There is a reason our OB’s tell us to take it easy for the first 4-6 weeks after birth and honestly I thought it had to do with the fact that our bodies are hormonally going crazy and whether you delivered vaginally or by c-section those parts of the body need time to heal. For me personally, I thought it was giving the 7 layers that the OB had to cut into to get my babies out time to heal and sadly I really didn’t know the true reason until now. Whether you’re a first time mom or having your third baby, you can learn something new every day.
Have you seen the paper plate post on Facebook made by Laura Fry of Labor of Love Doula Services – Lancaster, Plamdale, Valencia that went viral? It was a picture of a paper plate with the text;
“22 cm or 8.6 inches. That is the exact diameter of a paper plate, AKA the fine china in our house. It is also the average diameter of a placenta. After a baby is born, mothers are told to take it easy for at least 4-6 weeks. There are good reasons for that! One of those reasons is that after the baby is born, mothers are left with a wound on the inside of their uterus where the placenta was attached. That wound will take at least 4-6 weeks to completely heal. During that time they are still susceptible to infection and hemorrhaging. Even if they have a complication-free vaginal delivery and feel ok, they still need to take care of themselves and not overdo it for those first several weeks postpartum. To those mothers, rest! To their husband, partners, parents, in-laws, friends – let them rest! Help out as much as you can and don’t let them overdo it. As the saying goes “one week in bed, one week around the bed, and 2 weeks around the house.”
Apparently Western woman bleed a lot more during their postpartum period than women in other cultures that really take the time and rest. Think about it. It’s not just the uterus and the massive paper plate size wound that is healing. Our bodies are trying to get back to normal in a major way. We are producing milk, burning calories by nursing, physically recovering from giving birth, and we are desperately trying to adjust to hormonal changes by up to 1000%…. and we are doing this on very minimal, very broken sleep.
So all new mamas out there… give yourself a break, give your body time to heal, and don’t try to do too much too soon. I’m not saying lay around for 4 weeks without moving but listen to your body and take care of yourself too. I know it can difficult to do especially if you are chasing after older kids as well but do the best you can and don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Now, it’s time to take my own advice!