-section or have had stitches, staples of glue during your surgery.
9 Start Working Out
If you just happened to gain more weight than expected during your pregnancy, there’s a good chance that it’ll take some time to shed it off after you give birth to your baby. While some mothers walk out of the hospital with their pre-pregnancy jeans on, for others it might take weeks, months or in some cases, years before they reach their normal weight again.
With that being said, you’ll need to wait at least six weeks before your first work out. Sure, you probably can’t wait to fit into your old clothes again but there’s a reason why many doctors call this the fourth trimester: your body is still in recovery mode. With that being said, getting into beast mode at the gym will just have to wait until your body is ready for it.
8 Go For A Swim
If you just gave birth to a summer baby, there’s a good chance that you’ll probably want to cool off in your backyard pool or better yet, take a day trip to the beach. It’s hot in the house, the temperature is sweltering outside and the only thing you can think of is taking your baby to the community pool for his or her for dip in the water.
Well, sorry mamas, but that is going to have to wait, too. As a matter of fact, you will need to wait at least four to six weeks before you can go swimming again. But by the time that rolls around, the temperatures will probably get much cooler and you’ll be preparing for the change of a new season. As tempting as it will be to go swimming, you just don’t want to do it so quickly after giving birth.
7 Start Your Diet Again
A lot of women love to reward themselves with the most gratifying, calorific meal they can get their hands on right after they’ve given birth. After all, many women are urged not to eat anything while they are in labor. The most you’ll get to eat is a few ice chips in the labor and delivery room. Until the baby comes out, you’ll just have to wait.
But when it comes to your postpartum diet, you are free to eat what you want as long as it is healthy and in moderation. Remember, your child is eating everything you eat, especially if you are breastfeeding. You will want to keep that calorie count high for a while, but also make sure that you are getting enough vitamins to give you the energy you’ll need to keep up with your newborn but very demanding baby.
6 Go For A Drive
You're back home from the hospital and you’ve been stuck in the house with your newborn baby for just a few days, yet in your head it can feel like years! Of course you love your new baby and everything about your new role as a mother, but you also miss a little of your old life. And that old life consisted of picking up your car keys, driving to the nearest Chipotle for lunch or just going to the mall by yourself to check out the latest deals at Bloomingdale’s.
Sadly, all of that retail shopping is going to have to wait. That’s because many medical professionals say that you should wait at least two or three weeks before driving a car on your own. After all, you just had a baby and you are exhausted from all of those sleepless nights. The last thing you want to do is get into a car accident because of your exhaustion or worse, impaired vision.
5 Climb Some Stairs
Giving birth to a baby might make you feel like you’ve got the kind of power Wonder Woman has on the big screen. You just gave birth to a human being during one of the toughest, or most excruciating periods of your life.
And while you might feel like you can take on the world, remember that you will be in your postpartum recovery period for quite a few weeks. You’ve got the rest of your life to walk, run, or climb a flight of stairs over and over again for that matter. Doctors say that you shouldn’t be doing any climbing more than you have to. If you live in a two-story house, limit those stairs to just one time a day. Don’t over do it, especially if you are still in recovery mode.
4 Start Breastfeeding
When it comes to breastfeeding, don’t hesitate. If you have your baby in your arms, start right away, or when your milk starts to come in. If you are still in the hospital, a trusted nurse or lactation consultant should be able to guide you every step a long the way. As a matter of fact, your best bet is to learn as much as you can while you are still under the care of the doctors and nurses at your hospital to ensure that you’ll be able to continue breastfeeding once you take your baby home.
It might be frustrating, difficult and stressful, but don’t give up. And if you feel like you can’t breastfeed, don’t worry. It’s not for every woman and that’s absolutely fine. That’s why there are other alternatives to feeding your child, including formula or bottle feeding. Remember, fed is always best.
3 Indulge In Cocktails
It’s probably been awhile since you’ve had a well-deserved mom’s night out with your best mom friends. Or if you have been going out these last few months, there’s a chance that you have been everyone’s designated driver just because you were pregnant and couldn’t drink dirty martinis with the rest of your group. And as much as I would hate to be the bearer of bad news, you are going to have to wait a little bit longer before you can pop open your favorite discounted bottle of wine.
As much as it hurts to say this, new mothers should wait at least three months before having their first sip of alcohol again, especially if they are breastfeeding. You just don’t want to mix any of those vodka shots with your breast milk. But if you can’t fight the urge to have a little mommy juice, you can always pump and dump, right?
2 Clean The House
It might be temping to get a mop, duster or a vacuum and just give the house a good one-over when you get back from the hospital. After all, you were probably in extreme nesting mode right before you went into labor. And while some things might be out of place or you might be tempted to reorganize your closet, don’t do it. Wait at least two weeks before you go back to cleaning mode.
In the meantime, have someone else pick up the dirty laundry or scrub your kitchen clean for you. You just gave birth and deserve a break from all of your typical household chores. And if there’s no one around to pick up the clutter, don’t worry. There’s a strong chance that the mess isn’t going anywhere and will wait for you when you’re ready!
1 Cook Up A Storm
When it comes to cooking, a lot of moms either love it or hate it. There’s no in between. You’re either a goddess in the kitchen who knows how to whip up a good meal for any occasion or you’re the kind of person who will call in an emergency take out order when you’ve burned everyone’s dinner… yet again.
In fact, don’t be shy to ask your trusted friends and family for help when it comes to cooking and preparing hot meals for you. The last thing you want to do is spend endless hours making a homemade lasagna or casserole when your good friends and neighbors can do it for you. As a new mom, your job is to rest, take it easy, and give your baby all the love and attention he or she deserves.