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Giving Birth ‒ Why Rest And Recovery Time Is Crucial Postpartum

Written by: Dr. Nikki Cohen, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

Women give birth literally every day. Roughly 133 million babies were born in 2022 alone!

Being a mother is an incredibly rewarding experience, but it comes with its own set of challenges. Whether your baby was born via vaginal birth or c-section, your body underwent something akin to an injury. You've been told to “get back to normal as soon as possible,” but is that possible?

The Commonality of Childbirth


Childbirth is often not given the recognition it deserves as an incredibly demanding event. After all, it is a life event that leaves your body altered. Whether it's a vaginal birth or c-section, childbirth's physical and psychological effects are often understated.

The Impact on Your Body



And yet, postpartum women are often expected to "get back to the way they were" within the 6-8 week period that the government allows.


This isn't realistic for most postpartum women, who need more time and rest to heal their bodies. The sudden lack of sleep and hormones can cause a shock in any woman's system, often delaying the expected healing time for “normal” injuries.


Childbirth as an Injury


Childbirth is arguably more similar to a full-body injury than any other event. Every woman's body goes through a major trauma and needs time and care for proper healing.


This isn't just about physical healing; the psychological healing that comes with childbirth is equally important, along with baby care after delivery.

Similar to Spraining Your Pelvis


It's easy to downplay childbirth as a minor event – after all, it's not like spraining your leg or breaking your arm. But in reality, giving birth naturally is similar to spraining your pelvis, often causing tearing of the vagina and pelvic floor. You need to give your body time to heal, just as you would with any other injury.

US Women Often Not Given Proper Care


Unfortunately, women in the US do not receive adequate care and attention after giving birth at home or hospital. The government gives a 6-8 week postpartum window for recovery, which is often too short for most women. They are expected to return to their pre-pregnancy self in that time – something that just isn't realistic.

The Time Needed for Healing


The truth is it takes time to recover from childbirth. It can take months or even years for your body and mind to heal properly after the trauma of labor and delivery. Taking this time and not pushing yourself back into your pre-pregnancy life too quickly is very important.

Postpartum Essentials


Providing postpartum essentials for moms, including the time and space for proper recovery are the best things for moms after birth. Having the resources and support for women in the postpartum period so that they can take the time to heal and bond with their babies is essential.



Postpartum doulas and pelvic floor physical therapy are excellent resources to support moms after giving birth.


Investing in postpartum care and treatment after a normal delivery is an incredibly important step. It's worth the effort because it means that you can go through your recovery safely without any added stress or anxiety.



Conclusion


Women often don't give themselves enough time to heal after giving birth. The truth is childbirth is a major event, and it takes time to recover from it physically and mentally.


Every woman deserves the chance to take care of herself after having a baby – because when she's healthy and happy, everyone benefits as well. So don't be shy – invest in yourself and your recovery today! Your future self will thank you for it.


Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and visit my website for more info!


 

Dr. Nikki Cohen, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Dr. Nikki is a Doctor of Physical Therapy specializing in Pelvic Floor Dysfunction and is a passionate leader in transforming women’s healthcare. She saw a gap in the care of women firsthand and developed a proprietary methodology in providing 1:1 patient care, as well as offering essential information online. Founder of The Organic PT, Dr. Nikki takes the awkwardness out of potentially embarrassing issues and empowers women with knowledge to take back control in their health, wellness and life.


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