41 Things Not To Do After Giving Birth (Avoid them !!)

You have just run a marathon. Haven’t you? And it will not be wrong to say that you as a mom, won’t like to leave any stone unturned & want to be well informed to take better care of the baby.


Your body has done something remarkable, so your postpartum phase won't be a few days & involve a few things. Postpartum recovery usually considered to be the first 6 weeks of childbirth. During postpartum, there are a lot of things to avoid after giving birth that you need to know.


It is better to gather some knowledge about stuff you think you need to know more about. You will find a big list of what to do after giving birth but not much information about the "things not to do after giving birth"


A few restrictions after giving birth we all must have heard about and a few unknown. These restrictions were believed to be quite effective for the health of both mother and baby. 


Like in some countries there is a period called “Postpartum Confinement". This is a restriction from getting out with the baby in the initial few days as babies are believed to have a weak immune system and can catch infections easily. 

It is always best to stay away from certain things which sabotage the healing process and follow a few to recover faster.


Here is the list of “41 THINGS NOT TO DO AFTER GIVING BIRTH”


1. Don't forget to eat:

Don't forget eating in postpartum
Photo by Jarritos Mexican Soda

Childbirth is exhausting and you may have hormones all over the place, food is something you are not thinking about for few hours after giving birth

Food that we eat fuels our daily activity. That’s why, to take care of a new human 24*7 it is important for you to not skip meals or don’t forget to eat. 

Your body needs food to get energy and to recover faster in the postpartum period.

But don't end up having few foods which are unsafe for breastfeeding moms like fish with high mercury level, too much caffeine or alcohol, oily & gassy food, peanuts, fizzy drinks. (details at the end of the page).


2. Avoid sitting or standing for long hours:

Standing and sitting for too long is something you should avoid for the first few days of giving birth as it slows down blood circulation and also puts more pressure on the perineum.

So, it better to keep moving or keep yourself active.

No matter how you delivered start by some walking inside the house.

Walking improves circulation, muscle tone and also helps with constipation.

 

3. Do not discontinue your prenatal vitamins:

Either you need to get postnatal vitamins or continue the same prenatal vitamins.

This is because your body still needs nutrition to recover and take care of your baby.

So, continue taking your vitamins which you used to take when you were pregnant.

 

4. Say no to too many visitors in the initial days

Not only it is unsafe to invite too many visitors in the initial few days, but it will interfere in your daily activities with the baby, gives you less bonding time with the baby and causes you inconvenience.

Maybe you are trying to establish breastfeeding or catching some sleep while the baby is asleep or doing laundry or cooking food or you are having some “alone time” and don’t want to get disturbed.

 

5. Don’t do crunches:

Every new mom finds her new body undesirable after giving birth and wants to shed the extra weight she has put on as sooner as possible.

But it is always beneficial to start with your pelvic floor exercises than any other exercise.

Crunches are a form of exercise that focuses on abdominal muscles & can put more pressure on the pelvic area and push the pelvic organ downward and if you do more and more crunches in the initial days it will push your genitals down and eventually out causing serious health issues.

 

6. Don’t hesitate to take some help:

Ask for help
 Photo by Tim Mossholder

We often think that we are capable enough to take care of baby alone no matter how exhausted and  sleep-deprived we are.

We just don’t want to show our weak side, vulnerability and incapability to others and that is the main reason why we hesitate to ask for help.

Let me tell you that no one is going to doubt your abilities as a mother. Adjusting to parenthood can be tough and time taking so it is always better to ask for help when you need it.

 

7. Don’t expect the journey to be too smooth:

Don’t expect that every activity related to your baby will come naturally to you.

Unless you are blessed with a baby who sleeps most of the time in a day.

Some days will be easy and some would be rough and you would often feel overwhelmed and alone.

The frequent wake-ups, sudden cry outs, endless pukes, pee and poops will keep you on your toes throughout the day and your whole day will pass like this.

You may feel baby blues too in the first few days.

But this is just a phase and I am sure you will sail through.

 

8. Don’t forget to use compression undergarment for extra support:

After giving birth it feels like gravity is pulling your organs down.

You might feel a lot of discomfort and pain in your pelvic area.

Consider using high-waisted mesh disposable underwear or compression underpants to give some support in the belly.  

These also help with posture and back pains.

 

9. Don’t be unprepared:

You might have started nesting a long back before giving birth. Mothers usually decorate nurseries and stock baby essentials or Things needed before baby’s arrival.

But it is also important to be prepared with the things which you as a mom need after giving birth like After Birth Care Kit. So, keep your postpartum care kit ready.

Make sure you prepare your hospital bag before giving birth so that you can avoid last-minute confusion.

 

10. Refrain from swimming:

Refrain from swimming
Photo by Ferd Isaacs

Don’t turn the pool’s water red ladies. No way that you are going in the water.

We may have external wounds (tear & stitches) and internal wounds too.

Using a swimming pool in the first few days is unhygienic and can lead to infection.

It is better to go for swimming once you are done with 6 weeks check.

 

11. Do not forget stool softener if constipated:

Loss of blood, dehydration, and hormonal changes can cause constipation.

In the initial days, it will feel like you are moving mountains to get the end result.

But don’t strain yourself while passing the bowel or else it will cause more pain in the pelvic area and hinder the recovery.

So, it's often recommended to use a stool softener for the first few days of giving birth.

 

12. Avoid wearing tight clothes:

It is not recommended to wear tight-fitting clothes because either it will be hard on stitches or make you feel uncomfortable.

You will be sweating and leaking most of the times in a day so it is better to wear loose or comfortable clothes so that your skin can breathe.

 

13. Don’t expect periods for few months:

It is hard to say exactly when your periods will return but it has been seen that people who fully breastfeed may get the periods back only after they stop breastfeeding.

Whereas for ladies who combine/mix feed (i.e., both breastfeed and bottle feed) may get their periods in the 5-6th week or even later than that.

And when you start feeding your baby lesser than before, your body will produce lesser milk and you may notice spotting or irregular periods.

 

14. Don’t do intense exercises:

There is absolutely no need of doing hardcore or intense exercises in your postpartum period.

It is ideal to start with the Kegels or pelvic floor exercises.

There is plenty of time for you to get back into shape.

In case you don’t know, breastfeeding also helps to loose postpartum weight by burning calories.

Don’t rush to get a slimmer body, allow your body some time.

 

15. Don’t do it for first few weeks.

In the initial few days, you feel sore down there with hormones all over the place and body leaking all kind of fluids, that the thought of having sex might scare most of us.

It is better not to do it for the first 6 weeks of having a baby as this time is said to be the standard recovery period.

“Doing it” before the recovery time will interfere with the healing process.

Therefore, you both as partners need to hold your horses back.

 

16. Avoid lifting heavy things:

Lifting heavy objects can cause more bleeding, back pain, genital organs shifting further down and hinder the healing process.

Heavy lifting can put too much pressure in your pelvic area, the weak muscles can’t manage this pressure and cause “pelvic organ prolapse”.

So, avoid lifting your older kids and other heavy objects after giving birth.

 

17. Don’t forget sitz:

Hot tub after delivery?

Hot water is often not suitable for bath but you can try warm or cold water soak.

Yes, you heard it right. Cold water can help your feel better and give you relief from burning sensation and soreness.

Just sit down in shallow warm or cold water and soak away the pain.

Sitz provides relief from perineum pain and itching.

It also improves circulation in the perineum area.

20 minutes every day in the bathtub is enough.

Another important thing is to scrub the tub well before or disinfect it so that you prevent the bacteria from spreading.

 

18. Do not forget to take care of the perineum:

These are few easy ways of taking care of your perineum:

Doctors usually, advise putting a cold pack around that area to reduce the burning sensation and reduce the swelling.

Wear breathable underpants or disposable mesh pants

Keep it clean.

Take over-the-counter pain reliever if required.

 

19. Don’t ignore your relationship:

You may face a disconnect with your partner or relationship problems after having baby because you are taking care of this new member who is keeping you occupied.

The times that you use to spend with each other as a couple is now spent doing endless house chores and meeting the baby’s demands.

Moreover, because of the physical changes and hormonal changes you may feel strange about a lot of things within yourself.

Even if you can’t make love, you can hold hands, chat with each other about something which is not related to the baby, kiss and hug each other, and show affection.

 

20. Don’t give up breastfeeding:

Breastfeeding comes naturally? Who said that?

At least for me, breastfeeding was something which was not as easy at all.

Painful and sore nipples and constant worrying if the baby is getting enough is all I remember from my past.

But don’t be afraid, this is going to be all fine after some time so just sail through.

This is the best nutrition you can give to your baby for his/her growth.

 

21. Refrain from boozing if you can.

I am sure boozing is not in your mind at all.

But in case you feel like having a glass of wine which you haven’t had for more than 40 weeks consider having a small quantity.

An occasional drink is not going to harm your baby.

But if you think you had done a lot of boozing, don’t hold your baby and don’t co-sleep as it can be risky.

Know your limits because you have a baby to take care of.

 

22. Don't dehydrate yourself:

We lose a lot of liquid from our body at the time of childbirth.

And when the baby arrives, we start with breastfeeding.

In the process of giving birth and taking care of your baby do you really remember having a glass of water?

You are hydrated your little one but are you hydrating yourself enough?

Adequate hydration is said to be vital for the production of breastmilk.

Don’t skip drinking water after you nurse.

 

23. Don't take too much of caffeine:

        

Cup full of coffee
Photo by Laureen Missaire

We all need some coffee or tea in a day to keep us going, don’t we?

But if you want some shut eyes so that you get up feeling fresh next morning cut on your tea/coffee intake.

Too much caffeine can interfere with sleep also it may cause anxiety and restlessness at times. 

Many ladies ask themselves "why can’t I sleep when baby sleeps ", suffer from postpartum insomnia and one of the causes of their sleep disturbances is too much caffeine.

 

24. Don't try to use baby's nap time to finish domestic chores:

Always remember to sleep when the baby sleeps and don’t get tempted to use that time doing your leftover business or domestic chores.

Laundry, cleaning house, washing dishes can wait and not a priority.

Taking rest and napping besides your baby is the right thing to be done if you want to recover faster.

 

25. Avoid doing everything on your own:

You have just given birth and that is a big deal in itself.

Your body is shouting “take some rest”.

It is a bad idea to try to do everything by yourself.

Don’t rush to do your left-over work.

Ask your partner or family to help you for the initial few weeks.

 

26. Don't think about bonding with the baby instantly:

I know how it feels inside when your baby keeps on crying and you are unable to comfort him/her.

You may worry, panic, feel helpless and clueless at times.

We as new mums learn a lot on the go so, don’t worry you will get there eventually.

Like you are new to your baby, the baby is also new to you.

It will take some time to bond with your newborn and won’t happen overnight.

 

27. Avoid using tampons:

Am sure you will not even dare to touch that area. Tampons are off-limits at this time.

It is said that tampons are the worse choice in the postpartum phase.

This is because things need to come out whatever is inside, and tampon prevents it.

Moreover, it increases the chances of infection.

 

28. Don't forget to consult your doctor when needed:

If you feel something is not right or you think something is strange it is always better to consult your midwife, GP or doctor.

No one expects you to know much about your baby and postpartum.

So, don’t hesitate to ask if you have questions regarding your recovery and your baby, and collect as much information as you can.

 

29. Don't question your abilities:

In the initial few weeks moms are lost, tired, stressed and sleepless.

We moms can be hard on ourselves and doubt if we are doing our best or not?

Learn things as you go. No one is fully prepared for motherhood, you will get the hang of it eventually in the journey.

 

30. Don't neglect if you feel depressed all the time:

These days do you often feel quite weepy, anxiety and restless after having a baby.

The exertion during delivery, sleep deprivations, pains and aches, too demanding baby, unhappiness by the way you look, stress in your relationship are a few of the factors involved in making you feel miserable after giving birth

These are known as “Baby blues” and fades in few weeks but in case you feel sad almost all the time then you are suffering from postpartum depression which needs treatment.

If you think you are depressed reach out for help.

 

31. Don't ignore your instincts:

You are a person who is closest to the baby and your love for your little one more than yourself.

That is why you acquire this skill of knowing if before anyone knows.

If your mother’s instinct is telling you that something is not right, then you should not ignore it and rather let others know if you think there is something strange or not right with your baby.

 

32. Don’t carry on as normal:

Don’t get into those tight jeans and body-hugging dresses and expect to look like you use to look.

You need to understand that you can’t go back to pre-pregnancy phase that quick.

It is going to take time to feel back to normal and you are required to allow that time to your body.

So, don’t be hard on yourself and enjoy this moment.

 

33. Don't forget about self-care:

We often get caught up in endless tasks and taking care of the baby that we often forget about ourselves.

As moms, we always put ourselves last and don’t pay much attention to self-care.

Like you care for the baby, you also need to take care of yourself to recover fast and to have a healthy and happy life ahead.

 

34. Don't be on your phone surfing the internet for too long at night:

Hey! Mama try to get some sleep when you are in bed rather than scrolling your phone.

I know you are inquisitive about a lot of things as a mother and searching answers to it or just want to catch up on some news or entertainment or checking social networking posts which gives you an inside about the other world.

Don’t forget that these days you don’t get ample time to sleep or to take rest. Once the baby wakes up you also need to wake up no matter how frequently or at what time of the day.

So, don’t be on your phones or laptops for too long.

 

35. Don't forget to use protection when you are ready for it.

There are huge chances of getting pregnant soon after 3 weeks of giving birth even if you are breastfeeding or your periods have not returned.

Strange, but it is a fact.

So in case you feel up to it (intercourse) after the postpartum recovery period which is 6 weeks, please keep the protection ready. 

 

36. Avoid having  junk food:

Junk food on the table
Photo by Javier Molina

I know how tempting and comforting it is to have junk food especially at this postpartum phase.

Cheeseburger, French fries, Pizza with extra loaded cheese, mac & cheese, cold drinks, chocolates, ice-creams are what you would want on your table.

But eating junk will only add to the inches and contribute to weight gain.

If you eat healthy a little percentage of the goodness will also, be passed to your baby through breastmilk.

 

37. Don't forget to use panty liners to avoid embarrassment when out & about:

You can pee your pants ladies and that too often while sneezing, coughing, laughing, etc. which is called urinary inconsistence.

This is because childbirth weakens the pelvic floor muscles and the nerves down there is also traumatized which stops you from holding your pee and you lose bladder control.

In case you think to get out of the home to get some fresh air and take a small stroll then don’t forget to use panty liner in the initial few weeks.

But don’t worry, it will take some time to bladder control back. Know more about how long does it take for pelvic floor to recover after childbirth?

 

38. Don't feel ashamed of crying:

The stress of dealing with the newborn is common and can make you emotional.

This is the period where you may feel tired unbelievably, overwhelmed, in pain, confused, sleep-deprived, and much more.

So, in case you feel like you really want to vent out things going inside you, please doing be ashamed to cry.


39. You don't need to be in isolation:

You may feel at times that you are restricted within few walls with this little human in the postpartum phase.

But don’t forget that you are not alone. There are other moms like you who may be going through the same tough & emotional journey as you are.

Consider socializing. You can join baby-mum clubs or new mum groups on social media and install apps in your phone specially designed for sharing experiences and concerns.

 

40. Don’t resume driving:

It is not recommended for the new moms to drive in the initial few days.

You use a lot of pelvic muscles when you drive, and the same muscles were used during labour and childbirth.

Our muscles down there have done a heck of a job of pushing a human out of the vagina so, let them give some much-needed rest now.

But the safest thing to do is to wait till 6 weeks which is the standard postpartum recovery period.

 

41. Don't forget to catch little moments in your camera:

While following the massive list of Do’s & Don’ts we often forget to capture some of the magical moments with our baby.

Keep your camera ready and click some nice candid photos with your newborn which you are going to cherish in the future.

 

So, these were a fully loaded list of 41 things not to do after giving birth.

Hope, now your doubts are a bit clear about what not to do after childbirth.

 

Related questions:

Question: How long should you take rest after having a baby?

Answer: The standard postpartum recovery period is 6 weeks.

These 6 weeks are only meant to take rest so that it fastens the healing process.

In case you are rush to get back to normal life and resume most of the daily activities it is only going to add to health issues and complications like heavy bleeding, infection, genital organ dislocation, etc.

 

Question: What are the foods to avoid after giving birth?

Answer:

1. Fish high in mercury like tuna, tilefish, shark, king mackerel, marlin, orange roughy, shark, swordfish, etc. (Risk of mercury poisoning)

2. Alcohol and caffeine. ( lead to sleep disturbances, increases anxiety and restlessness)

3. Fizzy drinks. (make you feel bloated and keep you from drinking enough liquid)

4. Spicy Food. (they can make the breastmilk taste strange or bad and baby might not want to have it)

5. Peanuts.(as few babies can be allergic to nuts)


 

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