“Do you want to wear an adult diaper for the rest of your life?”
I’ll never forget my midwife asking me this after I had my fourth baby. It was a wake up call for me because I had never truly taken the time to rest after having my first 3 babies. I did struggle physically, emotionally and spiritually and I don’t want that for anyone else.
So why should we rest postpartum and not get back into the swing of our normal routine?
1. Rest is key for physical healing. If you take the time to rest after giving birth it helps your wound stop bleeding around 2-4 weeks postpartum. Not resting can cause that time line to shift to six to eight weeks. Staying horizontal, not walking around too much, and keeping pressure off your pelvic floor will help with healing and minimize postpartum bleeding.
2. Reducing your chances for PPD occur with a combination of things and rest is one of them. Resting and not getting back into the full swing of things helps with overwhelming feelings, anxiety and depression.
3. Spiritual healing occurs during this season. Its called the “newborn bubble” for a reason. The first two weeks, i always feel like a caterpillar in my cocoon—mushy and without protection. I limit people and also anything outside of my bubble. I don’t go anywhere and because of this it allows for my brain to slow down.
4. It’s helpful for your baby. There have been so many studies about skin-to-skin contact helping babies regulate their temperature, their moods and improving breastfeeding relationships. Resting supports your baby’s well being and allows them to get acclimated to life outside of the womb.
5. Allows you to learn to listen to your body. This was the biggest transformation for me because I realized during this time that my body would ultimately cue me when it needed something or I did to much.
I know that resting is a privilege during postpartum and some people have to jump back into things to quickly with lack of help or no time off from work. This time is so special for so many reasons and we need to educate the people in our lives about what we need after giving birth. Since this is not a common cultural practice in our society, many don’t understand how much their support is needed in the postpartum period. If you are preparing to give birth, share this information with your inner circle. Sometimes we have to teach others how to be there for us 💕