When we see pictures of moms who had just given birth, they are typically glowing and make childbirth just look so easy. It is almost like they didn’t just push a tiny human out of their private region, or they didn’t just have their stomach sliced open and a tiny human taken out of them. They look, well, normal.
Giving birth though is a life-altering event and many women see these pictures and have unrealistic expectations as to what is to come and how fast it can take them to get back to normal.
When a mother brings her new baby home from the hospital, it is hard to adjust to a new life with a fussy baby. On top of caring for one’s child, they need to take care of their household and try to heal from their wounds. It can seem hard at first to adjust to a recovery timeline while taking care of an infant, let alone a family. So what's a woman to do? What are some things that moms do that are actually prohibiting them from healing?
Here are 20 things that new moms tend to do that can sabotage their healing process.
20 Googling Everything
This piece of advice might seem a bit strange. It is almost contradicting one could say. Most likely the woman googling the issues found this article by googling, so if she isn’t allowed to google everything, she would have never found it in the first place.
Does that make sense?
Anyway, according to mommyonpurpose.com, googling every little symptom that occurs with one’s child is bad for two reasons:
One being that if there is nothing wrong with the child, Google will come up with something and mom will become freaked out even more.
The other reason is that even if there is something wrong with the baby, Google won’t fix it.
It is best to call a doctor and schedule an appointment. Don’t rely on Google.
19 Going Swimming Or Taking A Bath
After having a baby, no matter if it was a regular birth or a C-section, mom is left with a wound not only on the outside, but also on the inside from where the placenta was attached.
According to mommyonpurpose.com, the internal wound is what really needs to be taken care of though and sitting in a lot of water, allowing water to go “up” is a bad idea due to all the bacteria that will go with it.
It is best for a new mother to avoid getting in a pool or a full bathtub for at least a few weeks until she is fully healed.
18 Using Tampons
This is defiantly one product that should be last on a woman’s mind after having a child. It seems though, a lot of women are quick to ask, “Can I use a tampon after giving birth?” Now, maybe they are referring to down the road, once they heal. Or, maybe they really don’t know and think they could use one to help with the leaking.
Either way, no — it is not safe to use tampons after giving birth.
According to mommyonpurpose.com, even at six weeks postpartum, a woman has an internal wound where the placenta used to be, and anything going “up” could introduce bacteria to the wound and cause an infection.
Let’s not forget that it will also be the most uncomfortable option to use.
17 Giving Up Too Easily On Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding is HARD! There is no denying it. Not only can it be painful, but it also can take a huge emotional toll, especially the first weeks of postpartum.
According to mommyonpurpose.com, before a woman outright quits trying to breastfeed, she should talk to a lactation consultant and get advice as to what she can do differently to help make things less painful and more comfortable for both herself and her child.
Always remember that breastfeeding is beneficial for both mom and baby.
Also, remember that just because a woman can breastfeed, doesn’t mean baby is getting enough. If she has a feeling that her child isn’t getting enough milk, talk to a doctor. Sometimes moms can be so determined to breastfeed their child, they end up unintentionally starving them.
16 Straining To Go To The Bathroom
It is a normal symptom to be constipated while pregnant. Well, as sad as it is to say, it that does not get better after the baby is born.
According to mommyonpurpose.com, if a new mom is having a hard time trying to go to the bathroom, it is best if she either tries drinking more water, tries taking a stool softener for a few days, or tries contacting her doctor for help.
Straining to the go to the bathroom can lead to different complications such as plasma, damage the stitches or healing tissue, and let’s not forget it will be outright painful.
15 Ending Prenatals Once Baby Is Born
It is very important to make sure to not only get the proper care during pregnancy, but to also take prenatal vitamins to make sure both mom and baby are healthy during the pregnancy.
Well, just because they are called PRE-natal vitamins, does not mean they should only be taken during pregnancy.
According to mommyonpurpose.com, mom's body is working overtime after the baby is born to heal and get back to normal and being sleep deprived is not helping her. Prenatal vitamins can help give her body the boost it needs to heal, keep her healthy, create breastmilk, replace all the plasma she lost, and give her energy to help take care of the tiny human she created.
14 Holding One's Bladder Too Long
After a baby is born, it can hurt to pee, making a woman not want to go and instead of holding it.
According to mommyonpurpose.com, a new mom wants to make sure she pees every two to three hours during postpartum, no matter how much it hurts, to avoid doing damage to her bladder. To try and avoid the pain, mom can try sitting all the way back on the toilet and leaning forward as far as she can. The farther one leans forward, the better because instead of touching the sore area, it will be going forward and down.
Every woman is different when it comes to the healing process. Some take a few weeks, some a few days. It does end though.
13 Getting Too Personal Too Fast
It has been nine long months of trying to be romantic with one’s partner while having a growing baby in between. Not very romantic. For some women, they will hold out their entire pregnancy just because not only are they self-conscious about their bodies, but because they feel like they may hurt the baby.
According to mommyonpurpose.com, although mom might want to try and reconnect with her partner once the baby is born, she must wait until her body is fully healed. She has an internal wound that will take a while to heal and introducing any bacteria to it can slow the healing process.
It is best to wait until a doctor gives the okay.
12 Being Afraid To Ask For Help
Having a newborn is hard, especially when the mother has had hard labor and is in pain.
There is a lot to do when she gets home and sometimes, she will feel like it is all on her own. From taking care of the baby to taking care of the house, scheduling newborn photoshoots to hosting all the family and friends that want to come and see the baby.
According to todaysparent.com, midwives typically recommend a full week of bed rest, but we know that sometimes that’s not possible. It is best to least try a few days though. Staying horizontal, not walking around too much, and keeping pressure off the pelvic floor with help healing and minimize postpartum plasma loss.
She shouldn’t have to do everything on her own.
11 When A Woman Restricts Herself To Small Amounts Of Food To Get Her Body Back In Shape Faster
After mom gives birth to her child, her body might feel like something out of a nightmare. It is not uncommon to want to rush and do everything possible in order to get back to where she was nine months ago.
It is best to give one’s body time to heal though. Take some time to enjoy the little one that just entered the world.
According to mommyonpurpose.com, mom NEEDS a healthy intake of daily calories to heal, make breastmilk, replace the plasma she lost, and give herself energy to get up and take care of that adorable little human she made.
Once she is healed up and her life has adjusted to having a newborn, then she can try to get back to where she was before she got pregnant.
10 Strenuous Exercise
After giving birth, it is common for a woman to want to rush to get her body back like it was before she became pregnant. Now, a woman can be in the greatest shape of her life before baby, exercise during her pregnancy and still need to take it slow and easy after giving birth.
According to mommyonpurpose.com, jumping into a cardio routine, or lifting heavy objects, can put a new mom at risk of plasma loss or her stitches could rip open.
It is best to just rest, let the body heal, and start light, easy going exercises until fully healed.
9 Tight Clothes
Tight clothes can be one way to make a woman feel like herself again. To be able to fit into those jeans she wore before getting pregnant is the best feeling in the world for her.
Sadly, it is something that will have to wait until she is fully healed.
According to mommyonpurpose.com, the reason a woman who has just given birth should avoid wearing tight clothes for a while is because of her stitches. It doesn’t matter if she gave birth vaginally or if she gave birth via a C-section, she needs to keep it flowy. Tight clothes can rub on the stitches, causing infection, plasma loss, or even tearing.
It is best to just enjoy wearing sweats for a while.
8 Feeling Embarrassed Every Time Those Ugly Postpartum Hormones Rear Their Ugly Heads
If a woman bursts out in tears because her child is crying, or it won’t sleep for very long, or maybe it spit up on the fifth outfit for the day, it’s okay!
If mom leaps up from a deep sleep because she hears her child crying and races to the nursery to check up on her child, it’s okay.
If she can’t stand the thought of leaving the house because it’s too stressful, it’s okay.
She doesn’t need to feel embarrassed over any of that.
According to mommyonpurpose.com, her hormones are going nuts due to postpartum and it is nothing to feel embarrassed about. If anything, she should be talking to a doctor about postpartum depression and anxiety, not feeling embarrassed.
7 Not Getting Enough Sleep
When a woman brings home a newborn, her life revolves around that child from now on and sometimes housework can be put on the back burner. When baby finally drifts off to sleep, all she wants to do is jump up and start doing some much-needed housework.
According to mommyonpurpose.com, the best thing mom can do is sleep when baby sleeps. It is very tempting to want to clean the mess that is accumulating around the house, but sleep deprivation is a serious thing and mom needs as much rest as she can get to help her not only heal, but also to rest her mind so she can think clearly.
Sleep as much as possible.
6 When A Woman Lets Others Steamroll Her
When it comes to having a baby, it seems like everyone wants to butt in and tell mom how to do things.
According to mommyonpurpose.com, everyone from the neighbor to their friends to family—even their dog—can be quite annoying and stressful to mom. Stress can negatively impact not only mom's health, but also infant's health.
Always remember one thing: There is only one mother and that is the one who makes decisions when it comes to her child.
If she not doesn’t want to sleep train, then she doesn’t have to sleep train, if she doesn’t want to vaccinate, then don’t vaccinate, and if she doesn’t want to breastfeed, then she doesn’t have to breastfeed.
It is all her decision and it is her child. She can do what she wants.
5 Setting Oneself Up For Failure
Women have a habit of building things up their heads and when it all comes crashing down, we can sometimes feel like failures and that can lead to stress and depression. Two things that can hinder mom’s health and baby’s health.
Just like a mother’s birth plan, a mother’s life plan for her child can also go straight out the window when she gets home, and things don’t go as she had planned.
According to mommyonpurpose.com, it is best to just go with the flow. Be prepared because things are about to get very different and know that things don’t always go as planned, but that’s okay.
Somethings things may end well, some things may end not so well, but it will all be ok.
4 Forgetting To Prioritize Oneself
Having a newborn means less time for mom. Who has time for themselves when they have a newborn?
According to todaysparent.com though, mom should at least try and get 30 minutes to herself a day, even if it is just a shower or to just sit in the bathroom alone. Mom can ask their partner to step in and take the baby, or even a family member so they can take a long relaxing shower and not have to worry about if they hear the baby crying in the next room. Or maybe they can go get a haircut, get their nails done, or even just go out to eat.
Having alone time is not selfish, its self-care and it helps a mom keep her sanity and even can help with physical recovery too.
3 Skipping A Pelvic Physiotherapy
When a woman is six-week postpartum, it is a good idea that she makes time to be accessed by a pelvic floor physiotherapist. It does not matter if she gave birth to her child vaginally or via a C-section, she will benefit greatly from seeing one.
According to todaysparent.com, a six-week physiotherapist visit does not count as her six-week checkup visit with her primary care provider. A physio will assess a mother’s core and back muscles, checking to make sure that all her scar tissue is healing nicely, while also examining her pelvic floor, the sling of muscles holding up her pelvic organs.
Even moms who have had a C-section should go. They might not have given birth vaginally, but their core was still weakened from being pregnant and scar tissue can create some serious problems.
2 Thinking You Can't Get Pregnant Right Away
A lot of women presume that because they just had a baby, that they can’t get pregnant right away until their body goes back to normal.
This is untrue.
According to mommyonpurpose.com, a woman can start her cycle as early as four weeks after giving birth. Getting pregnant this soon is not good and can result in a high risk of a premature birth or loss. It is best to wait at least 18-and-a-half months before trying to get pregnant again. A new mom may want to investigate different types of birth control until she gets the okay from her Doctor.
On top of that, getting reacquainted with one’s partner before completely healed inside and outside could cause bacteria to infect the wound.
1 Ignoring Signs That May Require A Doctor Visit
When it comes to having a newborn in the house, it is easy to focus solely on the baby, and not on oneself, especially during the first week of postpartum.
Now, while it is common to not feel 100%, there are a few things that can happen that require a doctor visit and if ignored will not only hinder the healing process, but can have greater negative impacts on the mother.
According to mommyonpurpose.com, if a woman experiences any of these symptoms, she needs to call her doctor: plasma that soaks a pad every two hours, clots larger than a quarter, a foul odor, no plasma loss at all, a fever, pain, swelling, redness, or discharge, problems urinating, severe headaches, vomiting, or problems breathing.
Sources: mommyonpurpose.com, todaysparent.com