It’s important to look after your physical health and mental wellbeing in the days, weeks, and months after you give birth. Look after yourself and you’ll be in a better place to look after your baby.
Talk to your doctor or midwife about any precautions you may need to take after giving birth. You can also visit the NHS’s online information hub which can tell you all you need to know about what happens after birth.
In this post, we’ll discuss some activities that you should try and avoid after giving birth. We’ll also talk about some ways you can look after your own wellbeing along with your baby’s.
Don’t Use Tampons After Giving Birth
Following pregnancy, you may have tears or cuts around your vagina. There will also be a wound where the placenta joined the wall of your womb. So don’t use tampons or menstrual cups for at least six weeks following the birth, as it could result in infection.
It’s very common to experience bleeding in the weeks following birth. But this won’t be like an ordinary period. It’s known as lochia, which is your body shedding all the blood, tissue, and mucus that lined your uterus during your pregnancy.
To best manage the bleeding you’ll experience after birth, try our soft, natural, absorbent and eco-friendly reusable sanitary pads.
Also be sure to read our full guide to what to expect from your periods after birth.
Don’t Ignore Your Body and Your Brain
Most women experience various aches and pains following birth. But pay attention to the way you feel. If you experience strong pains, and if they’re accompanied by a high temperature and heavy bleeding, then you may have an infection. Talk to your doctor immediately if things don’t feel right. Call 999 if you experience any breathing difficulties or chest pains, or if you start coughing blood.
As well as your body, also pay attention to your feelings. Again, most women feel down for at least a week following the birth. This is largely due to hormonal changes, and most women start feeling better after a few days.
But if you’re still feeling tearful, irritable, or anxious weeks after giving birth, then you may be experiencing more serious postnatal depression. Talk to your GP or health visitor and take a look at the expert resources from PANDAS (PND Awareness and Support).
Why You Need Birth Control After Giving Birth
You can get pregnant as little as three weeks after giving birth – even if you’re breastfeeding, and even if your periods haven’t resumed yet. Talk to your GP, midwife, or health visitor about the forms of contraception you can use following birth.
You should be able to use most methods, though you may have to take certain precautions if you’re breastfeeding, or if you have high blood pressure or other medical conditions.
Exercise After Giving Birth
Following birth, it’s vital that you take things as easy as possible, and that you get as much rest as you need. However, some light exercise can help you improve your physical and emotional wellbeing in the weeks following birth.
It’ll be a while before you’re ready to hit the gym again. But some gentle stretches and some light walks outside in the sunshine could work wonders.
Also be sure to read our guide to pelvic floor exercises you can do after you’ve given birth.
Don’t Forget Nutrition
Stay as hydrated as possible. This will help with your energy levels and your mental wellbeing. It could also help you maintain a good milk supply while you’re nursing.
You should also try and eat as healthily as possible in the weeks following birth. Try and include the following in your diet:
- Fresh fruit and vegetables (though fruit juice can also contribute to your 5-a-day).
- Dairy – though take care with the sort of cheeses you eat.
- Starch – Cereal, rice, pasta, and noodles.
- Protein – oily fish such as salmon or mackerel can be particularly beneficial.
- Fibre – beans, lentils, wholemeal bread, and potatoes. Some women feel constipated following birth, and fibre can help ease these symptoms.
Recovering From a Caesarean
You’ll have to take extra precautions following a caesarean birth:
- Taking care of your wound. You’ll have to pay particular attention for any signs of infection. Your midwife will advise you on how to clean and dry the wound every day, and you may have to take a specific course of painkillers that’s compatible with your nursing.
- Avoiding any strenuous activity. It may take up to six weeks before you’re ready to do certain activities again, including exercising, carrying heavy objects, and driving.
Take a look at the full NHS guidance for recovering from a caesarean.
We Can Help You Stay Clean and Comfortable Following Birth
Our postpartum pads can help you manage any bleeding you experience in the weeks after birth, while staying as clean and comfortable as possible.
We make our sanitary pads from only soft and natural materials, without any harmful chemicals. So they’re kind to your body while remaining reliably absorbent. And because they’re reusable they’re better for the planet too.
Browse our complete range of reusable postpartum pads.