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Recovery question for already-Mamas

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I just had my last birth preparation class today. We were supposed to visit the clinic, but they were so full that we weren't able to, so we sat around and talked.

Recovery was a big part of our conversation, and the midwife leading the group basically told us we should plan on taking it really, really easy for the first 6 weeks after birth, otherwise we risk all kinds of unpleasant problems. Basically, no heavy lifting, no standing for long periods of time, not too much movement.

So I'm curious-- for those of you who've already had children, at what point did you feel like you could sustain a normal level of activity-- walking, running errands, carrying stuff? Did you have a c-section or a vaginal birth? How did you know you were ready to be relatively active again?

To be honest, the thought of sitting around my apartment for 6 weeks during the nicest part of the year depresses the heck outta me. Obviously, I won't be running any marathons, but I assumed that the sooner you started moving around again, the better (within reasonable limits, of course).

TIA for sharing your recovery experiences!!
post #2 of 13
I recently (ok, 3 yrs ago) had my fourth baby. Her birth was so easy and straighforward, I still don't believe it. A few days after she was born , I tried to vaccuum ( we have 3 older kids=mucho mess) and ended up exhausted and in tears. You really should plan on doing as little as possible, not only for the sake of your healing body, but because you need to be with your dc every second, they grow up so so fast. You need to just hold and learn to nurse them. If you really, really feel like doing something, go easy and quit right away if it is too much. If you need a walk, bring dh and go really short. It is amazing how quickly one can become overwhelmed in the first days and weeks. You need to totally listen to your body.
post #3 of 13
I had a vag. birth last time, and I know that I wasn't totally up to speed for a while. It's hard to say exactly how long. I think about 1.5 weeks where I was really uncomfortable. However after that, I was outside digging up the yard....I almost had more energy than usual. I was still sore but definitely wasn't limited to sitting around.
post #4 of 13
Well, I'm a first-time mama, but advice from my mws was to do absolutely NOTHING for the first 2 weeks (no food prep, no chores, etc.). Their concern is less exhaustion--although that is a concern as well--than increased uterine bleeding. When you expel the placenta, you're left with a very large wound on your uterine wall--so, if you don't give it adequate time to heal, you can aggravate it. Then, limited activity after that, depending on how you feel, i.e., if you feel over-tired or notice an increase in bleeding, take it easy.

I totally know what you're saying about "missing" the spring, though. In DC, we get a few weeks of beautiful late spring/summer weather and then it turns miserably swampy and hot. I'm hoping to at least sit out on my (new!) balcony with dd in the weeks after she's born and people-watch, even if I can't really be walking around much.
post #5 of 13
After having 4 kids(all vaginally) I will say that taking it easy for at least the first 2-3 weeks cuts down on the time you bleed after delivery~ You can sit outside with the baby(in the shade) just because you are taking it easy does not mean you can't do anything! I know the first week you really don't want to do anything but sit & gaze with wonder that yes this baby really did come out of you :LOL! I puttered around but really did not try to go out in the world for at least 3 weeks(which gets harder with each child because of the other kids needs) mainly becasue I did not want germ exposure~ I know that with my 2nd I puished myself & ended up going down for longer becuase of it~ In the Birth & Beyond forum there is a great explaination of why you need the rest ~ Compares the place where the placenta attached to a scab & how you need to let the scab heal or everytime you do too much it has to start all over~ I have a dear friend who told me the other day that with her 3rd her DH was very sick & she had to get back in the swing of things too fast & she beld for 3 months which was very hard on her~

Sorry for the novel but I have been wordy lately

Warmly,
Melissa
post #6 of 13
After the birth of dd, we went for some quick groceries after going to the hospital for the baby check-up. I thought I was fine, until we were checking out. There was a long line with a new cashier. I thought I was going to pass out or bleed to death.

My advice is to not push it. You don't want to be somewhere & feel like you can't possible get back home without a stretcher.

I'm having DH set up the back yard with a kiddie pool & a sandbox. DD #1 gets to be outside & I can nurse in a lounge chair.
post #7 of 13
Well, I'm the first c/s mom to reply, but I'll tell you about it anyway! The 1st few days were a blur, but I do remember walking around our neigborhood (very slowly and with my mom) only 5 days after surgery. It felt good to get out of the house but it really IS a good idea to do as little as possible in the beginning. I know with us c/s moms, we arent allowed to lift many things, so I think this time around will be harder since my daughter is almost 3.

I think the main thing is to listen to your body, but DO go very slowly, no matter how great you feel. It's kind of like when you're recovering from the flu or something and the first day you start to feel like your old self again, you inevitably overdo it and then feel like crap again. Take as much help as you can get and remember, the less you can do, the more rested you are and better in tune with your dc and his/her needs you will be. I remember being really good at knowing what my dd needed, simply because I took it really easy and had plenty of time to study her and her behavior patterns.

Hope this helps at least a little!!
post #8 of 13
This is really individual IMO. I had a home birth and the next day I was on my feet and starting to take short walks. I felt great and recovered quite quickly. You really have to listen to your body though, and lots of women end up overdoing it and regretting it. Monitoring the flow of your lochia and your energy levels will help you to monitor how your body is doing. I would be very cautious about being active after a cesarian or traumatic birth.
post #9 of 13
I agree with Ksenia, it's different for each one. With DD#1, I didn't do a whole lot, simply because I didn't have other ones to take care of. With Emma, I think it was maybe 2 weeks, and then I felt pretty good, still sore, but not bad. We'll see with this one, having 2 at home to take care of!
post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much for sharing your experiences!! It sounds like I should plan on taking it reeeeeeally slow for at least 2-3 weeks, that's fine with me. I'm not cool with not doing anything for SIX weeks, though of course it'll depend on my recovery...
post #11 of 13
I agree with Ksenia and Sydnee- listen to YOUR body's signals. I didn't listen as well as I should have with my first baby, I had stitches for an episiotomy and that was rough because otherwise I felt fabulous.

Second baby, I was doing a lot right away but my bleeding stopped really quickly and I took a daily nap on the couch with the kids- otherwise I would have felt badly I'm sure.

Go with the flow! Lots of good ideas, re: sitting outside in the shade and such. I get too restless not going anywhere and staying inside constantly.
post #12 of 13
With ds when I came home from the hospital, we went for a nice walk around the neighborhood as it was a gorgeous day.

I was sore (from stitches) so sitting down was what killed me. I was out getting pics developed, etc. when he was 3 days old. (Just be sure to keep your baby close and covered so people don't touch them without permission!!)

I think it all depends on how your recovery is going. I wasn't up for marathons (of course, I never am!), but I was definitely not about to sit around the house for 6 weeks.
post #13 of 13
I had an easy, vaginal birth--didn't even tear--and I overdid it. I was up and moving and really high on the whole experience and wore myself out. My milk came in the second day but I had supply problems after that because I did too much. Then I went back to work at 6 weeks. I bled for about 60 days after, quite a bit in fact. I will definately take it much easier this time, though now I'll be a SAHM/sometimes WAHM, which will be much easier than working, but I have a 2.5 yo so for sure I'll be cooking and taking care of her. But I won't be doing any big walks like I did last time and will just concentrate on BEing and not so much DOing.
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