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Side note: You don’t have to do it all

As women, we put a lot of unnecessary pressure on ourselves to be what the modern world views as a ‘perfect’ mother, friend and partner.

But we’re here to tell you that you don’t need to bother with all that ‘perfect person’ crap.

The weeks after birth are not about springing back, how clean your house is, or how good you look on Instagram.

It’s a time to recover, recoup, and look after YOU.

  1. How will I feel after birth?
    A lot is going on in that very tired brain of yours. Your to-do this should read; ‘Look after me. Look after baby’.

    But for some reason, we feel that everything from our home to our hair, needs to be immaculate. It’s probably our Mother-In Law’s fault or the image of K-Mid and her post-birth bouncy blow-dry.

    Either way, it’s got to stop says @midwife_pip, who is a practising midwife and founder of The Pregnancy Wellness Podcast, she says, “All Mums are superheroes, irrespective of how clean your home is. There is too much unrealistic pressure on women after birth, and we need to realise it’s ok to swerve the washing for a week and put our hair in a bun.”
  2. How long is the postpartum period, and how do you look after yourself?
    It’s about 40 days but take as long as you want and need. “It’s not the time to start dieting and start restricting food”, says Specialist Pelvic Health Physiotherapist Emma Brockwell. “Bust that bounce back myth. Try not to do too much. Accept help and listen to your body. By looking after you, you’re looking after baby”.
  3. What is Cuarentena?
    Not to be confused with quarantine, Cuarentena is a Hispanic tradition that for a period of approximately forty days, a new Mum thinks of nothing else but herself and her newborn.

    During this time, she abstains from sex, and other family members take charge of household chores like cooking and cleaning. Sound goods. Can we add champagne to that?
  4. What should you not do after giving birth?
    Stop trying to do too much. Because we can’t see you. But we know you are!

    Fiit Mum trainer Charlie Launders says, “Refrain from lifting anything too heavy while your core and pelvic floor are healing. If you can, try not to lift anything heavier than your baby. Do not start exercising for at least six weeks after giving birth. Jumping straight back into workouts will slow down the healing process, and you could end up prolonging your recovery.

    Walking is good, and you can do this as soon as you feel ready, but you will be surprised at how tough it may initially feel, so take it easy and gently increase the amount you walk over a couple of weeks”.
  5. When can I do housework?
    God we’re fun these days, aren’t we? But we get it, tidy house, tidy mind. “It depends what type of housework you’re thinking about doing”, says Specialist Pelvic Health Physiotherapist Emma Brockwell ”. “If you’re thinking about lugging the hoover around your three-story house” (nice btw!) “then you need to wait a while”.
  6. Why you need to rest after giving birth?
    Adrenaline can be a dangerous thing. “It can trick you into thinking you’re in better shape than you are”, says, Fiit Mum trainer Charlie Launders, “Often new mums are filled with adrenalin and other happy hormones, and it can lead them into thinking they’re more capable than they are. Rest is important in every stage of motherhood, but in those early days, it’s crucial. Your organs are moving back to their original places, and you might be healing from a traumatic labour”. So, make sure you are allowing your body enough energy to recover.
  7. What happens if you don’t rest?
    “Stop trying to run before you can walk”, says, Specialist Pelvic Health Physiotherapist Emma Brockwell, “If you don’t rest, you can endure physical pain in your neck, back, shoulders or pelvis. You may encounter issues with your pelvic floor and cause disfunction, encourage leaking, bulging or heaviness in your vaginal area. It could also affect your mental health if you do too much too soon and it can make you feel low. Listen to your body and try not to jump too far forward, otherwise you might send yourself backwards”.
  8. Is it ok that I don’t feel like having sex after birth?
    Absolutely! Whatever birth you had; your bits will be recovering from pregnancy. And if you’re breastfeeding your tits have taken on a new non-sexual role of feeding a human. Your husband will be over-excited at how big your knockers have got, but he’ll just have to wait.

    Read more in our ultimate guide to sex after baby – https://themumclub.com/motherhood/the-ultimate-guide-to-sex-after-baby/
  9. Is it normal to bleed more than 40days after birth?
    We’re all different, but generally, it lasts around 24-36 days. Don’t worry if it goes on for longer or stops and starts, that’s normal too. If you feel unsure or notice something different, like a clot, mention it to your health visitor or GP.
  10. How can my tummy become flat after delivery?
    Hold your horses, says Fiit Mum trainer Charlie Launders. “Immediately after the birth, you may look exactly as you did during pregnancy, but your stomach will feel softer. It may stay like this as the uterus contracts back to its original size and place. All of the organs that relocated to make way for your baby will be moving back too. Your core muscles will be recovering without you even realising, as well as your pelvic floor.

    Your body is doing a lot! So, try not to put too much pressure on yourself”.

    Read more about how long it will take for your stomach to go down here How long will it take for my tummy to shrink?

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