There are plenty of discussions on what to do for a quick postpartum recovery, but relatively less attention is paid to things not to do after giving birth. It is important to avoid certain things immediately after delivery in order to return to your normal life as soon as possible. It is tough to navigate life with a newborn. True. But recuperating, especially, healing after giving birth with stitches, whether by c-section or vaginal delivery, demands careful attention.
Why Is The Postpartum Period So Important?
During the first week after giving birth, the new mother may neglect her own health. She is so excited, and she is learning how to handle her new baby. It’s important not to ignore your own health while in the midst of caring for the little one. She is not necessarily safe from health complications just because she made it through delivery. It is possible for some life-threatening complications to occur following childbirth even days or weeks after the delivery. Therefore, it is important to understand do’s and don’ts after giving birth especially about the precautions during the first 40 days after delivery.
What Are The Things Not To Do Right After Giving Birth?
You may have given birth via a c-section or vaginally, it may have been complicated or easy. The labor process might have lasted for several hours or even days. Yet there is one thing that all of these things have in common. Your body has undergone trauma. So always bear in mind what not to do after labor.
You must give the body time to heal. Postpartum recovery is not going to be a quick process. In general, women tend to feel mostly recovered from pregnancy and childbirth in six to eight weeks, however, full recovery may take months.
Related Reading: 9 Early Warning Signs Of Postpartum Depression To Watch Out For
There are a few things that we should not do in the first week or two (or longer) after giving birth.
Following are 11 things not to do right after giving birth. The list includes things not to do after giving birth c section and vaginal delivery.
1. Avoid “dieting” to lose your baby weight
A rapid weight loss after delivery can cause many problems. Often when women skip food in order to lose weight, they compromise their nutritional intake, which can result in a variety of health problems down the road. Osteoporosis, for example, is related to an inadequate calcium intake. Losing weight slowly is a good idea if you are breastfeeding. Too rapid a weight loss can reduce your milk production1.
It is not recommended to take diet pills during postpartum to lose the extra weight accumulated during pregnancy. Diet pills have a number of side effects. Several of the components in diet pills are harmful to young children and can be passed on to them via breast milk. Instead of using diet pills, you should follow these easy tips to lose weight after delivery.
It is not realistic to think that you can undo something instantly that took 9 months to build up. Be patient! Healthy calories are crucial now, to help you make breastmilk, to replace the blood you lost, and to give you the energy to care for your tiny human. Losing weight too soon after childbirth can prolong the recovery process.
2. Don’t begin strenuous exercise right away
During the postpartum recovery period, no matter if you have a vaginal or C section, strenuous physical activities might increase bleeding. Slow down your activities when your body signals you to do so. Walking is generally okay in the early days, but make sure you check with your physician first before engaging in high-intensity exercise.
In the event of pain, you should also stop exercising. Postpartum women may be able to exercise safely (simple exercises) by six weeks postpartum, but their joints and ligaments may not return to their pre-pregnancy state for several months2.
The hormone relaxin helps to loosen your joints during pregnancy. When getting into strenuous exercises, you may feel wobblier and experience aches and pains because this hormone can remain in your system for a long time after birth. Consider this when starting your postpartum workouts.
Related Reading: 9 Benefits of Kegel Exercise After Delivery
3. Do not ignore symptoms that point to a medical condition
You should watch out for a few things after birth that indicate something may be wrong. In the event that you experience any of these symptoms, you should not ignore them but consult your doctor. Among the warning signs are:
- Pad gets soaked in blood every two hours which indicates excessive bleeding
- Larger clots passing through the vagina
- Foul odor in the vaginal region
- Sharp and unbearable pain, no matter where
- Breathing difficulties
- High fever
- An episiotomy or cesarean incision site has swelling, redness, or discharge. It may be an indication of infection
- Signs of UTI
- Frequently vomiting and feeling nauseous
4. Don’t ignore aches and pains
After delivery, most people will experience pain. However, the type and duration may differ. The duration of pain can be for days or weeks, and it can differ from person to person and even from pregnancy to pregnancy.
New mothers may feel different levels of pain based on if it was their first baby, the delivery method (vaginally, or via C-section), or complications they experienced during or after delivery. It is vital to inform your doctor of any pains, especially those that occur suddenly or gradually intensify.
It is important to rule out conditions that may cause severe headaches after delivery, such as hormones or high blood pressure. You should also seek medical attention if you have headaches accompanied by visual disturbances. That would be a sign of postpartum preeclampsia3.
Deep vein thrombosis, a critical issue found after delivery, can cause pain, warmth, or tenderness in your legs. Medical care should be sought immediately.
5. Don’t put tampons or a menstrual cup in your vagina
It is not uncommon for new mothers to wonder when they can resume certain activities, such as using tampons. To put anything into the vagina after delivery, one must first obtain a doctor’s consent. Most doctors will give their consent six weeks after delivery.
There is a risk of infection when putting anything in the vagina, which is the first reason not to do so. The uterus is still physically recovering from birth. Additionally, if any vaginal repairs have been made, those areas will also be healing. When you use internal period products, such as menstrual cups or tampons, bacteria can form in these wounds and cause infection.
Another risk associated with inserting tampons in the vagina is the development of infection at the sites of stitches that remain after episiotomies or tears that are currently healing. If you had a vaginal delivery, the cervix dilated to allow the baby through and will take some time to go back to its normal size. So menstrual cups may not fit in well.
After giving birth, there will be bleeding for two to six weeks. So, it is wise to use pads during this time. The best way to prevent infection is to change your pads often and wash your hands well after each use4.
Related Reading: 12 Important And Practical Tips For Normal Delivery
6. Don’t go swimming
Until the doctor says your wounds have healed, you should stay away from the swimming pool even after the bleeding stops. Because the placenta detached the mother’s body after delivery, she has an internal wound.
A number of expecting women also suffer external injuries. Internal wounds, however, are more serious. When you are submerged in a large amount of water, the water will rise and carry bacteria along with it. By avoiding swimming pools and full bathtubs, you will be able to avoid infection5.
7. When pooping, do not strain
During the postpartum time, avoid straining when pooping. Excessive straining may cause bleeding, damage to stitches, and healing tissues in the vaginal area. Obviously, straining can also cause pain. It is therefore very important to take measures to facilitate bowel movements after giving birth.
8. Do not wait too long to urinate
It is important to stay well hydrated in order to breastfeed successfully and recover quickly. Consequently, new mothers want to urinate every 2-3 hours. Those women who have undergone stitches or episiotomies have a tendency to hold pee for a long period of time, fearing pain when urinating and cleaning the area afterward. This should be avoided.
Forcing the bladder to hold urine for too long will weaken its muscles over time. Therefore, incontinence is more likely to occur and the bladder may not be able to be completely empty in the future. Due to bacteria building up in the urine when it is held for extremely long periods of time, holding urine can also result in urinary tract infections6.
Related Reading: The 10 Do’s And Don’ts After A C – Section
9. Do not quit taking your post-natal vitamins
You might be thinking of stopping your prenatal vitamin intake now that you’ve given birth. You must either keep taking prenatal vitamins or switch to postnatal vitamins during the postpartum period. These vitamins are designed specifically to meet the needs of women who have recently given birth and are breastfeeding7.
Making sure you get enough nutrition while breastfeeding is important for your baby’s development. Taking a postnatal multivitamin can also help the body heal from the damages caused by the natural or c-section delivery.
10. Don’t take, alcohol, drugs, or fishes high in mercury
Small amounts of mercury can be passed through breast milk from a mother to her baby. It is known that mercury exposure can affect the development of the infant’s brain and nervous system. Avoid eating fish high in mercury. Also, avoid alcohol and drugs. They can enter the breast milk and harm the baby.
11. Birth control shouldn’t be overlooked
Even before your period starts again after giving birth, you may get pregnant again. Making sure you use birth control reduces the chances of pregnancy. There are many factors to consider when choosing a postpartum contraceptive method.
The non-breastfeeding woman should ensure that she is protected as early as week four after giving birth, for maximum protection. One can rely on temporary methods, such as condoms or spermicides, in the meantime. You can discuss your contraceptive needs with your doctor in order to find the right method.
Related Reading: 12 Reasons You Do Not Feel Sexually Attracted to Husband After Baby
After giving birth, pay close attention to what your body is telling you. If something seems out of the ordinary, it may be an indication of post-delivery complications. Don’t push yourself too hard as you begin to feel better. You may experience setbacks in your recovery if you overdo things at this stage.
Following a C-section, you may have more restrictions on what you can do during the days and weeks following the surgery. In the postpartum recovery phase, there are several dos and don’ts to follow. When you should resume normal activities, your healthcare provider will inform you.
Resting whenever possible is important during the first few weeks after delivery. Try to get some sleep during your baby’s naps.
If possible, allow at least 40 days for the body to rest and recover. It’s best to limit visitors for the first 2 weeks so you can rest and establish breastfeeding
During postpartum, women who do not get enough rest are more likely to suffer complications such as heavy bleeding, lactation issues, mastitis, and postpartum depression.
We strongly recommend not using your vacuum cleaner for six weeks. If you vacuum too soon after having a baby, you may start bleeding again since your muscles are too weak. Let another person vacuum for you.
Searching for your symptoms online can’t replace going to the doctor. It is a bad idea for two reasons.
First of all, even when there is nothing wrong, looking for symptoms can scare you by listing all the possible causes.
Secondly, Google will not fix the problem when it exists. It is not the time to gamble with your health. Don’t rely on Google if you feel something is off; speak to your doctor instead.